Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies

Labor scholar to discuss the 1970s, "the last days of the working class"

Join us for two upcoming special seminars with Jefferson Cowie, Professor of Labor History at Cornell University.

On Monday, February 4 Cowie visits the UW Bothell campus to deliver a talk entitled "Five Not-So Easy Pieces for the Future of Organized Labor."

On Wednesday, February 5, Cowie speaks to the UW Seattle campus about his 2011 book Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class.

From the rising incomes and optimism of the New Deal to the widening economic inequalities and dampened expectations of the present, Stayin' Alive is Cowie's account of how working-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the 1970s. | Read more


December 6, 2012 - April 19, 2013

Exhibit: Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Art of Richard V. Correll

Labor Archives of Washington

On-going. Special Collections Basement Lobby, Allen Library North, UW Seattle.

This exciting exhibit highlights new additions to the collection of the Labor Archives of Washington. Richard V. (Dick) Correll (1904-1990), was one of the leading masters of printmaking in the West. Best known for his powerful black and white linoleum cuts, etchings and woodblock prints, for most of his life he earned a living as a commercial artist in the book publishing and advertising fields while producing a large body of fine art in his own time. Correll's themes ranged from landscapes, animals and agricultural scenes, harbors and ships, and music and dance to those which reflected his lifelong concern with political and social issues.

This exhibit features selections from several core areas of Correll's recently donated collection at the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections: Images of labor, social justice, civil rights, anti-war themes, work for the Great Depression-era Washington State Works Projects Administration, and his work for the progressive Depression-era newspaper the Voice of Action.

For more information about the exhibit and the collection contact Labor Archivist Conor Casey at cmcasey@uw.edu or 206-685-3976.

Monday, February 4
& Tuesday, February 5

Talk: Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class

Jefferson Cowie, Labor History, Cornell University

Mon, Feb 4: 4:00pm. UW Bothell, room to be determined. E-mail Andrew Hedden to be notified when the room is announced.

Tues, Feb 5: 12:30pm-2:00pm. Thomson Hall, Room 119. UW Seattle. Introduction and discussion by Jim Gregory, UW History and Mike Honey, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Tacoma.

A wide-ranging cultural and political history that will forever redefine a misunderstood decade, Stayin' Alive is prize-winning historian Jefferson Cowie’s remarkable account of how working-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the 1970s. In this edgy and incisive book—part political intrigue, part labor history, with large doses of American music, film and television lore—Cowie, with "an ear for the power and poetry of vernacular speech" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), reveals America's fascinating path from rising incomes and optimism of the New Deal to the widening economic inequalities and dampened expectations of the present.

Jefferson Cowie is an associate professor of history at Cornell University. He is the author of Capital Moves: RCA's Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor (The New Press), which received the 2000 Philip Taft Prize for the Best Book in Labor History. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

Sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, Department of History, Simpson Center for the Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences - UW Bothell. For more information, call 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@u.washington.edu.

To request disability accommodations, contact the UW Disability Services Office, 206-543-6450; 206-543-6452 (TTY); or e-mail dso@u.washington.edu

Friday, March 8

Conference: The Transformation of Supply Chains

10:00am-4:00pm. Forum (Room 309), Parrington Hall, UW Seattle. FREE.

This one-day conference will bring together scholars and stake-holders to discuss the current state of labor supply chains, how they are changing, and what the points of leverage are for making them fairer to workers.

Speakers will include:


Organized by the University of Washington Advisory Committee on Trademarks and Licensing (ACTL) with support from the Office of the President.

Co-sponsors include the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, Evans School, Business School, Law School, and Department of Political Science.


Wednesday, January 23

Labor Book Group

MLKCLC Education Committee

5:30-7:00 pm. Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121. Room TBD.

At its last meeting, the MLK CLC Education Committee Book Group that instead of reading over the holiday they would watch a talk by Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy. The video was recorded October 3, 2012 at Town Hall Seattle in Seattle, WA.

LINK TO VIDEO: Gar Alperovitz - America Beyond Capitalism

Bring a snack, celebrate the new year and join in the discussion of Gar Alperovitz - America Beyond Capitalism. Don't forget to bring book suggestion for a new reading in 2013!

For more information, contact Cheryl Coney at the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center at (206) 934-5350 or cheryl.coney@seattlecolleges.edu

Thursday, January 31

Talk: Guatemala: Neoliberal Militarism and Social Movement Resistance

Phil Neff, Guatemala Accompaniment Project

6:30pm. Smith Hall, Room 304. UW Seattle. FREE.

In defiance of state repression, movements for indigenous rights, defense of natural resources, and justice for genocide are flourishing today in Guatemala. Communities resist corporate megaprojects and militarization in their territories and protest against neoliberal policies is rising. Voices from these struggles denounce the continuity of historical violence and offer alternatives based in self-determination and collective well-being.

Phil Neff is a former international observer and coordinator of the Guatemala Accompaniment Project of the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala.

Presentation and discussion hosted by UW Student Anarchist Study Group, Seattle Solidarity Network, and CascadiaSolidaria.Wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 20

Talk: Performing Authenticity and the Labor of Dance

Susan Leigh Foster, World Arts and Cultures, UCLA

6:30pm. Communications Building, Room 120. UW Seattle. FREE.

From the Rockettes to flash mobs, from ballet to planking: how is the labor of performance represented? Do dancers labor when they learn a dance technique? Does dancing transcend labor? Does dancing offer a kind of authenticity that no other physical practice does?

Susan Leigh Foster's (World Arts & Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles) talk focuses on current theories of labor and their applicability to dance through consideration of experimental concert dance and also televised reality competition shows such as "So You Think You Can Dance."

Co-sponsored by the UW Dance Program, the Simpson Center for the Humanities, and the UW Philosophy Department.

Wednesday, February 20

Talk: Social Security: Preserve It. Strengthen It. Pass It On.

Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research

6:30pm. Philip Hall, 1918 Pacific Avenue, UW Tacoma.

Featuring Dean Baker, co-director of Center for Economic and Policy Research and Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director, Economic Opportunity Institute.

Dean Baker, a renowned economist and author, will cut through the political rhetoric on Social Security. He'll talk about challenges and opportunities facing the program, and offer ideas to strengthen it for current and future generations.

Sponsored by UW Tacoma Center for the Study of Community and Society; Pierce County Labor Council; League of Women Voters - Tacoma/Pierce County; Retired Public Employees Council; Social Security Works-WA.



Intersection of Obama's inauguration, King holiday carries sweet symbolism for many

*This article quotes Michael Honey, Harry Bridges Chair in Labor Studies from 2000 to 2004*

WASHINGTON -- When the nation's first African-American president takes the public oath of office for his second term on Monday, he will do it on the national holiday devoted to the country's greatest civil rights dreamer, the Rev. Martin Luther King.

Barack Obama, the Illinois transplant and renowned orator, will be powerfully aware that he is expected to reach an exceptionally high bar with his inaugural address. Perhaps the greatest speech ever delivered by Abraham Lincoln, another Illinois president he reveres, was his "With Malice Toward None" Second Inaugural Address now immortalized on a wall of the Lincoln Memorial.


For Michael K. Honey, a University of Washington-Tacoma historian of the civil rights era and an expert on King's speeches, Obama's first inauguration was a celebration of the "fulfillment of the first phase" of the civil rights movement. That phase "was full civil rights and voting rights; and I think people will celebrate that again."

The second phase, which Honey said was King's hope for "social and economic and racial justice" achieved through equal opportunity, still appears to be a far-off goal. In a political culture tied so much to money, phase two "doesn't even seem to be on the horizon," he said. | Read more

January 22, 2013


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



Labor Press Project - Pacific Northwest Labor and Radical Newspapers

As journalists in China strike over issues of censorship, read about our own region's long history of labor and the press.



Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union, Local 7 Photographs

Over 200 photographs documenting the history of Filipino American unionism, available on-line for the first time ever.


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