Call for abstracts

Special Session for the MLA Convention in Philadelphia, Jan. 5-8, 2017

Tracking in the Professoriate (A Roundtable)

Although most scholars realize that possessing a PhD from a top-ranked university is advantageous, David Colander recently quantified the startling degree to which institutional pedigree determines where a PhD holder in English will garner a tenure-track position. This roundtable seeks to further the conversation about tracking in the professoriate. Topics may include the hidden or unacknowledged effects of such tracking; placement patterns in administration or in the faculty labor pools outside the tenure stream; theorizations of tracking as governance or projects of civility; practices of tracking in relation to political economy; and intersections between institutional pedigree and gender, race, class, or sexuality in professorial placements. Other possibilities are welcome.

If interested, please send an abstract (150-250 words) and c.v. to Lynn Arner at by March 17, 2016.  For more information about the conference and about the call for papers, see

Two exciting developments for WCSA!

Over the last year, we have initiated two exciting developments for the WCSA. First, we have successfully merged with the Association of Working Class Academics which enjoys a membership of 200 plus. We would like to welcome AWCA members to the WCSA and hope that together we will mutually benefit from each other.  While there is a lot of cross over in membership and aims, the AWCA was set up to support and further the interests of working-class academics who might teach in a variety of settings. The WCSA, on the other hand, has a broader membership base interested in the study of working-class culture and politics. I would really urge members of both organizations to get to know more about each other, take active part in the WCSA, and help develop the Association for the future.

Our second news is that we are rapidly moving towards having our own journal for the Association. Led by Australian members Liz Giuffre and Sarah Attfield with support of your Steering Committee, we aim to produce the first online issue later this year. This marks a significant opportunity for the field and I hope as many of you as possible will become involved.

Tim Strangleman, President WCSA

Sweat Equity: Women in the Garment Industry

The Center for the Study of Women’s History is pleased to present the first annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference in Women’s History on Sunday, March 16th, 2016. This day-long event during Women’s History Month will explore the garment industry and its historical impact on women, and is organized this year in memory of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, daughter of veteran labor organizer David Dubinsky. The conference will feature two keynote addresses by historian Alice Kessler-Harris and union leader Julie Kushner, along with panel discussions exploring the history and future of garment manufacturing in New York. The morning panels will focus on the entwined histories of immigration, labor activism, and the garment industry’s predominantly female workforce. The afternoon panels will bring together working designers to discuss production in New York City’s garment district today, and the challenges of sustainabilityboth economic and environmentalin the fashion industry. All events will take place in the Robert H. Smith Auditorium, and audience members are welcome to attend either the full day’s program or selected panels.  Admission is free, but advance reservations are required to guarantee seating.  For more information, see the program highlights.

Book published on working-class youth

Amy E. Stich, Northern Illinois University, and Carrie Freie, Pennsylvania State University, have co-edited The Working Classes and Higher Education: Inequality of Access, Opportunity and Outcome, published by Routledge, 2016.  With a foreword by Lois Weis, the volume, as stated on the Routledge website, “examines the complicated relationship between the working classes and higher education through students’ distinct experiences, challenges, and triumphs during three moments on a transitional continuum: the transition from secondary to higher education; experiences within higher education; and the transition from higher education to the workforce. In doing so, this volume challenges the popular notion of higher education as a means to equality of opportunity and social mobility for working-class students.”