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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


English (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Patrick A. McCarthy

Second Committee Member

Renee Fox

Third Committee Member

Robert Casillo

Fourth Committee Member

Claire Culleton


This project restructures the canon of working class literature by reviving the first novels of a series of early twentieth century working class writers from across the British Isles—from Ireland, Patrick MacGill's Children of the Dead End (1914); from England, Robert Tressell's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914) and Ethel Carnie's Miss Nobody (1913); and from Scotland, James Welsh's The Underworld (1920), James Haslam's The Handloom Weaver's Daughter (1904), and George Douglas Brown's The House with the Green Shutters (1901). By deploying cultural memory studies as a framework for analyzing these authors' works, I establish the field of the nascent working class novel, and I explore how the formal qualities of these texts derived from larger desires amongst working class people to simultaneously commemorate and reconstitute working class culture and experience through the novel form.


working class novel; working class fiction; cultural memory; working class studies