What We Hold In Common: Exploring Women's Lives & Working Class Studies / Edition 1

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"Let us imagine what it would be like," writes Janet Zandy at the outset of this ground-breaking volume, "if the history and culture of working-class people were at the center of educational practices. What would students learn?" Among other things, she suggests, "they would understand that culture is created by individuals within social contexts and that they themselves could produce it as well as consume it."

Working-class history and literature have too often been ignored in traditional curricula, remain invisible in most texts, and are unavailable to students and teachers. Essential reading for all interested in the rapidly growing field of working-class studies, What We Hold in Common offers a distinct combination of primary voices, critical essays, and resources for curriculum transformation. It deepens the understanding of working-class literature, history, culture, and artistic production, while attending to the material conditions of working-class peoples' lives.

Janet Zandy brings together—in poetry, fiction, memoir, and song—the voices of working-class people throughout history, with a strong emphasis on the often overlooked voices of working-class women. Critical essays place working-class studies in perspective for teacher and student, as scholars in the field write about recovering autobiographies and oral histories, practicing working-class studies, and current and emerging texts and theories. Course syllabi and curriculum materials offer concrete strategies and resources for the classroom.

What We Hold in Common draws upon the award-winning 1995 volume of Women's Studies Quarterly a text that was pivotal in the development of working-class studies. This revised and expanded volume is even more comprehensive, rendering it a core resource in field which, Zandy insists, should be viewed not "merely as an object of study, [but] as a means of struggle."

Janet Zandy is associate professor of language and literature at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her books include Calling Home: Working-Class Women's Writings and Liberating Memory: Our Work and Our Working-Class Consciousness. Zandy and Nicholas Coles are currently editing an a

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Editorial Reviews

Brings together the voices of working-class people in poetry, fiction, memoir, and song, with strong emphasis on the voices of working-class women. Critical essays place working-class studies in perspective, touching on autobiographies and oral histories, the practice of working-class studies, and current and emerging texts and theories. Course syllabi and curriculum materials offer specific strategies and resources for the classroom. This collection draws on the 1995 volume of , a text that was pivotal in the development of working-class studies. Zandy teaches language and literature at Rochester Institute of Technology. The book is not indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558612594
  • Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition
School Clothes 3
Go See Jack London 7
Stories from a Working-Class Childhood 10
"Proud to Work for the University" 12
Ruth in August 17
Death Mask 24
For Giacomo 26
El olor de cansansio (The Smell of Fatigue) 27
The Pawnbroker's Window 30
Praise the Waitresses 32
Faces in the Hands 34
'We Did Change Some Attitudes': Maida Springer-Kemp and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union 47
Autobiography and Reconstructing Subjectivity at the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, 1921-1938 71
Working Class Consciousness in Jo Sinclair's The Seasons 96
The Writing on the Wall, Or Where Did That Dead Head Come From? 101
Autobiographies by American Working-Class Women: A Bibliography 112
Reclaiming Our Working-Class Identities: Teaching Working-Class Studies in a Blue-Collar Community (with syllabi) 123
A Wealth of Possibilities: Workers, Texts, and the English Department 132
A Community of Workers (photos and text) 142
'Women Have Always Sewed': The Production of Clothing and the Work of Women 148
The Fire Poems 154
Sisters in the Flames
rituals of spring (for the 78th anniversary of the shirtwaist factory fire)
Readerly/Writerly Relations and Social Change: The Maimie Papers as Literature 165
Between Theories and Anti-Theories: Moving Toward Marginal Women's Subjectivities 182
'People Who Might Have Been You': Agency and the Damaged Self in Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio 199
Industrial Music: Contemporary American Working-Class Poetry and Modernism 207
U.S. Working-Class Women's Fiction: Notes Toward an Overview 223
Traveling Working Class 241
Building a Center for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University 253
The Rochester Education Alliance of Labor Work-Based Curriculum Project 258
Honor Thy Students: The Power of Writing 265
Mining Class: A Bibliographic Essay 269
Working, Buying, and Becoming: Race, Labor, and the High Life, from the Plantation to the Internet (syllabus) 275
Working-Class Studies and the Question of Proletarian Literature in the United States: A Graduate Seminar in American Literature (syllabus) 283
Women and Work in U.S. History (syllabus) 285
Poor in America (syllabus) 290
American Capitalism (syllabus) 294
Who Does the Work? A One-Day Introduction to American Working-Class Literature (syllabus) 298
Working-Class Literature and Film (syllabus with student writing) 301
Labor Documentaries: A Filmography 311
American Working-Class Literature: A Selected Bibliography 315
Biographical Notes 327
Publication Acknowledgments 335
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