Madams, Milk Dumps, and Mobilizations: Workers’ Labor and Lives in the American Midwest

The Midwest provides an important lens for examining employer tactics for controlling workers, as well as working-class strategies for resisting these methods of creating inequality. From the 1870s to the present, the Midwestern political and social landscape revealed both progressive ideals and engaged citizenry. Both active social agents and official policymakers from the early roots […]

Rethinking Working-Class Representation in a Global Age

How does globalization prompt us to reimagine working-class culture, writing, and the working class itself as a subject of social, political and cultural agency? What new terms, theories, and forms of representation have emerged to make such reimaginings possible? Engaging these and other related questions, the three papers in this session take the conditions of […]

Intersections of Access in Higher Education

Access to higher education for underrepresented students is notoriously difficult. Yet once the systemic and bureaucratic hurdles have been overcome, our less-prepared and under-resourced students often still struggle in the classroom. In this presentation I will discuss how individualized student empowerment counters the power dynamics of the standardized classroom. In particular, through dissection of art, […]

Work, Crisis, Apocalypse?!: The Power and Promise of Autonomist Marxism in the US

The 2008 economic crisis coupled with decades of vicious capital restructuring and state revanchism has generated an explosion of discourses around inequality in the US, as vividly seen in Occupy of 2011 and the 2014 wave of minimum wage struggles and fast food worker strikes. Observers might suggest that the accumulated losses and setbacks for […]

Miner’s Fight for Democracy-Historical Lessons from the West Virginia Mine Wars

Throughout the 20th century, Southern West Virginia was the site of several bloody battles between competing notions of political and economic freedom. Places like Paint Creek, Matewan, and Blair Mountain conjure images of hard-nosed mountaineers fighting coal operators’ private armed guards to attain the basic freedoms that most Americans take for granted. What lessons can […]

Popular Culture and the Politics of Race and Class: Britain and France from the Mid 1970s to the Mid-1990s

This panel looks at the role of popular culture in the politics of race and class in Britain and France between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s. This period demarks the collapse of the post-war settlement. It also encompasses the rise of new generational identities that intersect with location, race and class. These subcultural identities found […]