The Newberry Seminar in Labor History | Newberry

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. Click here to view the Labor History Seminar 2018-2019 schedule flyer.


The seminar’s co-sponsors are the history departments of DePaul University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago. Co-cordinators are Peter Cole, Western Illinois University; Colleen Doody, DePaul University; Liesl Orenic, Dominican University; and Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Loyola University Chicago.


The Labor History Seminar 2018-2019 Call for Proposals is now CLOSED. Proposals for 2019-2020 will be accepted beginning March 1, 2019. To submit a proposal, please visit our webform and upload a one-page proposal, a statement explaining the relationship of the paper to your other work, and a brief CV. Applications will not be accepted via email or in hard copy.


To attend, please read our Registration Information. Sign up to receive email updates about the Labor History seminar.


View Past Seminars in Labor History.

Seminar Schedule 2018-2019

Friday, September 14, 2018
Who Commands the Police? The Fight Against Civilian Review and the Origins of Modern Police Unionism
Friday, October 12, 2018
“Coors Beer, No Way!”: The Coors Boycott Coalition & the Grassroots Battle against the New Right in the ’80s
Friday, November 30, 2018
Labor History Seminar
Joint Seminar with Labor History and History of Capitalism
The Labor of Leisure: Civic Boosters, Labor Unions, and the Lifestyle Economics of Sunbelt Capitalism
Friday, January 25, 2019
Institutions of Working-Class Power in Pittsburgh, Sheffield, Baltimore and Liverpool: Mass Consumption, Mass Unions, and Labor Bureaucrats, 1880-1930
Friday, February 22, 2019
“Driven to Desperation:” African-American Labor, Navassa Island, and the Problem of Free Labor in the Nineteenth Century
Friday, April 12, 2019
The Chop Suey Strike of 1919: Chinese Workers, New York Radicalism, and the Origins of the First Red Scare