Working in 21st Century America | Newberry

Working in 21st Century America

Led by Mark Larson
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Three sessions. Tuesdays, July 12-July 26.



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To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.

Seminar Description

This course will draw from the 100+ interviews I have conducted to date with American workers across the country and economic spectrum for his book in progress inspired by Studs Terkel’s classic, Working, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024.

My interviewees include an Amazon warehouse worker, a doula, long-haul truck driver, an ICU nurse , American Sign Language interpreter, New Yorker cartoonist, Barry Blitt, a hairdresser, a North Carolina police officer and SWAT team member, jazz singer, Kurt Elling, and many others.

We will use clips from interviews and draw comparisons with Terkel’s Working, e.g. an airline “stewardess” from Studs’s book and a flight attendant from mine. Additionally, we’ll speak live via Zoom with some of the interviewees and talk with participants about their own work.

Mark Larson is the author of “Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater” (Agate, 2018) and is currently working on two new books, “Working in 21st Century America” and “Ed Asner: A Composite Portrait.” He has taught at Evanston High School, National Louis University, and worked at Field Museum and Lincoln Park Zoo.

Materials List


  • Studs Terkel, Working (The New Press, 1997). ISBN: 978-1565843424

First Reading:

  • Please read the introduction to Working and the attached excerpt from my manuscript.

Cost and Registration Information 

Three sessions. Registration: $125 ($112.50 for Newberry members, seniors, and students)

Please note: You’ll register for this class on a platform called Learning Stream. Questions? Contact us at

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