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Professor Fazio, alumna present at Working-Class Studies Conference

Dr. Owen Clayton (far left) Dr. Michele Fazio, Billy Bragg, and John Westmoreland

UNCP English professor Michele Fazio and UNCP graduate Crystal Hester attended the Working-Class Studies Association’s (WCSA) annual conference September 3-6 at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

Dr. Fazio is past-president of the WCSA. The theme of this year’s conference was “Working-Class Studies: Beyond the Heartlands.” Hester presented a paper on her experiences as a public school teacher in Robeson County. Fazio presented on a roundtable panel, “Supporting Working-Class Students at the People’s Universities,” along with working-class studies scholars, Dr. Sean McPherson and Dr. Wendy Wright from Bridgewater State University, and Dr. Colby King from University of South Carolina Upstate.

At the awards dinner, Fazio introduced this year’s WCSA Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time musician, author, and activist, Billy Bragg, who, after his acceptance speech, launched into a spirited performance of the song, “Internationale.”

Fazio is working as an associate producer of a new documentary on T-Bone Slim (Matti Valentinepoika Huhta), hobo poet and member of the Industrial Workers of the World, directed by Bruce dePyssler, Bull City Doc Squad. She also chaired a session featuring North Carolina musician and Slim's grandnephew, John Westmoreland, who unearthed an archive of Slim's unpublished songs and letters in his family's attic, and Dr. Owen Clayton, senior lecturer in literature at the University of Lincoln, whose work on Slim has appeared in the Journal of Working-Class Studies

Pictured here: Dr. Michele Fazio, associate professor of English at UNCP, Billy Bragg, and Dr. Terry Easton, past-president of the WCSA and associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia.