This essay describes how, in the mid-1990s, Berube was deeply involved in his research on the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union. Beyond the reflections and writing it provoked about how class shaped his own life experience, this work also pushed Berube to think deeply and analytically about how class operates in society. Here, in an address to an academic queer studies conference, Berube moves back and forth between historical episodes and personal experience as ways of illustrating the pervasiveness of class, even as class often gets dismissed in the United States as inconsequential. He calls for making class central to how queer scholars frame their work. Berube asks tough questions of himself and others, including “Whose [class] position do I want to make stronger by doing my intellectual work?”
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