Provision of Essential Services to All: Universal Service as a Goal of Public Policy and Public Utility Regulation in the U.S.

Widespread availability of essential services – especially electricity, gas and telecommunications – has been a hall-mark of American life since the middle of the twentieth century. It is one of the defining features of the standard of living in the US. Beginning in the 1930’s a suite of laws and policies to provide universal service […]

What Determines Class Consciousness

Removed from Class? Theorizing the Service Workplace as a Source of Class Consciousness — Peter Ikeler and Jillian Crocker
Prisms of Class: Symbolic Repertoires in Youngstown, Ohio and East London, England — Justin Gest
The Hidden Injuries in The Hidden Injuries of Class — Jeff Torlina

Labor and Inequality in the City

Keeping ’Em in Their Place: Race, Class, and Transportation Inequity in Milwaukee and Los Angeles — Kimberly Hernandez
Working Class Civic Rights: Atlanta’s Public Sector Union’s Defense of Government Services, 1965-1977 — Seth LaShier
Resistance and Reform: Working-Class Activism and Municipal Governance in Postwar New York City — Jess Bird and Minju Bae

Teamster Union Responses to Congressional Investigations in the Late 1950s

“A Hard Boiled Egghead”: Harold Gibbons, the McClellan Committee, and the Culture of Investigation in the 1950s — Bob Bussell
A Game of Cat and Mouse? The McClellan Committee and Chicago’s Teamsters Local 743 — Leisl Orenic
Perspectives on the McClellan Committee Hearings: The FBI Reports of Hoffa’s Spy — David Witwer

Culture, Class, and Identity in a Century of Novels, Comics, and Film

On this panel we are interested in the relationship between culture, class and identity. One of our overarching questions is: is culture an ideologically repressive force in workers’ lives, or can it be a tool for fighting inequality? In “Intersectionality in Working-Class Literature and Culture,” Sara Appel will explain how working-class culture speaks through, to, […]

Art and Class: Dissociation in Cultural Production

In 2006, even before the financial crisis, critic and art historian Claire Bishop claimed that art was making a ‘social turn.’ Since, as inequality continues to deepen, we have seen Occupy-offshoot Arts & Labor avow to represent ‘art workers and the 99%,’ and high art magazine Frieze hire union labor for its annual festival after […]

Transatlantic Scenes: Popular Theatre and Music as Resistance or Satirical Tools

This panel discusses popular cultures that expressed radical affiliations or mocked them in the United States and in Spain. Staging the Revolution: Italian Immigrant Radical Plays Marcella Bencivenni This paper explores the importance of theater among early Italian immigrant radicals. Focusing on a few hitherto neglected plays, she discusses the use of drama as a […]

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 […]