Working-Class Writing: From the Community to the Archives
Working-class people have long used writing to reflect on and to critique the the struggles, strengths, and pleasures of working-class life. Some have written alone, even in secret, while others gathered in writing workshops offered through unions, libraries, community centers, and alternative schools. While working-class writing provides thoughtful, moving, often humorous insights on working-class life, it often reaches only local audiences or is kept tucked away and private.
In this panel, we’ll hear about some strategies for developing, collecting, and archiving working-class
writing and consider why such efforts matter.
Mark Nowak is founder of the Worker Writers School. He has led workshops around the world in which taxi drivers, domestic workers, and restaurant workers, among others, use literary tools to reflect and comment on their lives.
Jessica Pauszek curated a print and digital archive of the Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers, which organized workshops, supported alternative schools, and published writing by working-class people in the UK and beyond, from 1976 until 2007.
Emma Penney created the Working-Class Writing Archive, a digital collection of working-class writing in Dublin, preserving and sharing writing that might otherwise have been lost forever.
Moderated by Sherry Linkon, Director of the Georgetown University Writing Program.
This event is co-sponsored by the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, and the Georgetown University Writing Program.