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.

Each year, the seminar accepts proposals for papers from March until May 1. To propose a paper, please review our proposal instructions and submit all materials via webform.

To attend, please read our Registration Information. View the flyer for a complete schedule in PDF form. Sign up to receive email updates about the Labor History seminar.

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
“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
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
“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
“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
Not by the Hand of Clark Kerr: The Pacific Coast School for Workers and the Origins of Industrial Relations in the Multiversity Tobias Higbie, University of California, Los Angeles Respondents: James Barrett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; James Schmidt, Northern Illinois University
Friday, March 6, 2015
Labor History Seminar
“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