Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies

UW Labor Studies Social - Next Thursday!

Thursday, January 30

1st Annual University of Washington Labor Studies Social

4:00pm-6:00pm. UW HUB, Room 340, UW Seattle. RSVP requested.

Join the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies for our first annual meet-and-greet dedicated to networking faculty and students at the University of Washington.

  • Meet other faculty and students interested in Labor Studies from departments across campus
  • Learn more about scholarships and research grants opportunities
  • Learn about internship opportunities with local labor organizations
  • Meet Seattle area labor leaders
  • Enjoy drinks and refreshments!

Founded in 1992, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies supports research, teaching and community outreach at the University of Washington in order to promote the study of labor in all of its facets - locally, nationally, and worldwide.

RSVPs are not required, but are requested. To RSVP, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


BRIDGES CENTER EVENTS


Saturday, January 25

Symposium: Confronting Inequities in Higher Education

A forum on academic labor practices, how they reflect social inequity, and the growing contingent faculty response

9:30am-5:00pm. HUB, Third Floor, UW Seattle.

Adjuncts and Contingents Together Washington/SEIU Local 925 and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies invite adjunct and contingent faculty at private universities to join an action-oriented forum on academic labor practices, how they reflect social inequity, and the growing contingent faculty response.

Continental breakfast and lunch will be served. Parking will be provided. To RSVP, visit www.actogetherwa.org.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Anne McLeer: Director of Higher Education & Research, SEIU Local 500, Washington D.C.; Board Member, New Faculty Majority

  • Dr. Dan Jacoby: Emeritus Chair of Labor Studies, School of interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Bothell

  • Dr. Gary Rhoades: Director of the Department of Education Policy Studies & Practice; Center for the Study of Higher Education College of Education University of Arizona, Tucson

  • Dr. Helena Worthen: Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus, School of Labor & Employment Relations Labor Education Program, University of Illinois

  • Dr. Joe Berry: Labor Historian and author of Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education

  • Dr. Robin Sowards: Adjunct Faculty Association, United Steelworkers; Board Member, New Faculty Majority; Adjunct Lecturer at Duquesne University and University of Pittsburgh

Questions? Contact Adjuncts and Contingents Together Washington at mmurphy@seiu925.org, or (206) 261-6781.


Wednesday, February 5

Talk: Slave-Racial-Capitalism

Walter Johnson, Harvard University

4:00pm. Communications Building, Room 120, UW Seattle.

A lecture by Walter Johnson related to and expanding on his recently published book, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (Harvard University Press, 2013).

River of Dark Dreams dramatically alters our understanding of American slavery and its role in U.S. expansionism, global capitalism, and the Civil War. Johnson places the Cotton Kingdom at the center of worldwide webs of exchange and exploitation that extended across oceans and drove an insatiable hunger for new lands. But at the center of his story are the enslaved people who pulled down the forests, planted the fields, picked the cotton in the Mississippi Valley—who labored, suffered, and resisted along the river of dark dreams.

Walter Johnson is Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. A leading American historian specializing in the study of slavery, capitalism, and imperialism, he is the author of Soul by Soul: Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (1999) and editor of The Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas (2005).

Sponsored by the University of Washington Department of History; Department of English; Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; and the Simpson Center for the Humanities. For event information, contact hbcls@uw.edu or call (206) 543-7946.


Saturday, February 8

Film: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

Seattle Asian American Film Festival

5:30pm-7:00pm. Ark Lodges Cinemas, 4816 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118. $11 regular/$8 students.

The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies is proud to be a community co-presenter of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs as part of the 2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival.

The film is a documentary about Detroit philosopher/activist Grace Lee Boggs, 98, whose life and work has encompassed the major U.S. social movements of the past century: radical labor, civil rights, Black Power, feminism, Asian American, environmental justice, and beyond. More than just a biography, the film will explore how this daughter of Chinese immigrants born in 1915 could evolve both as a revolutionary philosopher and a movement activist during a century rife with social and political upheaval.

For tickets or more information, visit the film's page on the 2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival website.


Wednesday, February 12
& Thursday, February 13

Book Release: Michael Honey, John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, and the African American Song Tradition

Two special events in Tacoma marking the release of Michael Honey's new book telling the story of John Handcox, tenant farmer organizer and legendary folk-singer.

Descended from African American slaves, Native Americans, and white slaveowners, John Handcox was born at one of the hardest times and places to be black in America. Over the first few decades of the twentieth century, he survived attempted lynchings, floods, droughts, and the ravages of the Great Depression to organize black and white farmers alike on behalf of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union. He also became one of the most beloved folk singers of the prewar labor movement.

Michael Honey's fascinating and beautifully told history gives us John Handcox in his own words, recounting a journey that began in a sharecropper's shack in the Deep South and went on to shape the labor music tradition, all amid the tangled and troubled history of the United States in the twentieth century.

Michael Honey is the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities at The University of Washington, USA, and was a 2011 Guggenheim fellow. He is author of numerous award-winning books on labor, race relations, and Southern history, including Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (Norton, 2007). His interviews and writing regularly appear in national media such as The Atlantic, NPR/Fresh Air, The Nation, History News Network, ColorLines, and many other print and digital publications.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Friday, February 14

Dual Book Release: In the Interests of Others and What Unions No Longer Do

4:00pm-6:00pm. Smith Hall, Room 102, UW Seattle. Free.

Join the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies in marking the publication of two new books by University of Washington professors exploring the state of organized labor in the United States and beyond.

Drawing on the history of the waterfront unions in the United States and Australia, John Ahlquist and Margaret Levi's new book In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism (Princeton University Press, 2013) develops a new theory of organizational leadership and governance to explain why some organizations expand their scope of action in ways that do not benefit their members directly.

Jake Rosenfeld's What Unions No Longer Do (Harvard University Press, 2014) examines the consequences of the sharp decline of organized labor in the United States in past decades. Unions, Rosenfeld concludes, are no longer instrumental in combating inequality in our economy and our politics, and the result is a sharp decline in the prospects of American workers and their families.

John S. Ahlquist is the Trice Family Faculty Scholar and associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Margaret Levi is director for the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and formerly, the Jere L. Bacharach Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington and Foundational Chair in Politics at the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre. Jake Rosenfeld is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Monday, February 17

Book Release: Jake Rosenfeld, What Unions No Longer Do

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Jake Rosenfeld's What Unions No Longer Do (Harvard University Press, 2014) examines the consequences of the sharp decline of organized labor in the United States in past decades. Unions, Rosenfeld concludes, are no longer instrumental in combating inequality in our economy and our politics, and the result is a sharp decline in the prospects of American workers and their families.

Jake Rosenfeld is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington, co-director of the Scholars Strategy Network Northwest (SSN-NW), and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE), the West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University in 2007. His research and teaching focuses on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the advanced democracies.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Tuesday, February 25

Book Talk: Robert Self, All in the Family: The Cultural Politics of American Liberalism in Crisis

4:00pm-6:00pm. Smith Hall, Room 102, UW Seattle. Free.

Award-winning historian Robert Self's recent book All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s (Hill & Wang, 2012) is an exploration of how the sexual revolution, feminism(s), gay and lesbian liberation, and the new Right transformed American politics between 1964 and 2004.

Self treats the interaction and collision of these forces as an expansive process that included the multiple gender disruptions of the period: from the Vietnam War's problematic male soldier to the politics of abortion, welfare, black power, and gay liberation.

In between the Civil Rights Act (1964), Watts rioting (1965), and the Moynihan Report (1965) and the Bush-era insurgencies of the 2000s, Self traces the search for new male and female political subjectivities and the contests over manhood, feminism(s), and gay rights that remade liberalism in the intervening decades.

Robert O. Self is a professor of history at Brown University. His first book, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland, won numerous awards, including the James A. Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Washington in 1998.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Monday, March 3

Book Release: Angela Day, Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster documents the Exxon Valdez disaster that stunned the world, recounts regional and national history, and explains how oil titans came to be entrusted with a spectacular, fragile ecosystem. It discusses the disaster’s environmental consequences as well as failed governmental and public policy decisions, and tracks changes that, through opportunities for citizen input and oversight, offer hope for the future.

Author Angela Day spent nearly a decade working evenings and summers around a full-time job and graduate school in order to complete her manuscript. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her dissertation, currently in progress, is When the Whistle Didn’t Blow. She lives in Snohomish, Washington with her husband, Bobby Day.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Thursday, March 13

Book Release: Michael Honey, John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, and the African American Song Tradition

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Descended from African American slaves, Native Americans, and white slaveowners, John Handcox was born at one of the hardest times and places to be black in America. Over the first few decades of the twentieth century, he survived attempted lynchings, floods, droughts, and the ravages of the Great Depression to organize black and white farmers alike on behalf of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union. He also became one of the most beloved folk singers of the prewar labor movement.

Michael Honey's fascinating and beautifully told history gives us John Handcox in his own words, recounting a journey that began in a sharecropper's shack in the Deep South and went on to shape the labor music tradition, all amid the tangled and troubled history of the United States in the twentieth century.

Michael Honey is the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities at The University of Washington, USA, and was a 2011 Guggenheim fellow. He is author of numerous award-winning books on labor, race relations, and Southern history, including Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (Norton, 2007). His interviews and writing regularly appear in national media such as The Atlantic, NPR/Fresh Air, The Nation, History News Network, ColorLines, and many other print and digital publications.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


EVENTS OF INTEREST


Thursday, January 23

Talk: Labor's Existential Crisis: Bob Brock in Discussion

6:00pm-8:00pm. Eastern Cafe, UW Seattle.

It's a modern platitude that the labor movement is facing an existential crisis. Looking at the numbers, this narrative is hard to dispute. Last year only 11.3 percent of American wage earners belonged to a union, down nearly half a percent from the year before. The union density numbers are at a historic low and they’re not expected to rise anytime soon. Reeling from the concerted efforts to crush public sector unions in Wisconsin and Ohio, labor at least as conventionally imagined is certainly facing hard times.

But is labor’s crisis terminal? What lessons can be learned from the history of the labor movement? And what are new workers’ movements doing about it?

Bob Brock is an organizing coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He’s joining the Commoners’ Club and a panel of discussants to provide some historical context for labor’s present situation and to address the frontiers of new workers’ movements. Together we’ll examine how direct action networks, a momentous minimum-wage campaign, and re-imagined unions might respond to the present crisis of labor.


Saturday, January 25

Workshop: Arts for Change

1:00pm-4:00pm. MLK F.A.M.E. Community Center, 3201 E. Republican Street, Seattle, WA 98112. $50.

Beverly Naidus, Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Tacoma, will facilitate the first in a series of socially engaged, hands on art workshops in her new studio in Madison Valley, in the MLK Community Center - Room 120. Cost is $50 for three hours of heart opening art exercises, inspirational work and provocative discussion. All levels of experience are welcome.

This first workshop is an overview of the field: any social/environmental justice or personal as political topic may emerge. Future workshops will be in eco-art, body image, cultural identity, labor, gentrification, militarism/non-violence and much more. Register early - the space is limited.


Wednesday, January 29

Talk and Film Screening: Revisiting War Crimes During the War in Viet Nam

6:30pm-9:30pm. Johnson Hall, Room 102, UW Seattle.

In the evening of January 29, please join us for a reading by Nick Turse, author of the controversial and acclaimed Kill Anything That Moves (2013) about US war crimes during the war in Viet Nam, in conjunction with a rare showing of the 1972 documentary "Winter Soldier." Followed by a panel discussion with Nick Turse, Bill Turley (noted scholar of the war in Viet Nam), Mike Dedrick (Veterans For Peace), and others.

This event is accompanied by an exhibit of material from the UW Libraries Special Collections, which will be on display in the Allen Library Lobby from January 11-30, 2014.

Sponsored by the Southeast Asia Center, UW Center for Human Rights, UW Libraries, Department of History, University Bookstore, and the Seattle chapter of Veterans For Peace.


Wednesday, February 19

Talk: "Abajo Los Chinos:" Race and the Public Sphere in Revolutionary Mexico

Jason O. Chang, University of Connecticut

4:00pm. Communications Building, Room 120, UW Seattle.

When the Mexican republic erupted in revolution in 1910 it's competing leaders often used the language of mestizo nationalism to rally supporters. References to a populist mestizo nationalism gestured towards the emergence of the democratic principles of a public sphere. Historians have attributed the success of revolutionary Mexican nationalism to state ideologies of mestizaje and populist agrarian reforms.

However, the history of Mexico's anti-Chinese politics reveals that racism has played an unappreciated role in the creation of a public sphere in which the common good of mestizos became thinkable. Dr. Chang details the ways that racial violence, anti-Chinese organizations, and racist policies contributed to the expansion of mestizo nationalism. This revisionist history highlights the ways that race was an essential technology of state formation that undergirded the transformation of rule and consent after the revolution.


NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS


FACULTY IN THE NEWS


Former Bridges Chair James Gregory Quoted in Story on Seattle $15 Minimum Wage (Seattle Times)

James Gregory, UW Professor of History, served as Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies from 2008-2012

The 15 Now campaign fits in with Washington state’s long history with the labor movement, said James N. Gregory, a history professor at the University of Washington who also is director of the UW’s Civil Rights and Labor History Project.

“Seattle started as a working-class city, with timber workers, maritime workers and railroad workers, in the 1880s and 1890s. They often came from union backgrounds,” Gregory said. “Then the 1919 general strike in Seattle cemented its progressive reputation in which labor was very strong. It has sustained that reputation.”

And even though the labor movement has declined, and today’s techies probably don’t know anything about the local labor history, “there is that legacy,” said Gregory. | Read more


Michael Honey discusses his new book, Sharecropper's Troubadour (UW Today)

Michael Honey is a professor of interdisciplinary arts and sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma and an affiliate of the UW's Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. His previous books include Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign in 2007 and All Labor Has Dignity, in 2010.

His new book, Sharecropper's Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the African American Song Tradition was published in November by Palgrave Macmillan. He answered a few questions about the book for UW Today. | Read More


Trevor Griffey, UW Bothell, explains how "The War on Poverty" helped shape Seattle activism (KUOW)

Trevor Griffey is Project Coordinator of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project

Ross Reynolds of KUOW 94.9FM recently spoke with University of Washington historian Trevor Griffey about Seattle's role in protests that led to the early formation of affirmative action. | Listen


Bridges Center Faculty Associate Jake Rosenfeld Speaks to Media on Boeing and Organized Labor

Jake Rosenfeld, UW Associate Professor of Sociology, was recently quoted in multiple news reports about Boeing and the state of organized labor. Stories included:


INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES


UNITE-HERE Local 8 Seeks Boycott and Community Organizer Interns

The UNITE-HERE Local 8 internship program strives to link up the workers’ rights movement with the student movement, the LGBTQ movement, the immigrants’ rights movement and all other movements that struggle and work for social justice. Students will learn the basics of worker organizing, corporate research, and running an effective consumer boycott.

Hours and schedules are flexible, though we ask for a minimum of 3-5 hours per week. Students will spend a lot of time doing community outreach through phone calls and meetings, corporate research strategies using internet and other public sources, and some street actions and protests.

We have a vibrant team of interns and volunteers, and are always trading thoughts and ideas! Students are led by one or more staff people, and get regular one-on-one attention to focus on training and development.

The hospitality industry is growing in Seattle! Over the next 5 years, it's up to the community to set standards for how workers deserve to be treated. Our program relies heavily on support and solidarity from the community. Students are often the very face of our union as we interact with other community groups, and students often have a unique ability to communicate how good hospitality jobs can enrich the lives of young people.

For more information, contact UNITE-HERE Local 8 intern supervisor Levi Pine at lpine@unitehere.org or (206) 224-5738.


UCLA Labor Center's Summer Student Leadership Academy (SLA)

The UCLA Labor Center's Student Leadership Academy (SLA) is a paid summer internship program which aims to provide emerging student leaders and activists with an in-depth experience with careers in the labor movement.

We are currently seeking young activists passionate about labor and social justice movements for our 8-week paid summer internship program. Through training, leadership development, and mentorship opportunities,participants will:

  • deepen their understanding and skills in community and labor organizing;
  • engage with workers, immigrants, and people of color to improve employment conditions and communities in Southern California; and
  • gain real-world experience as organizers in the Los Angeles labor movement.

Qualifications and Details

  • Graduating senior (who will receive their degree in June 2014) or recent graduates who graduated in June 2013 or afterwards (graduated within one year) from an undergraduate program at a university/college
  • Must have access to housing and transportation assistance in Southern California Region (Los Angeles, San Bernandino, Orange Counties)
  • Full-time Summer Internship (8 weeks; 40 hrs/week)
  • Mandatory Two-Day Training on June 19 and 20
  • Stipend of $4,800 for completion of internship

To learn more, please visit our website, The Student Leadership Academy. Applications are due Monday, April 7, 2014.


CALLS FOR PROPOSALS


Labor Research and Action Network (LRAN) Seeks Proposals for Annual Conference

Georgetown University Law Center

June 16-17, 2014

Proposals due: February 15, 2014

The Labor Research and Action Network (LRAN) has issued a call for proposals for its 4th Annual LRAN National Conference to be held on June 16th and 17th, 2014, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.

The LRAN conference is an opportunity for academics, labor leaders, activists, and supporters to think creatively and daringly about the future of the labor movement. It's a space to question fundamental assumptions, reflect critically on victories and challenges, and propose new pathways that can propel our movement forward. We are particularly interested in joint presentations with academics and practitioners who have collaborated on research and organizing projects. | Read More


Travel Grants for Penn State Labor Archives Research

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library on the University Park campus of Penn State offers four travel awards of $1,500 this year for researchers whose work would benefit from access to the collections held at Penn State. Currently, the award for research using any of the Special Collections Library collections would cover research in the extensive labor collections.

Please see the Penn State University Libraries website for more information about the award program and the libraries' holdings.

The deadline for application is February 28 , 2014. Grant recipients will be announced by March 31 , 2014. Awards would apply to travel between June to August of 2014. | Read More


Proposals Sought for Histories of American Capitalism

Cornell University

November 6-8, 2014

Proposals due: March 1, 2014

Thematic Clusters:

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Built and Natural Environments
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Intellectual and Cultural History
  • State, Migration, and Citizenship

Keynote and Plenary Speakers:

  • Orlando Patterson, Harvard
  • Guy Standing, University of London
  • Nancy Fraser, New School
  • Peniel Joseph, Tufts
  • Jackson Lears, Rutgers
  • Julia Ott, New School
  • Richard White, Stanford

The Cornell Conference on the Histories of American Capitalism invites panels and individual papers that seek to make connections between the diverse historiographic subfields of the last several decades and the recent interest in the history of capitalism. In short, we seek a path forward from the “cultural turn” while honoring its complexity. Our starting clusters are listed above, but we are open to panels in other subfields as well. Our invitation is open to scholars at any stage of their careers. Please include a 500 word description and c.v. for each paper proposal.

Contact and Submissions: Jefferson Cowie, cowie@cornell.edu


January 20, 2014



IN THIS ISSUE


Bridges Center Events

Events of Interest

News & Announcements

Support the Bridges Center




LABOR RESEARCH

REPORT OF THE MONTH

WA StateLabor and Civil Rights Movements at the Crossroads: Martin Luther King, Black Workers, and the Memphis Sanitation Strike

Michael Honey, Working Papers Series

Mark the MLK, Jr. holiday by reading Honey's account of King's last campaign before his death, the Memphis Sanitation Strike.




ON-LINE RESOURCES

PROJECT OF THE MONTH

When Abortion was Illegal (and Deadly): Seattle's Maternal Death Toll

A recent Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History report by UW History Professor James Gregory looks at the harrowing experiences of women that led to abortion reform in Washington State in the 1970s.




LABOR ARCHIVES

COLLECTION OF THE MONTH

John Leonard Miller Papers, 1923-1986

On January 25, 1890, the United Mine Workers was founded. This collection includes two interviews with Miller, a future IWW member who left home at the age of 12 to work as a coal miner and joined the United Mine Workers as an organizer.




SUPPORT THE CENTER FOR LABOR STUDIES

Support the Bridges Center

Please support the work of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

Donations can be made to the Bridges Center on-line securely with a credit card, or with a check by downloading our donation form. All gifts are tax-deductible.

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