The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


EXTENDED March 1 Call for Papers: How Class Works Conference at SUNY Stony Brook

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A Conference at SUNY Stony Brook
June 9-11, 2016


The Center for Study of Working Class Life is pleased to announce the How Class Works – 2016 Conference, to be held at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, June 9-11, 2016. Proposals for papers, presentations, and sessions are welcome until December 9, 2015, according to the guidelines below. For more information, visit our Web site at <[]>.

Purpose and orientation: This conference explores ways in which an explicit recognition of class helps to understand the social world in which we live, and the variety of ways in which analysis of societies can deepen our understanding of class as a social relationship across the globe. Theoretical and historical presentations should take as their point of reference the lived experience of class in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, within nations and internationally. Presentations are welcome from people outside academic life when they sum up and reflect upon social experience in ways that contribute to conference themes and discussion. Formal papers are welcome but are not required. All presentations should be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience.

Conference themes: The conference welcomes proposals for sessions and presentations that advance our understanding of any of the following themes:

The mosaic of class, race, and gender: To explore how class shapes racial, gender, and ethnic experience, and how different racial, gender, and ethnic experiences within various classes shape the meaning of class.
Class, power, and social structure: To explore how the social lives of working, middle, and capitalist classes are structured by various forms of power; to explore ways in which class dynamics shape power structures in workplaces and across broader societies.
Class in an age of income inequality: To explore the implications and consequences of the growing income gap between top earners and the rest for the lived experience in class in different corners of the world.
Class, Community, and the Environment: To explore ways in which class informs communities and environmental conditions where people work as well as where they live; also to consider questions of “home,” community formation and sustenance, and environmental justice.
Class in a global economy: To explore how class identity and class dynamics are influenced by globalization, including the transnational movements of industry, capital, and capitalist elites; the experience of cross-border labor migration and organizing; and international labor and environmental standards.
Middle class? Working class? What’s the difference and why does it matter? To explore the claim that the U.S. and other developed nations have become middle class societies, contrasting with the notion that the working class is the majority; to unpack the relationships between the middle class and capitalist, working and other subordinate classes both in the developed and the developing world.
Class, public policy, and electoral politics: To explore how class affects public deliberations and policy in a variety of nations around the world, with special attention to health care, the criminal justice system, labor law, poverty, tax and other economic policy, housing, and education; to explore the place of electoral politics in the arrangement of class forces on policy matters.
Class and culture: To explore ways in which cultures and subcultures transmit, sustain, and transform class dynamics around the world.
Pedagogy of class: To explore techniques and materials useful for teaching about class, at K-12 levels, in college and university courses, and in labor studies and adult education courses.

How to submit proposals for How Class Works – 2016 Conference: We encourage proposals for panel sessions (three or four papers) and roundtables that bring diverse perspectives and experiences into dialogue: scholars with activists; those working on similar themes in different disciplines; as well as those working on similar issues in different parts of the world. Proposals for individual presentations are also welcome. Proposals for presentations must include the following information [for session proposals this information must be included for all proposed presentations, as well as indication of presenters’ willingness to participate]: a) short descriptive title; b) which of the conference themes will be addressed; c) a maximum 250 word summary of the main subject matter, points, and methodology; d) relevant personal information indicating institutional affiliation (if any) and what training or experience the presenter brings to the proposal; e) presenter’s name, address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address. A person may present in at most two conference sessions. To allow time for discussion, sessions will be limited to three twenty-minute or four fifteen-minute principal presentations. Sessions will not include official discussants.

Submit proposals as an e-mail attachment to or as hard copy by mail to the How Class Works – 2016 Conference, Center for Study of Working Class Life, Department of Economics, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384.

Timetable: Proposals must be received by December 9, 2015. After review by the program committee, notifications will be mailed by the end of January 2016. The conference will be at SUNY Stony Brook June 9-11, 2016. Conference registration and housing reservations will be possible after March 7, 2016. Details and updates will be posted at [][]

Conference coordinator:
Michael Zweig
Director, Center for Study of Working Class Life
Department of Economics
State University of New York
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384