For 2019 we’ve teamed up with the Gulbenkian Theatre on the University of Kent campus, to run a series of events to coincide with the conference. These events are open to the general public as well as delegates and will be based on the aims and themes of the conference.

Events are listed below, with more to be added. Tickets are available through the Gulbenkian Box Office online or on campus.

Prof Satnam Virdee – ‘Race, Class and the Politics of the Left’

Wednesday 4th September – 1.15pm-3.45pm
Keynes College Lecture Theatre 1 
Free event

This lecture will be both a keynote session for the Working Class Studies Association conference and a public lecture as part of the University of Kent’s Student Success Project.



Sarah Attfield // Jim Daniels // Jenifer Vernon

Wednesday 4th September – 6pm-7pm
Gulbenkian Theatre Café
Free event

Sarah Attfield is a Sydney poet whose work has been published and performed widely in Australia. She has a particular interest in the lives and experiences of working class people (due to her own background) and this is reflected in her poetry. Sarah is also an academic and her research has focused on Australian working class poetry and the working class experience in popular culture (film, music and television).

Jim Daniels’ life has been spent in Detroit and Pittsburgh, the Motor City and the Steel City. He has written 17 books of poems and 6 books of short fiction that explore working-class issues, an essay on working-class poetry for The New Working Class Studies, and is currently the poetry editor for Labor, a working-class history journal published by Duke University Press. His poem Factory Love is displayed on the roof of a racecar.

Jenifer Vernon is a California-based poet and community college lecturer. Her first book of poetry Rock Candy was published by West End Press in 2009, and received the Tillie Olsen Award as the best book of creative writing that insightfully represents working class life and culture from the Working Class Studies Association in 2010.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: a one-man magic lantern show

Thursday 5th September – 7.30pm-9.30pm
Gulbenkian Theatre Café

Neil Gore brings this witty, humorous and absorbing classic book to life in his one-man Magic Lantern show. Based on the famous book by Robert Tressell, it features political conjuring, music and songs echoing life in the building trades of Edwardian England.

‘A phenomenal performance’ – John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor)

‘A strong and robust show that brings the characters, humour and inspirational ideas of this great book to life. It is needed now more than ever. You’ll leave the theatre and join the struggle!’ – Ken Loach, Film Director​

‘★★★★★ Tremendous’ – The Times​

’10/10 Sensational’ – Liverpool Echo​

This event is open to the public, with reduced ticket rates for WCSA delegates.
Tickets available soon

COMMON: GROUND – Career Development as a Working-Class Artist in Kent

Friday 6th September – 6pm-8.30pm
Gulbenkian Theatre Café
Free event – registration required (details soon)

This COMMON: GROUND event is a supportive discussion which will offer a platform for artists who self-identify as working-class and work in theatre to share the barriers to career development that they face when building a career in theatre in this region. The discussion will also provide an opportunity for working-class artists to offer their suggestions of solutions which would support them to overcome these barriers.