Civic Labors: Scholar Activism and Working-Class Studies

Civic Labors: Scholar Activism and Working-Class Studies


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Labor studies scholars and working-class historians have long worked at the crossroads of academia and activism. The essays in this collection examine the challenges and opportunities for engaged scholarship in the United States and abroad. A diverse roster of contributors discuss how participation in current labor and social struggles guides their campus and community organizing, public history initiatives, teaching, mentoring, and other activities. They also explore the role of research and scholarship in social change, while acknowledging that intellectual labor complements but never replaces collective action and movement building. Contributors: Kristen Anderson, Daniel E. Atkinson, James R. Barrett, Susan Roth Breitzer, Susan Chandler, Sam Davies, Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, Colin Gordon, Michael Innis-Jiménez, Stephanie Luce, Joseph A. McCartin, John W. McKerley, Matthew M. Mettler, Stephen Meyer, David Montgomery, Kim E. Nielsen, Peter Rachleff, Ralph Scharnau, Jennifer Sherer, Shelton Stromquist, Emily E. LB. Twarog, and John Williams-Searle.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252081965
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Series: Working Class in American History Series
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dennis Deslippe is an associate professor of American studies and women's and gender studies at Franklin and Marshall College. He is the author of "Rights, not Roses": Unions and the Rise of Working-Class Feminism, 1945-1980. Eric Fure-Slocum is an associate professor of history at St. Olaf College and the author of Contesting the Postwar City: Working-Class and Growth Politics in 1940s Milwaukee . John W. McKerley is a research associate at the University of Iowa Labor Center and coeditor of Foot Soldiers for Democracy: The Men, Women, and Children of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement .

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Challenges of Engaged Scholarship and Teaching Dennis Deslippe Eric Fure-Slocum John W. McKerley 1

1 Labor Historians and Traditions of Engaged Scholarship: Progressives, Insurgents, and the Making of a New Labor History Shelton Stromquist 11

Part I Encountering Conflict, Power, and Hope: On the Front Line

Introduction John Williams-Searle 37

2 Beyond Yeshiva: The Struggle for Faculty Power at the University of Dubuque Ralph Scharnau 41

3 "Feets Don't Fail Me Now": Navigating an Unpaved, Rocky Road to, through, and from the Last Slave Plantation Daniel E. Atkinson 54

4 Wandering through the Wisconsin Uprising Stephen Meyer 66

5 Immigrants in a Disaster Zone: Teaching, Learning, and Advocating Alabama's New Civil Rights Movement Michael Innis-Jiménez 85

6 Remembering the ion General Transport Strike in Liverpool Sam Davies 93

Part II Connecting Classrooms and Communities: Education, Outreach, and Engagement

Introduction Matthew M. Mettler 109

7 The Great Unspoken: Teaching and Learning Working-Class History from the Seminar Room to the Union Hall James R. Barrett 113

8 Teaching Labor History on the Middle Ground: Connecting the Campus, the Union Hall, and the Community Peter Rachleff 129

9 The Difference a Union Makes: Graduate Employee Activists' Engaged Scholarship and Their Working Lives Susan Roth Breitzer 144

10 Making History Every Day: The Iowa Labor History Oral Project and Popular Education Jennifer Sherer 159

11 The Polk School: Intersections of Women's Labor Leadership Education and the Public Sphere Emily E.L.B. Twarog 177

Part III Bridging Scholarship and Activism: Paths of Engagement

Introduction Kristen Anderson 193

12 Launching the Kalmanovitz Initiative: A Labor Historian's Labor History Joseph A. McCartin 197

13 My Life as a Wonk Colin Gordon 217

14 "The Soul Puts Together Its Pieces": Lessons from the Casino Floor Susan Chandler 226

15 Disability and Labor Activism: The Pains and Joys of Coalitions Kim E. Nielsen 237

16 Engaged Scholarship and the Living-Wage Movement Stephanie Luce 246

Epilogue. Carry It On!: Creative Research and Social Action David Montgomery 265

Contributors 273

Index 277

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