Approaching Academia - A conference on class and culture

March 15th & 16th, 2024, Pallister Conference Room, Jerome Library.
Keynote Speaker Gary Roth, author of The Educated Underclass: Students and the Promise of Social Mobility.

Conference Overview

Inspired by Ray Browne, the founder of Popular Culture Studies at BGSU, this conference seeks to give “education a broader base and greater richness” through the exploration of why and how popular culture and class are interconnected. A scholar and teacher who saw popular culture as a tool to bring together the working-class students and the elitism of academia to create a new curriculum, Browne’s legacy of inclusion and effecting change is at the heart of this year’s Class Con.

As class studies are often niche, invisible, or non-existent within many cultural studies programs, we hope to draw attention to the discipline and the broader need for class consciousness. By understanding and breaking down the structures and systems that uphold our modern class structure, this conference aims to make meaningful change both in and outside of the academic ivory tower. Specifically, with this conference we hope to brainstorm, workshop, and develop a pedagogic approach to bringing class studies into the classroom while also giving a voice to the students most impacted by economic uncertainties.

Free Event Online and in Person

To individuals with disabilities, please indicate if you need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Accessibility Services at or 419-372-495. Please notify us prior to the event.

Supported by the Stoddard and O’Neill School of Critical and Cultural Studies Fund and by
BGSU University LibrariesPopular Culture Scholars AssociationBGSU School of Cultural and Critical Studies

Call For Papers

As a public university for the public good, Bowling Green State University will host an academic conference that has the potential to create good for the public to whom we are committed. This conference aims to facilitate dialog surrounding the issues of class in American culture, both in traditional academic presentations as well as in workshops, discussions, and artistic representations (written, spoken, visual, performance, etc.).

The key areas of the conference include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Pedagogy and Class Studies
  • Class Representations in Popular Culture
  • Class Issues in Academia
  • Labor Unions in Contemporary Culture
  • Social Outreach and Activism

Interested parties and individuals are encouraged to submit their proposals (abstract of about 500 words) by January 1st to No cost to submit or present.

Class Con Zine - a collaborative exploration of class issues and a companion to the Conference on Class Consciousness and Popular Culture in 2023

We invite prospective conference attendees, presenters, and the general public to contribute to our Class Con Zine. This zine will be a collection of public responses to the broad topic of class in America. We welcome responses in the form of prose, poetry, and visual art. Each submission will be included as a single page in our collaborative zine.

Submissions should explore class-related themes, ideas, and experiences. You can address questions like:

  • What is your experience of class difference on a college campus?
  • Why are class studies important?
  • What does “class consciousness” mean to you?

All zine pages should interpret these ideas or questions in the manner and 2D medium of your choice. Submissions should be in the form of an 8.5x11" document or sheet of paper. This zine will be Xeroxed in black and white and distributed after the conference in April 2023. It will also be available electronically.

There are 3 ways to contribute your own page to our zine:

  • Email a digital copy of your zine page to Please send a document in a .pdf, .jpg, .doc, or .docx file format.
  • Attend our zine workshop on Monday, April 3, 2023. We will provide paper, pens, and magazine/book cover scraps for collaging. This workshop will be held in the Browne Popular Culture Library at BGSU at 5:00pm-8:00pm.
  • Attend the conference in Jerome Library on April 14-15, 2023. We will provide supplies for conference attendees to create their own zine pages.

Happy zine-making! If you have any questions, please email us at

Updated: 11/15/2023 04:19PM