Labor and Working-Class History Association

Labor History
Labor History
• Labor history is a broad field of study concerned with
the development of the labor movement and the
working class.
• The central concerns of labor historians include the
development of labor unions, strikes, lockouts and
protest movements, industrial relations, and the
progress of working class and socialist political parties,
as well as the social and cultural development of
working people.
• Labor historians may also concern themselves with
issues of gender, race, ethnicity and other factors
besides class.
Labor and Working-Class History
Home of LAWCHA
Duke University
226 Carr Building (East
Box 90719
Durham, NC 27708-0719
• Email: [email protected]
• Labor and Working-Class
History Association
(LAWCHA) is a non-profit
association of academics,
educators, students, and
labor movement and
other activists that
promotes research into
and publication of
materials on the history
of the labor movement in
North and South
President LAWCH
H. Shelton Stromquist
• Professor
• American, Social, and
Labor History
• Office: 162 Schaeffer
• Office Hours: T/TH 2:003:00 & W 5:00-5:30 or by
• Phone Number: (319)
• Email: [email protected]
Labor and Working-Class History
Professor Stromquist teaches
undergraduate courses on the history of
the American working class, the Gilded
Age and Progressive Eras, and the
history of U.S. immigration.
His graduate courses generally in the
area of U.S. social and labor history and
recently, comparative labor history.
Professor Stromquist teaches
undergraduate courses on the history of
the American working class, the Gilded
Age and Progressive Eras, and the
history of U.S. immigration.
His graduate courses are generally in
the area of U.S. social and labor history
and recently, comparative labor history.
LAWCHA Journal
• Debate on neoliberalism, growing
• Labor: Studies in
inequality, and the collapse of the EuroWorking-Class History
American Left in recent decades centered
of the Americas
around Tony Judt’s posthumous book, Ill
Fares the Land.
• Jenny Carson and Nell Geiser, “‘The
Democratic Initiative’: The Promises and
Limitations of Industrial Unionism for
New York City’s Laundry Workers, 19301950″
• Tami J. Friedman, “‘Acute Depression … in
… the Age of Plenty’: Capital Migration,
Economic Dislocation, and the Missing
“Social Contract” of the 1950s”
Study Group on International Labor
and Working-Class History (SGILWCH)
• Managing Editor,
International Labor and
Working-Class History:
Dorothy Sue Cobble
Rutgers University
School of Management
and Labor Relations
50 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, New
Jersey 08901-8553
[email protected]
• Statement of Purpose:
• To encourage and
facilitate interaction
between scholars
interested in the various
aspects of labor and
working-class history.
Subscription to the
publication carries with it
membership in the study
International Labor and Working Class
• ILWCH has an international reputation for
scholarly innovation and quality. It
explores diverse topics from globalization
and workers' rights to class and
consumption, labor movements, class
identities and cultures, unions, and
working-class politics.
• ILWCH publishes original research, review
essays, conference reports from around
the world, and an acclaimed scholarly
controversy section.
• Comparative and cross-disciplinary, the
journal is of interest to scholars in history,
sociology, political science, labor studies,
global studies, and a wide range of other
fields and disciplines. This website has
been created for those who wish to learn
more about our journal.
International Labor and Working Class
"The Army is a Service, Not a Job": Unionization,
Employment, and the Meaning of Military Service in the
Late-Twentieth Century United States
Jennifer Mittelstadt, Rutgers University
This article tells the story of an often-forgotten attempt to
unionize the United States armed forces in the 1970s, The
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), an
AFL-CIO-affiliated union representing federal employees, voted
to allow military personnel to join its union in 1976. Military
personnel proved far more open to the bid than expected.
Nursing grievances from threatened congressional cuts to their
institutional benefits, between one-third and one-half
welcomed the union. Though a worried Congress, a powerful
military leadership, and skeptical public opinion quashed
unionization within the year, the brief episode nevertheless left
an influential legacy. Coming just after the difficult transition
from the draft to the volunteer force, the union bid forced
military leaders, soldiers, and supporters in Congress to defend
both military service and military benefits from encroachments
of an "occupational" model symbolized by unionization. Their
successful distinction between military service and
employment elevated the former as uniquely honorable and
arduous-and thus deserving of unwavering congressional
support. Public unions, the embodiment of the occupational
threat to military service, emerged bruised by the comparisons
to vaunted military service and endured a decades-long decline
in membership and congressional protection.
International Labor and Working Class
• Associate Professor
• Ph.D., Univ of
• At Rutgers since
• 223A Van Dyck Hall
[email protected]
• Jennifer Mittelstadt, Rutgers
Jennifer Mittelstadt, Rutgers University
I am a political historian of the
United States writing about women
and gender, race, and the state.
I specialize in the twentieth
century, especially post-World War
II, and my interests in politics are
quite broad.
They include social policy and
social politics; liberalism; secondwave feminism; and most recently,
the military and militarization.
I have published articles and
opinion pieces in the Journal of
Policy History, International Labor
and Working Class History, the
Journal of Women’s History, Social
Politics, the New York Times, and
the Los Angeles Times, among
I am currently writing a book on
the United States Army, social
welfare, and politics in the late
twentieth century.
• Undergraduate
• The History of Poverty and Economic
Crisis in the United States
• The 1960s
• United States History since 1865
• U.S. Women's History
• From Welfare to Workfare, the
Unintended Consequences of Liberal
Reform, 1945-1965, (Chapel
Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
• Welfare in the United States: A History
with Documents, co-authored and
edited with Premilla Nadasen and
Marisa Chappell (New York: Routledge,
Historians of American Communism
• Statement of Purpose:
• To promote sharing of
information among
scholars interested in the
history of American
communism, American
anti-communism, and
related topics, and to
promote historical
research in these issues.
HOAC: American Communist History
• Orwell & Marxism: The
Political and Cultural
Thinking of George
• American Communist
HOAC: American Communist History
Editorial Advisory Board:
Wlodzimierz Jan Batog - Pedagogical Academy, Kielce, Poland
Bernhard H. Bayerlein - University of Mannheim and University of
Cologne, Germany
Phillip Deery - Victoria University, Australia
Thomas W. Devine - California State University, USA
Melvyn Dubofsky - State University of New York at Binghamton, USA
Norbert Finsch - University of Cologne, Germany
Peter Graham - Syracuse University, USA
John Earl Haynes - Library of Congress, USA
Walter T. Howard - Bloomsburg State University
Maurice Isserman - Hamilton College, USA
Edward P. Johanningsmeier - University of Delaware and Temple
University, USA
Harvey Klehr - Emory University, USA
Alex Lichtenstein - Florida International University, USA
James J. Lorence - University of Wisconsin, USA
Vernon L. Pederson - Montana State University, USA
Richard Gid Powers - College of Staten Island, City University of New
York, USA
Roy Rosenzweig - George Mason University, USA
Steve Rosswurm - Lake Forest College, USA
James G. Ryan - Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA
Randi Storch - SUNY, USA
Stephen Whitfield - Brandeis University, USA
Robert Zieger - University of Florida, USA
Who is this Howard Guy?
Working Class and Race
Old vs New Historians
• Their efforts
prompted extensive
discussions about
the means and ends
of historical analysis,
and produced a
major reorientation
within the
The New Faces of the Historical
Professor Matt Clavin: UWF
• Education:
• Ph.D., History, American
University, 2005
• M.A., History and Public
Policy, George
Washington University,
• B.A., History, Bloomsburg
University, 1994.
Cliometrics: Robert Fogel
• Fogel and his fellow
developed a "new"
economic history that
adopted complex
mathematical models
and counter-factual
questions from
economics, and applied
them in statistical
analyses of serial data.
• Time on the Cross: The
Economics of Negro Slavery
(1974), Fogel and Stanley
Engerman demonstrate that
slavery was a profitable and
efficient system of labor.
Social Mobility: Myth or Reality
• Stephan Thernstrom, in
Poverty and Progress:
Social Mobility in a
Nineteenth Century
City (1964)
• Sampled city directories,
and censuses in order to
determine rates of
occupational mobility in
Newburyport, MA.
• Social mobility, he
discovered, was a far less
common phenomenon
than was assumed by
scholars or celebrated in
popular culture.
Subject Matter of Social History
• Recovering the
histories of
workers, women,
immigrants, and
minorities was a
central concern
for social
New Left Historians
• To many aligned
with the New Left,
writing social history
was both a
professional and a
political activity.
• Staughton Lynd: Yale
historian and
Marxist Social Historians
• Historian Sean
Wilentz discovered
class conflict and
the development
of an oppositional
working class
• Chants Democratic:
New York City and the
Rise of the American
Working Class, 1788–
1850 (1984)

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