HOW CLASS WORKS – 2016
A Conference at SUNY Stony Brook
June 9-11, 2016
CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
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 <www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass>.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass
Director, Center for Study of Working Class Life
Department of Economics
State University of New York
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384