News / 02 Jul 2024

Leeds Arts University's Head of Research contributes chapter to award winning book


A book including a chapter authored by Head of Research, Professor Samantha Broadhead has been recognised by The Working-Class Studies Association.

‘The Lives of Working Class Academics: Getting Ideas Above Your Station’, was given the award Ryan and Sackrey Award for Best Book by Writer(s) of Working-Class Origins or that Speaks to Issues of the Working-Class Academic Experience.

The book is a collection autoethnographies, written by working class academics in higher education. Each one covers how they got there, what their journeys were like, what their experiences were, if they faced any struggles, conflicts, prejudice and discrimination, and if they had to, or still do, negotiate their identities.

Professor Broadhead collaborated with her mother on her chapter ‘John Constable Was My First Art Teacher: Construction of Desire in a Working-Class Artist/Academic’ using photographs from her upbringing.

“It was a privilege to contribute towards this book. Using an ethnographic approach allowed me to collaborate with my mother. By reflecting on the photographs she took from the 1970s we were able to show that cultural assets from working class parents can contribute toward becoming an artist.”

Sam Broadhead, Head of Research, Leeds Arts University

The awarding panel felt the text spoke directly to the personal and professional experiences of working-class academics, with the contributing authors providing powerful stories “of their fascinating and complicated journeys to, and experiences in, higher education.”

‘The Lives of Working Class Academics: Getting Ideas Above Your Station’, was published by Emerald in 2022, and edited by Iona Burnell Reilly.

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