This article examines how the field of labor and working-class history has conceptualized class and assesses theories of class that can help us develop maximally illuminating concepts. Labor historians, particularly those whose work employs a transnational, gender, or racial lens of analysis, have advanced our understanding of how working people's lives are shaped by class. By connecting that scholarship to class theory, the article argues for reconceptualizing class to focus on the complex ways capitalism generates class relationships, embedding race, gender, and other historical dynamics within its formative parameters. It relies on work by Tithi Bhattacharya and Stuart Hall to articulate a specific vision of class relations under capitalism. Finally, the article concludes with praxis by applying Hall's and Bhattacharya's insights to the challenges academic knowledge workers face today amid the crisis of higher education, which is growing more pressing as a result of the economic disaster related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It concludes by addressing how our conceptualizations of class could shape efforts to build broad solidarities among knowledge workers in higher education.

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