Forthcoming Books and Conferences

April 2011

English & Welsh Diaspora: Regional Cultures, Disparate Voices, Remembered Lives
Loughborough University (13-16 April, 2011)

This looks like a hugely important, interdisciplinary conference. Keynote speakers include John Barrell, Donna Landry, Bridget Keegan and Nick Groom, and Billy Bragg and Hugh Lupton are among the performers.


10-12 July 2009

John Clare Festival

This year's event features music by Chris Wood and Hugh Lupton.


August 2008

Burns anniversary to be celebrated in The Drouth (Jan 2009)

A special book-length issue of Glasgow-based magazine The Drouthwill celebrate the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth in 2009.

The book is titled Fickle Man: Robert Burns in the 21st Century, and is edited by Johnny Rodger and Gerry Carruthers (editor of the forthcoming 12 volume Oxford University Press Complete Works of Burns). Contributors include Murray Pittock, Nigel Leask, Tim Burke, and Owen Dudley Edwards. It will be published in January 2009 by The Drouth in association with Sandstone Press.


July 2008

Florence Boos’ anthology of Nineteenth-Century Working-Class Women Poets now published

Broadview Press is publishing Nineteenth-Century Working-Class Women Poets, edited by Florence Boos – click on the link for full details and the Table of Contents.

“Though working-class women in the nineteenth century included many accomplished and prolific poets, their work has often been neglected by critics and readers in favour of comparable work by men. Questioning the assumption that few poems by working-class women had survived, Florence Boos set out to discover supposedly lost works in libraries, private collections, and archives. Her years of research resulted in this anthology. Victorian Working-Class Women Poets in Victorian Britain features poetry from a variety of women, including an itinerant weaver, a rural midwife, a factory worker protesting industrialization, and a blind Scottish poet who wrote in both the Scots dialect and English. In addition to biographical information and contemporary reviews of the poets’ work, the anthology also includes several photographs of the poets, their environment, and the journals in which their poems appeared.”


July 2008      

Ashgate announces new book, The Working-Class Intellectual in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain (2009), ed. by Aruna Krishnamurthy.

“The period that stretches from the middle of the eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century in England has often been examined in terms of the emergence of the working classes, alongside and in response to the development of the middle-class "public sphere." This collection of essays, forthcoming in 2009, contributes to that scholarship by filtering the formation of working-class identity through the rise of the "working-class intellectual," a unique cultural figure at the crossroads of two disparate worlds. Double-edged narratives of defiance and deference … can be traced back to the 1730s, when thresher Stephen Duck made the first bold entry into the literary marketplace with his "The Thresher's Labour." Other essays consider a host of familiar figures such as Robert Burns, John Thelwall, Charles Dickens, Charles Kingsley, Ann Yearsley, and even Shakespeare, all re-evaluated in terms of their role within a working-class constituency. Further, the collection breaks fresh ground in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholarship by shedding light on a number of unfamiliar and underrepresented figures, such as Thomas Cooper, Alexander Somerville, Michael Faraday, and the singer Ned Corvan.”


June 2008   

WCSA Conference theme announced: 'class matters'

The Working Class Studies Association (WCSA) is pleased to announce that its biennial Conference   will be held at the University of Pittsburgh, June 3 - 6, 2009. Proposals are invited for presentations, panels, workshops, and performances. Proposals must be received by January 4, 2009.

The conference theme, Class Matters, is intended to encompass the broad range of fields of study and forms of work promoted by the WCSA, and proposals may reflect this diversity.  (See below for a listing of topics addressed at previous conferences.)  Planners of the 2009 conference also have a particular interest in topics connected to "place(s)":  the local and global sites and environments of working-class lives and struggles, both historical and contemporary

About The Working Class Studies Association: The WCSA promotes models of working-class studies, both inside and outside of the academy, that serve the interests of working-class people.   These include critical discussions of relationships among class, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and other structures of inequality.   WCSA is a multidisciplinary and international association; its members and conference participants include economists, sociologists, social workers, documentary filmmakers, writers, labor educators and cultural workers, as well as historians, teachers and literary scholars.  Web address:


May 2008

Publication of British Labouring-Class Nature Poetry by Bridget Keegan

Professor Bridget Keegan (Creighton University, USA) publishes her long awaited monograph on May 22 nd 2008. Titled British Labouring-Class Nature Poetry, and published by Palgrave, it focuses upon how labouring writers represented nature in their poetry and how they adapted and transformed the poetic genres available to them. Looking in turn at their treatment of different ecosystems, including farms, gardens, hills, rivers, seas and wetlands, the book argues that writing about the environment allowed labouring-class poets to explore important social and aesthetic questions. The book examines the works of numerous poets from Stephen Duck, William Falconer and Ann Yearsley in the eighteenth century to Robert Broomfield and John Clare in the nineteenth century. The book expands the canon of British poetry and broadens the scope of environmental literary criticism by exploring the question of how an author's class background affects his or her engagements with the natural world.


April 2008

Class and the Canon (conference at University of Glasgow)

Class and the Canon: Allusion, Authority and Working-Class Literature, 1780-1900
Saturday April 19, 2008
University of Glasgow, St Andrew’s Building (Faculty of Education), rooms 227A and B, 10am-6pm


Email Tim Burke