Conference Schedule

We are excited to announce the schedule for Ireland’s first working-class studies conference! The conference will now take place 8th-12th November, 2021. Over 5 days there will be 30 panels, 2 Keynote Speakers and 2 live Performance evenings.

First 3 days take place online via ZOOM. The final 2 days 11th & 12th are in-person at Liberty Hall


All Sessions on ZOOM

10:00 –  10:30:

Welcome from the Organising Committee (twitter,housekeeping etc)

10:30 – 12:15:

Panel 1a: The Body & Class

Chaired by Dyuti Chakravarty

Shambhawi Vikram – Swachch Banega Ye Bharat (Let’s Make a Clean India): Challenges to a ‘Politics of Menstruation’ in Contemporary India

Jenni Ramone – ‘Whose breasts are they?’: Breastfeeding and Ownership in Global Working Class Texts and Contexts

Katie Beswick – Being Slaggy/Representing Slaggyness: Sex, class and embodiment in Britain

Samantha Harper-Robins – A Somatic Testimony

Panel 1b: Class & Activism in Academia 

Chaired by Anne Mulhall

Jordan Kirwan – Triumphs and tribulations: understanding academia as a site for activism

Eamonn Jordan – The Working Critic

Lauren Schandeval – Institutionalising Class Studies in US Academia

Steph Hanlon – Neoliberal Individualism: Researching Marriage Migration and ‘Reflexivities of Discomfort’

Panel 1c: Class in literature 1 

Chaired by Clara Mallon

Eva Bourke – Class and the Domestic Noir Genre

Sharon Dempsey – Class & Crime Fiction from the North of Ireland: A Work in Progress

Aafke van Pelt – The “Mill Girls” of the Belfast Mill Strike: Gender Activism in the Workplace in Charabanc’s Lay Up Your Ends (1983)

Ciara McAllister – Soldiering on: Militarised Masculinities and the Working Class in the Drama of Christina Reid and Martin Lynch

12:15 – 1:00:

Lunch Break

1:00 – 2:15:

Keynote 1:

Dr. Ebun Joseph – The intersection of Race and Class: Critical race theory and why inequality persists 

2:15- 2:30:



Panel 2a: New Methods in Class Solidarity

Jo Fletcher-Saxon, Dr Lou Mycroft and Dr Joanna Norton – #SolidaritySpaces: a site of activism, connection and strength.

Dr. Nick Bentley & Dr. Mark Brown- The Stoke Method: the development of verbatim, class-based drama techniques at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent




Panel 3a: Class in literature 2

Chaired by Salomé Paul

Prof. Rosina Martucci – The Irish working class in Frank McCourt ‘s novels

Sarah Attfield – Class on Screen: Representations of Working-Class Life in Irish Cinema and Beyond

Michelle Ryan – Class act: An exploration of social class in Irish sitcoms and comedy series.

Nathaniel Heggins Bryant – “Amnesia in the Hulks: Penal Contexts, Mismemory, and the Future of the Irish Economy in Mike McCormack’s Notes from a Coma”

Panel 3b: Class, Politics and the Irish Diaspora

Chaired by Eddie Molloy

Aidan Beatty – Friedrich Engels’ Two Irish Wives: Recovering the Narratives of Mary and Lizzie Burns

James Patrick Walsh – Naming the Unnamed in Leadville, Colorado:  The Effort to Memorialize 19th Century Irish Immigrants Buried in Unmarked, Sunken Graves.

Garret Scally – Tunnels: Performing the Irish Diaspora 

June Melody & Valerie Walkerdine – Growing up Irish: Towards an affective history of Irish working class girls in London, 1984-2001

Panel 3c: Publishing & Archiving as a Class Act 

Chaired by Dyuti Chakravarty

Jenny Farrell – The Culture Matters: Working People’s Anthologies from Contemporary Ireland, a Pioneering Project

Emma Penney & Sophie Meehan – The Working-Class Writing Archive

Jessica Pauszek – Have You Ever Heard of The Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers? (What It Means to Collaboratively Archive Decades of Working-Class Community Writing)



10:30 – 12:15:

Panel 4a –  Accounts of Class & Education

Chaired by Paul Bermingham

Dr Benabdi Farouk – The Working Class Children and their Education in Victorian England

Brittany Wright – Talking teachers, telling tales: exploring former educators’ stories of place and social class in a former coalmining town

Sorca Mc Donnell – Emerging themes from a co-operative exploration of the experiences of working class women who have attended higher education

Tallulah Eyres – “Low Horizons, High Aspirations’: Working-class journeys into higher education”

Panel 4b: Women’s Labour Activism 

Chaired by Rosie O’Halloran

Isabel Roque – Social activism and trade unionism in Portugal during the COVID-19 pandemic

Martha Romero-Delgado – Intersectionalities of Class and Gender: Feminism, Anarchism and Free Women from Spain

Olivia Frehill – Locating the Labouring Class Female Body: A Historical Examination of Dublin Domestic Servants,  c. 1890 – 1940.

Dr. Dolores Señorans – On journeys, sweatshops and neighbourhoods: An ethnography with unwaged garment workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Lunch Break

1:00 – 2:45:

Panel 5a: Class Inequality in Higher Education

Chaired by Fergal Finnegan

Kathleen Lynch – Social Class Inequality: Is Education Liberatory? Exploring the Contradictory Purposes of Education

Colby King & Michele Fazio – Dilemmas in Class: Lessons from Working-Class Student Support Programming

Maria Keil – Heretic Academics: Social Class Background and Class Awareness in the Academic Field

Dr Teresa Crew – Student Support and a Working Class Academic Pedagogy.

2:45: 3:00:


3:00 – 4:30:

Panel 6a: Emerging From the Silence: Representations of Working-Class Women in Irish Theatre

Chaired by Justine Nakase

Salomé Paul – ‘Not in Flesh’: The Construction of the Disenfranchised Woman in Irish Theatre

Fiona Charlton – The Juno Complex: Tracing Representations of Working-Class  Women in Irish Theatre

Clara Mallon – Hope in the Face of Despair: (Re)Situating and (Re)Presenting Working-Class Women in Natural History of Hope

Panel 6b: Language, Imagination & Place in Working-Class Communities 

Chaired by John Bisset

Kerron Ó Luain –  “Sure why would they need Irish?”: experiences of class, language and education in Ballymun, c.1970-76.

Declan Byrne – The Dublin Docks: Deindustrialisation in the Inner City

Vincent Portillo – Deindustrial Dearborn: language & labor in an Arab-American working-class community

Joanna Norton – Luton 2050: Working Class Communities Imagining Their Future

4:30- 5:00:


5:00 – 6:45:

Panel 7a: Class & Literary Orthodoxies

Chaired by Heather Laird

John Attridge – Class, Literature and Identity Politics: Elevating Working-Class Voices in New Literary Pedagogies

David Archibald and Carl Lavery – Proletarian Poesis

Jim Daniels – Work Poetry and Working-Class Poetry: The Zip Code of the Heart

Magnus Nilsson – It’s literature, sort of… What literary studies can teach us about working-class literature and vice versa.



10:00am – 11:45:

Panel 8a: Experience & Resistance in the Labouring Class

Chaired by Sandrine Ndahiro

Sara Burdis – ‘Identities: Media Racialisation of the Irish Working-Class’

Luka Lei Zhang – “Socialism is Great”: A Worker Writer’s Resistance against Communism and Patriarchy

Devika Singh Shekhawat – Health, Colonialism and the Working Class Tracing questions of health of the workers of Tea Plantations in Assam and North Bengal during the British Rule.

Anjum Khan – Working Bodies and Weary Prospects

Panel 8b: Teaching in a High Poverty Area

Chaired by Carl Emery

Dr Carl Emery – Research Fellow, Disadvantage and Poverty, University of Manchester

Louisa Dawes – Lecturer in Teacher Education, University of Manchester

Liz Agbetoh – School Improvement Lead, Blackburn Education Diocese

11:45 – 12:30:

Lunch Break


Panel 9a: The Art of Class

Chaired by Marty Gilroy

Avantika Tewari – Beyond a Class Analysis of “Sir,” Towards Revolutionary Love

Aidan Teplitzky – Get to the _ _ _ _ing point: Embodying the affectual value of swearing in compositional language

Michael Lydon – ‘Hear the Celtic Tiger Roar’: Damien Dempsey and the Noises of Working-Class Ireland

Jacob Miller – “Now everything’s out of control”: Hauntology, Alienation, and Populism in Glen James Brown’s Ironopolis

Panel 9b: Class, Intersectionality & Contemporary Literature 

Chaired by Louise Walsh

Martin Kenny – “What parade do we get? I’m a parade. I’m a one-man parade” – exploring the representations of working-class queer identities in John O’Donovan’s play If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You

Hannah Keziah Agustin – Deconstructing Maria, Evil Maria, and the Role of Women in the Proletarian Revolution in Metropolis (1927)

Sherry Lee Linkon – Problems of Belonging: Class and Race in Bastard Out of Carolina and The Bluest Eye

Lauren McNamara – A Child with a Disability in a Working Class Family in Christine Dwyer Hickey’s Tatty

Panel 9c: Class Considerations in Professional Practice

Chaired by Rosie O’Halloran

Petra Seitz – ‘Like writing a first hand account of the Donner party based on the fact that you’ve eaten beef jerky’: Absence of Working Class Voices in Office Interior Historiography

Stuart Whomsley – Clinical psychology and class

Iona Burnell – ‘The Lives of Working Class Academics: getting ideas above your station’

Peter Kearns – Disability Service and Class in Ireland





Michael Pierse – Festivalisation, art, conflict and class: Féile an Phobal—a case study



4:00 – 5:45 

Panel 10a: Working-Class Poets on Poetry

Chaired by Sherry Lee Linkon

Jim Daniels – Work Poetry and Working-Class Poetry: The Zip Code of the Heart

Fran Lock –   The ‘Aven’t Gard:Working-class Women and Innovative Poetry

Charles Lang – ‘On Working-Class Aesthetics’

Jen Vernon – Performing Working-Class Poetry toward Community

Dave Lordan – The Persistence of The Oral – folksong, identity, & social memory in Irish working class culture.




Panel 11: Direct Action, Housing & New working-class movements’. Ireland 2014-2019

Chaired by David Landy

Aisling Hedderman, Rosi Leonard, Seamus Farrell & others in Conversation

11:00 11:20pm:

(Coffee break in Liberty Hall)


Panel 12: Reflecting on the Agents of Change

Chaired by Michael Taft

George Tsogas – Workers’ inquiry and workplace immersion movements

Fredrik Egefur – ‘The Winter Palace’ in Malmö, Sweden – Subversive squatters, welfare state-anarchists or just a slightly radical cultural association?

Christopher Loughlin – Expanding Labour: the Irish New Wave and the New Global Labour History


(Lunch Provided in Liberty Hall)


Panel 13: Strike movements & Riotous Moments: perspectives from the inside

Chaired by Darragh O’Connor

James Windle – Reconsidering the 1991 Blackbird Leys Rioters as an Underclass: An Insider Perspective

Pål & Ola Brunnström – Why wild-cat strikes could save the Swedish model

Hannes Rolf – The end of a performance? Municipal rent strikes in Sweden in the 1970s and 1980s

3:00- 3:20pm


3:20 – 4:40

Panel 14: Labour Movements at the Intersection of Race & Gender

Chaired by Eddie Molloy

Marc Kagan – The Transition from Irish to Black to Irish Leadership of New York City’s Transport Workers’ Union Local 100

Robert M. Zecker, – “Nothing Less Than Full Freedom” – Radical Immigrant Newspapers Champion Black Civil Rights 

Erin Geraghty – Strikes and Suffragettes: Strike and Suffragettes: How Militancy facilitated cooperation between the Irish suffragettes and the Labour Movement in Dublin between 1912-1914



5:00- 6:30

Panel 15: The Digital Marginalisation of the Working Class’

Adeline O’Brien, Roisin Doherty & others in conversation


The Working-Class Writing Archive in Performance

Grab a refreshment and enjoy performances in the Cois Life Bar, Liberty Hall




Coffee Morning in Liberty Hall with Exhibition & Installation by ATD & Lockdown Liberties: ‘Socio-Economic Discrimination through the Creative Lens’


Panel 17: Oral History and Personal Narrative in the 20th Century

Chaired by Rosie O’Halloran

Debbie Mulhall & Kelly Fitzgerald – ‘Battered and beyond’: oral history & domestic violence

Jean Bridgeman –  Voices from a shed: Methodologies in self- organised community education Helping to articulate class lived experience


(lunch provided in Liberty Hall)


Panel 18: Methods in Self-Organised Place-Making

Chaired by Jerry O’Neill

Mary Broe – A counter map to the present regenerated landscape of Pearse Street.

Steve Thornton – Working Class Stories on the Street Where You Live Exploring workers’ struggles on the Shoeleather History walking tour

Georgina Perryman – Community- based heritage in Dublin: Progressive place-making through walking tours and festivals amid urban transformation

John Bohan – “Maynooth: Community Struggles for Community Resources – Fighting for Water, Waste, and What’s Ours In an Irish Town”?



3:30- 5:15

Panel 19: Class & Resistance under Neoliberalism

Chaired by Rosie O’Halloran

Matthew Sparkes – The coming ‘crisis’ of the Covid-19 pandemic: class stigma and neoliberal policymaking

Fergal Finnegan – Towards a realist and radical version of class analysis in Ireland

Stephen Gaffney – Taking the long view of youth unemployment as a policy problem in Ireland.

Philip Finn – Exploring the positives of unemployment as life-making within and against capitalism




Roundtable: The Class Politics of Repeal Chaired by Steph Hanlon


Working-Class Writers Read

Grab a refreshment and enjoy some performances in the Cois Life Bar

Funded by the Irish Research Council