The Newberry Seminar in Labor History

Mother Jones marching in Colorado. c.1910. Midwest MS Kerr, Bx.5, Fl.#79.
Mother Jones marching in Colorado. c.1910. Midwest MS Kerr, Bx.5, Fl.#79.

Seminar sessions are held on Fridays from 3 to 5 pm at the Newberry, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois.

This seminar provides a forum for works in progress that explore the history of working class people, communities, and culture; class and state policy; unions and popular political movements; and other related topics. We are particularly interested in works that deal with gender, sexuality, race, migration, and the social history of work. Our focus has been on U.S. history, but we welcome papers on North America generally, and on transnational aspects of labor history.

The seminar’s co-sponsors are the history departments of DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago, the Department of History and Political Science at Purdue University Calumet, the Roosevelt University Department of History and Center for New Deal Studies, and LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas.

Co-cordinators this year are Rosemary Feurer, Northern Illinois University; Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Gellman, Roosevelt University; and Liesl Orenic, Dominican University.

To attend, please read our Registration Information. View the flyer for a complete schedule in PDF form.

To see a listing of past seminars, please select a year below:

2013-2014 | 2012-2013 | 2011-2012 | 2010-2011 | 2009-2010 | 2008-2009 | 2007-2008

Seminar Schedule 2014-2015

Friday, September 12, 2014
Labor History Seminar
Angela Vergara, California State University Los Angeles

“Providing Jobs, Disciplining Workers: Unemployment and Work Relief in Depression-Era Chile”
Angela Vergara, California State University Los Angeles
Respondents: Chris Boyer, University of Illinois at Chicago; Carmen Kordick, Roosevelt University

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Labor History Seminar
Labor History Seminar New Book Symposium : The Myth of Liberal Ascendency: Corporate Dominance from the Great Depression to the Great Recession, G. William Domhoff

The Newberry Labor History Seminar Book Symposium celebrates recent work in the field of Labor History with a day of rigorous discussion.

Friday, December 5, 2014
Labor History Seminar
Heather Berg, University of California Santa Barbara

“Waiting is the Hardest Part: Adult Film at the Point of Production”
Heather Berg, University of California Santa Barbara
Respondents: Jennifer Brier, University of Illinois at Chicago; Cynthia Blair, University of Illinois at Chicago

Friday, January 30, 2015
Labor History Seminar
Jeffrey Johnson, Providence College

“This Dastardly Act’: San Francisco’s 1916 Preparedness Day Bombing”
Jeffrey Johnson, Providence College
Respondents: Peter Cole, Western Illinois University; Kevin Boyle, Northwestern University

Friday, February 13, 2015
Labor History Seminar
Tobias Higbie, University of California, Los Angeles

“The Networked Labor Movement”
Tobias Higbie, University of California at Los Angeles
Respondents: James Barrett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; James Schmidt, Northern Illinois University

Friday, March 6, 2015
Labor History Seminar
Jon Shelton, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

“Dropping Dead: Teachers, the New York City Fiscal Crisis, and Austerity”
Jon Shelton, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Respondents: Jerald Podair, Lawrence University; Elizabeth Todd-Breland, University of Illinois at Chicago

Friday, April 3, 2015
Labor History Seminar
James Barrett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“Blue-Collar Cosmopolitans: Toward a History of Working-Class Sophistication in the Industrial United States”
James Barrett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Respondents: Jack Metzgar, Roosevelt University; Steven Rosswurm, Lake Forest University