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CFP: Southern Labor Studies Conference: “Crossroads of Resistance” - British Association for American Studies


CFP: Southern Labor Studies Conference: “Crossroads of Resistance”


“Crossroads of Resistance”

Southern Labor Studies Association

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

September 20-21, 2024

Submission Deadline: March 15, 2024 

In 2024 SLSA will convene in Chattanooga at a pivotal moment for Southern workers, a crossroads between rising reaction and potential for radical change. The combination of Chattanooga’s history as a strategic transportation junction and a locus of Southern labor resistance inspires our conference theme of “Crossroads of Resistance.” At this site of convergence and departure, SLSA seeks explorations of geographical, generational, and organizational exchanges in the lives of Southern working people—past, present, and future. SLSA’s mission is to bring together a broad, diverse array of scholars, thinkers, organizers, and other activists working at the crossroads of academic disciplines and beyond the ivory tower, including dialogues among folks in the labor movement, community organizing, journalism, and the arts.

We welcome scholars whose work engages many Souths– Black, white, people of color, Indigenous, Queer, and recent migrants. We invite proposals in a wide range of formats, including traditional paper presentation sessions, individual papers, roundtable discussions, workshops, skillshares, and other nontraditional formats. In addition to our customary program, we are excited to announce our “New Directions” Workshop Series on the morning of Friday, September 20, in which graduate students and early career scholars can pre-circulate article-length essays and engage in focused seminar discussions in small groups. Presenters in this category will also be considered for the SLSA Robert H. Zieger Prize as well as conference travel grants for early career participants, all of which will be announced at the conference.

Most conference activities will take place on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), located just blocks from the Tennessee Riverwalk, the Bluff View Art District, downtown restaurants, and historic MLK Blvd. The Guerry Center, home to UTC’s Honors College, will host breakout sessions, film screenings, and performances, and attendees will convene for a plenary and reception at the university’s newly renovated Fine Arts Center. Discounted hotel accommodations will be available at Chattanooga’s historic Read House, where we will gather for a buffet dinner and keynote address.

Known as the Scenic City, Chattanooga offers conference attendees opportunities to hike, bike, kayak, and rock climb, as well as abundant restaurants, breweries, shops, and historic sites. To submit a full session or individual proposal, visit

Questions? Email

Additional Notes on the Conference Theme

We invite participants to riff on our theme of “Crossroads of Resistance,” building upon and beyond the following dimensions: ● Temporal crossroads (then and now/future) ● The crossroads of disciplines and subfields ● Geographic crossroads within the region and beyond it (transnational, etc.) ● Intergenerational crossroads ● Crossroads in forms of organizing, between formal labor organizations and new models ● The present as a crossroads between fascism and resistance ● Crossroads of scholarship and activism ● Crossroads of labor systems and types of work (from enslavement to the gig economy) and/or imagining futures of guaranteed incomes or without work ● Crossroads of work, academic freedom, and the donor class in higher education