New Working History Episode Focuses on LGBT Discrimination and Activism in the Southern Workplace

HollandsSLSA’s latest Working History podcast, “LGBT Discrimination and Activism in the Southern Workplace,” is available for listening on iTunes and SoundCloud. The episode features Joshua Hollands, Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of the Americas at University College London, and recipient of the 2017 Robert H. Zieger Prize in Southern Labor Studies awarded by SLSA. In the episode, Hollands discusses his award-winning essay, “There’s a Bigot in Your Biscuit’: Workplace Discrimination at Cracker Barrel, Civil Rights, and Corporate Activism in the Southern United States,” and the past and present of LGBT discrimination and activism in the southern workplace. The episode is hosted by Beth English, immediate past president of the Southern Labor Studies Association.

Joshua Hollands is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of the Americas at University College London, completing his thesis, “Work and Sexuality in the Sunbelt: Homophobic Workplace Discrimination in the US South and Southwest, 1970 to the Present.” His research explores historic workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the south and southwest United States, and the social movements that emerged to counter this discrimination. He seeks to uncover how the emergence of a movement for gay liberation effected the ways in which LGBT people organized in their workplaces. Hollands’s work focuses attention on the experience of LGBT workers in states where right-to-work laws have weakened union organization and militancy to expand on studies that have focused upon LGBT working lives largely in the industrial north where trade unionism in the 1970s was relatively strong. Each chapter of his thesis explores episodes of discrimination in different Sunbelt industries, including education, telecommunications, oil, defense, manufacturing, retirement communities, service, and tourism.

Hollands’ research is supported with a Wolfson Scholarship in Humanities and is supervised by Professor Jonathan Bell.

Follow the podcast on SoundCloud and subscribe on iTunes to keep up to date on future episodes.