Call for Papers and Participation in ClassCrits V: From Madison to Zuccotti Park: Confronting Class and Reclaiming the American Dream

This workshop, the fifth meeting of ClassCrits, takes on class and the American dream as its theme. The most quintessentially American trait may be our capacity to look past current misfortune and imagine a brighter future.  Americans love a “rags to riches” story and have long believed that hard work and determination will pay off in the long run. Two years into a sluggish “recovery” from the Great Recession, however, many Americans have lost some of that earnest optimism. Faced with persistent unemployment, a nationwide foreclosure crisis, deep cuts to state and local budgets, and declining state support for public education, Americans are questioning the promise of upward mobility. Indeed falling backwards is now a recognized phenomenon affecting more and more of the “middle class,” arguably blurring the distinctions between the “middle class,” the “working classes” and “the poor. But roused by economic insecurity and the political assault on workers’ rights, “ordinary” people from Madison to Zuccotti Park have taken to the streets to voice their dissent. Taking on the slogan “we are the 99%,” the protest movement has launched a national dialogue about income, wealth and structural inequality, race, gender and class divisions in society, and, fundamentally, what it will take to reclaim our vision of a good life.  From Madison to Zuccotti Park: Confronting Class and Reclaiming the American Dream will therefore bring together scholars, economists, activists, policymakers, and others to critically examine both the relationships between and the complexities of class and inequality.

 We invite panel proposals and paper presentations that speak to this year’s theme as well as to general ClassCrits themes.  See below for details.

 In addition, we extend a special invitation to junior scholars to submit proposals for works in progress. Each work in progress will be commented upon by a senior scholar as well as other scholars in a small, supportive working session.

Possible Topics:

  • Constructing & Deconstructing the 99%
  • The Vanishing(ed) Middle-Class (family, housing, health care, education, income, employment, other)
  • Social Mobility—Falling Backwards
  • Gender Dynamics in Economic Downturns and Recoveries
  • The Role of Women & Women’s Issues in Protest Movements
  • Anti-Poverty Strategies
  • Mapping a Way Forward (strategies for change in general)
  • Political Failure (tax policy, immigration, labor & employment, welfare, other)
  • Politics 2012–Political Opportunity?
  • Structural Inequality (law, public health, education, other)
  • Conscious and Unconscious Animus Against Poor People (immigration, criminalization, family, other)
  • Spatial Inequality (segregation, rurality, surveillance)
  • W(h)ither the Social Safety Net? (welfare, bankruptcy, housing, food, other)
  • Class and Inequality: How are they different?
  • Exploring the Racial & Inter-Racial Impacts of Economic Downturns and Poverty
  • International Social & Economic Equality/Mobility (shared lessons and lessons to be learned)
  • Human Rights or Civil Rights?
  • The Great Tech Divide (in terms of race, gender, class, location [suburbs, cities, rural areas])

In addition, we invite panel proposals that speak to the general themes of ClassCrits, including:

  •  The legal and cultural project of constructing inequalities of all kinds as natural, normal, and necessary
  • The relationships among economic, racial, and gender inequality
  • The development of new methods with which to analyze and criticize economics and law (beyond traditional “law and economics”)
  • The relationship between material systems and institutions and cultural systems and institutions.

ClassCrits V will be held November 16-17, 2012 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Keynote Address:  Professor Erik Olin Wright, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin.

Please submit your proposal by email to classcrits@gmail.com by February 17, 2012

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This entry was posted in Class, Classcrits events, corporate power, economic and social rights, Education, Equality Theory, Events, Financial Crisis, Free market ideology, Gender, Geography, Labor, Legislation, politics, Poverty, protest, Race and Ethnicity, What is ClassCrits?, who is middle class?. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Call for Papers and Participation in ClassCrits V: From Madison to Zuccotti Park: Confronting Class and Reclaiming the American Dream

  1. Pingback: Legal Scholarship Blog: ClassCrits V – Confronting Class and Reclaiming the American Dream – Madison, WI

  2. Pingback: Legal Scholarship Blog: ClassCrits V – Confronting Class and Reclaiming the American Dream – Madison, WI

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