Welcome to COOCs


2020 could hardly have been a more horrible year, the misery of a pandemic that has taken lives, wrecked livelihoods and exposed the huge chasms that exist across the globe and within our societies. One glowing light came through the first International Working-Class Academics Conference. A gathering of people that brought poetry, film, animation, highly crafted presentations and detailed research and that reached hundreds of others across several continents. It was a space hat had not clearly existed before, but that was enthusiastically populated once it emerged. We need to do more and keep this valuable and invigorating space strong, alive and walking the earth as a presence, a recognition of out importance and the necessity that we write and speak this ourselves. We said later that once we came together, we demonstrated that,

  • Working Class is not a problem to be solved
  • Not an accent to be lost
  • A savagery to be civilised
  • A roughness to be polished
  • A wideness to be assimilated
  • A society that needs to be mobilised, to be somewhere else.

Nor does it mean that working class is static and immobile without Middle Class academic intervention. Together, we were creating a light that illuminated our realities and each of those realities demonstrated the weaknesses of how we had been portrayed. In response, new ideas developed and these looked more as:

  • working class coupled with achievement,
  • working class as a space of philosophy, art, science
  • working class as active creators of knowledge not the passive subject of other people’s
  • working class as academics’

(Shukie, 2020)


Next Steps

We will be hosting the next event online again – the way to reach each other, teach other and not cost the earth doing so. The dates are Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th July. It is important we continue to reflect the diversity of working-class voices and we must do more to recognises this and promote this. We are working class academics, but we recognise the breadth of academic endeavour and experience. Join us to celebrate the contribution of working-class academics, of working-class communities across the U.K. and the world.  We welcome your involvement and ask you to:

  • Save the dates! We will send registration details out soon along with our mailing list.

  • Write for the Conference Blog (we publish as a blog, but you can submit film/ images/ artwork/ podcasts);

  • Submit to the PRISM Conference Special Edition with a publication date of Spring/Summer 2021- you do not need to have been involved in the conference to submit to this exciting edition.

  • Help us to create and perpetuate a lively, energised and positive community of working-class academics – the conference is important but your suggestions about how it might continue by contacting us via the email or Twitter account (details below).  

We have the platform to enact change, not as a top-down request for assistance from others but as a growing collective that speaks, creates, informs and develops new ways of thinking and acting in academia.

Get in touch, get involved and be part of our collective.

Much love



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Getting involved is all there is to it

Getting involved is all there is to it