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Call for paper "Spectres of Class : Representing Social Class from the French Revolution to the Present", 15-16 July 2011, University of Chester, UK.

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to give a name to one of many spectres haunting the West : the spectre of class (manifested as movements, protests, identities, and inequalities). The gap between the rich and poor in the UK is currently the widest since the Second World War, according to a 2010 report by the National Equality Panel and, as the consequences of global recession deepen, the cuts imposed by governments in the West are likely to exacerbate social inequalities. In response to these forces, the Spectres of Class conference will consider the ways in which class is represented in language, literature and other cultural formations since the French Revolution, seeking to understand the historical basis of class identities and their manifestations today.
Class was a central preoccupation of academic discourse in the twentieth century. In the last twenty years, however, the emphasis on class identity has become less pronounced as academics explore the power imbalances associated with gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability status and nationality. Many important studies have emerged from these investigations. However, class issues cut across all these areas and, in the current climate of economic uncertainty, the material basis of class identities may come to challenge poststructuralist notions of identity as a lifestyle ‘choice’.
We welcome papers on all aspects of the representation of class. Possible topics may include :

Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) studies of class, ideology, hegemony etc.
Protest movements (e.g. Chartists, anti-Poll Tax Unions, trade union action)
Material and cultural influences on class identities
Rereading Marx
Class as performative
Social mobility/stasis
Class cultures : bourgeois, aristocratic, gentry, working class
Performances of class (art, music, theatre, photography, film and television)
Corpus linguistic studies of ‘class’ in news media and other genres
Representations of revolution and reform
Humorous/satirical representations of class

Please note the second call for papers for the interdisciplinary ‘Spectres of Class’ conference at the University of Chester, UK, on Friday 15- Saturday 16 July 2011 organised by the University of Chester English department in association with CADAAD (Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines).

We welcome abstracts of no more than 300 words by Friday 25 March 2011.

Abstracts should be emailed (attached as a word document) to :
and please include the sender’s name, position and contact details (including email).

For further information please visit the conference website :
Registration and accommodation details will be announced shortly.

Keynote speakers :
Professor Paul Kerswill, University of Lancaster, UK. Paul is an expert on the relationship between social class, language and identity.
Dr Ruth Livesey, Reader in Nineteenth Century Literature and Thought, Royal Holloway, University of London. Ruth’s publications include Socialism, Sex and the Culture of Aestheticism in Britain, 1880-1914.
Dr Colin Coulter, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Colin recently co-edited the first academic book on the rock band The Smiths, called Why Pamper Life’s Complexities.

Conference committee : Professor Deborah Wynne, Dr Matt Davies, Anna Mackenzie, Ali Hutchinson (University of Chester English Department).

For further information contact Dr Matt Davies at

Dr Matt Davies
Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader
Department of English
University of Chester
Parkgate Road
Tel : 01244 511835

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