CfP: Virtual Workshop: New Approaches to the Contentious Politics of Class

Call for papers, deadline 9 April 2021

The workshop will be held digitally via Zoom on 28–29 May 2021, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and is funded by the Northern Bridge Cohort Development Fund. Proposals for papers should include title and an abstract maximum of 300 words. Please send proposals to Joe Redmayne ( or Katherine Waugh ( by 9 April 2021.


Keynote speakers: Associate Professor Tithi Bhattacharya (Purdue University, USA) & Dr. Matt Perry (Newcastle University, UK)


This cross-disciplinary workshop aims to explore the evolved understandings of class in both domestic and transnational contexts throughout the twentieth century and in the contemporary world. In particular, the centrality of the working-class within debates around recent political decisions and trends, such as the vote to leave the European Union, austerity and the resurgence of far-right thought, makes now a pertinent time to discuss the meanings of class, but also invites consideration of the historical significance of class more broadly. There has been a renewed interest in the micro-level experiences of class, leading to consideration of the affective and emotional meanings of class. As well as the historical intersection between stigmatisation and class, often augmented by further layers of marginalisation as a result of gender, race, age or disability.


Prompted by the subject of global labour history, this workshop aims to draw attention to the complexity of a multi‐racial, multi‐ethnic, international working class (Lucassen, 2006; Van der Linden, 2008). It embraces studies of gender, race, and postcolonialism to understand the globalised webs in which key issues of labour are located, such as colonialism, neo-liberalism, and industrial decline. In doing so, the workshop considers the salience of memory and nostalgia within understandings of class, both historically and in the present day. Furthermore, it questions how class and its related intersections have been employed to generate solidarity and resistance in some instances but used to sow disunity and stigma in others.


Tithi Bhattacharya is an Associate Professor of South Asian History and the Director of Global Studies at Purdue University. She is the author of The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford University Press, 2005), Social Reproduction Theory: Remapping Class, Recentering Oppression (Pluto, 2017) and co-author of Feminism for the 99% A Manifesto (Verso, 2019).  She is a long-time activist for Palestinian Justice. She writes extensively on Marxist theory, gender, and the politics of Islamophobia. Her work has been published in the The Guardian, Journal of Asian Studies, South Asia Research, Electronic Intifada, International Socialist Review, Monthly Review, Jacobin, and the New Left Review. She is on the editorial board of Spectre and Studies on Asia.


Dr. Matt Perry has taught broadly across Twentieth Century European History at Newcastle University. He has research interests in British and French labour and social history, particularly in the fields of protest and social memory. He has also published on questions of general historiography in particular the Marxist school of history. He is the author of Mutinous Memories: aSubjective History of French Military Protest in 1919 (MUP, 2019), “Red Ellen” Wilkinson: Her Ideas, Movements and World (MUP, 2015), Memory of War in France, 1914-45: César Fauxbras, the Voice of the Lowly (Palgrave, 2011), The Jarrow Crusade: Protest and Legend (University of Sunderland Press, 2005), Marxism and History (Palgrave, 2002), Bread and Work: the experience of unemployment 1918-1939 (Pluto, 2000).


Abstracts of up to 300 words are invited on the themes of, but not limited to:


Global and local approaches

Class and social movements

Consciousness and intersectional class identity

Working-class culture

Labour migration




Labour Feminism

Networks and transnational activism

Memory and nostalgia


More info: