Working-Class Academics

In 2015, the Association of Working-Class Academics (AWCA) merged with the WCSA to form the Working-Class Academics section (WCA). To read about this story, see “Organizing Working-Class Academics: A Collective History,” by Allison L. Hurst, Tery Griffin, and Alfred Vitale in the Journal of Working-Class Studies.

The WCA advocates for students and faculty of poverty- and working-class origins, strives to implement reforms designed to assure greater class equity within colleges and universities, establishes relationships and connections between poverty- and working-class academics through mentoring and events, and serves as an informational resource for those interested in issues affecting poverty- and working-class people.

The WCA section maintains its own administrative structure and reports activities via the WCSA semi-annual newsletter. The WCA section holds regular panels at the WCSA conference. Collected dues are earmarked for WCA activities and needs.

Goals

Advocacy:

  • To establish a collective voice in solidarity for WCAs seeking to raise important class-related issues throughout higher education, including the improvement of working conditions for WCAs and admissions for students of poverty- or working-class backgrounds, as well as encouraging institutions of higher education to hire more poverty/working class academics.
  • To act as a clearinghouse for advice and support, assisting WCAs in navigating the formal and informal academic processes, including suggestions on tenure, dissertations, financial issues, dealing with administrators and mentoring students.

Outreach:

  • To network and connect with WC/PCAs.
  • To work to establish on-campus faculty WCA mentors for graduate and undergraduate students on campuses.

Scholarship:

  • To inform WCAs about publication possibilities and upcoming conferences both for and by WCAs.
  • To encourage WCAs to engage in research and to interrogate the standpoint of current research focusing on social class issues.
  • To introduce more courses on social class and the effects of social class origins into our respective fields.

*Image, Rosie O’Halloran, WCSA at-large member, 2022.