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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    The Southern Labor Studies Association is currently accepting submissions for the Robert H. Zieger Prize for Southern Labor Studies. SLSA awards the Zieger Prize at the Southern Labor Studies Conference for the best unpublished essay in southern labor studies written by a graduate student or early career scholar, journalist, or activist. The Zieger Prize includes a $750 award.

    The Robert H. Zieger Prize was established in 2013 with the cooperation of the Zieger family, the Southern Labor Studies Association, and former friends and colleagues of Bob and Gay Zieger. The prize is named in honor of the late Professor Robert H. Zieger—teacher, scholar, and tireless union activist. Dr. Zieger was a prolific, award-winning writer whose books include For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America since 1865 and The CIO, 1935-1955, and three field-defining edited volumes on southern labor history. Professor Zieger served as an officer in the North Central Florida Central Labor Council and an organizer for the United Faculty of Florida at the University of Florida where he was a Distinguished Professor of History.  Along with his wife of fifty years, Gay Zieger, an English professor at Santa Fe College, Bob maintained a strong commitment to social justice his entire life. Many of his former students went on to become labor organizers and educators. SLSA hopes that the spirit of Zieger’s combination of rigorous scholarship and his dedicated commitment to improving the lives of working-class people will live on in this prize.

    Eligibility

    Graduate students and scholars, activists, and journalists who are no more than five years beyond the author’s highest degree are eligible to apply. Essays must be in English and should be primarily concerned with southern labor and working-class history broadly conceived. Applicants are not required to be members of SLSA at the time of the submission.

    The winner of the Zieger Prize will be announced at the 2020 Southern Labor Studies Conference which will be held at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill September 11-13, 2020

    To be considered for the Robert H. Zieger Prize, applicants must submit their essays electronically by March 30, 2020, to the prize committee chairperson:

    Professor Paul Ortiz

    Chair, Robert H. Zieger Prize Committee
    Department of History
    University of Florida
    P.O. Box 117320
    Gainesville, FL 32611-7320

    Questions: Email, portiz@ufl.edu


    For a list of past winners, see: https://southernlaborstudies.org/page-18074

    For information on the SLSA, see: https://southernlaborstudies.org/

  • Wednesday, January 08, 2020 8:31 PM | Anonymous

    EXTENDED: Proposals Due February 15th!

    Upcoming SLSA Conference

    SLSA Biannual Conference CfP: Expanding the Horizons of Southern Labor Studies

    September 11-13, 2020 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Submissions due February 15, 2020

    If you are looking to propose or join a session, please look for collaboration opportunities here:

    Over the past few years, SLSA has sought to modernize, energize, and organize – and the results have been amazing! We have expanded the geographical, chronological, and thematic boundaries of southern labor studies by extending our geographic scope to include the broader Atlantic world, and pushing our time frame back to pre-European settlement. We’re reaching beyond our traditional emphasis on the workplace, politics, protest, and unions to explore working-class cultures—foodways, music, film, family, and home life. This conference will continue the push outward and onward. 

    We warmly invite all academics, students, activists, labor organizers, union members, lawyers, and anyone with an interest in labor issues – past or present – to join us at our next meeting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to be held on September 11-13, 2020 (Friday afternoon through Sunday morning). The conference will focus on expanding the horizons of southern labor studies. We will also experiment with some creative new formats built around new work and new conceptions of southern labor and additional sessions specifically aimed to help us think about how to communicate with larger audiences and share our work with the public.


    See attached for the full CfP and application instructions: SLSACFP2020.docx
  • Wednesday, January 08, 2020 8:26 PM | Anonymous

    Interested in joining us for the upcoming SLSA conference in September 2020? Interested in collaborating with others, either by joining or proposing a session?

    The conference organizers have set up a spreadsheet to help connect interested individuals. Follow this link to get started!

  • Tuesday, January 07, 2020 6:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On SLSA's latest Working History podcast, "Southern Sisters and Social Justice," Jacquelyn Dowd Hall discusses her new book, Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of the South (W.W. Norton and Company), the southern upbringing of Grace and Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, their social activism, and contributions to the overlapping labor, feminist, and civil rights ferment in the pre-World War II South. Listen to Working History on the New Books NetworkSpotify, iTunes, and SoundCloud, and subscribe on these platforms to keep up to date on future episodes.

    Jacquelyn Dowd Hall is Julia Cherry Spruill Professor Emeritus at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was one of the founders of the modern field of women’s history and helped to spark a thriving scholarship in southern labor history and to turn the study of the civil rights movement in new directions. She was awarded a National Humanities Medal for her efforts to deepen the nation’s engagement with the humanities by “recording history through the lives of ordinary people, and, in so doing, for making history.” She is past president of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association and founding president of the Labor and Working Class History Association.

    Hall's books and articles include Revolt Against Chivalry: Jessie Daniel Ames and the Women’s Campaign Against Lynching (1979, 1993), winner of the Francis B. Simkins and Lillian Smith Awards; Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World (1987, 2000), winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Award, Merle Curti Award, and the Philip Taft Labor History Prize; and “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past,” Journal of American History (2005), an effort to challenge the myth that the movement was a short, successful bid to overcome segregation in the Jim Crow South. She has also won awards for graduate teaching and contributions to the fields of oral history and working-class history. She has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, and other institutions. She was elected to the Society of American Historians in 1990 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, in 2011.

  • Monday, December 09, 2019 8:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Southern Labor Studies Association has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help SLSA continue the vital work of studying working life in the South and nurturing early career scholars. Donations can be made at: https://bit.ly/355gUUk.

    The Southern Labor Studies Association promotes the study, teaching, and preservation of the history of southern labor. We are an open, welcoming group of scholars, lawyers, students, teachers, and activists who encourage dialogue and discussion about key issues and events relevant to the past and present of labor and working-class life and culture in the U.S. South.

    Not only do we serve to connect academics and activists across the nation, we also promote working-class history in public school curricula and provide resources for public school teachers. We organize a biannual Southern Labor Studies Conference and, as sponsor multiple other sessions on southern labor and working-class history at other academic conferences.
     
    Over the past few years, SLSA has sought to modernize, energize, and organize – and the results have been amazing! We have expanded the geographical, chronological, and thematic boundaries of southern labor studies by extending our geographic scope to include the broader Atlantic world, and pushing our time frame back to pre-European settlement. We’re reaching beyond our traditional emphasis on the workplace, politics, protest, and unions to explore working-class cultures—foodways, music, film, family, and home life.

    However, in order to accomplish all of our goals, we need your help – not only by donating money, but by sharing this request with your social networks. All in all, to move the organization firmly into the 2020s, we need to raise $10,000. Here are our goal tiers and what each level accomplishes:

    • TIER 1: $3,500: This goal allows us to completely revamp and update our website, providing a place for journalists and educators to connect with labor scholars and activists. The website will also be a place for all educators and activists to find teaching resources and funding opportunities. It will also host a litany of new essays, podcasts, videos, and some great “Top Ten” lists about the South by both scholars and even celebrities.
    • TIER 2: $6,000: This tier helps fund travel expenses for several important speakers for our September 2020 conference  at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (we hope you will consider attending!).
    • TIER 3: $10,000: This goal funds dozens of students, adjuncts, and activists in their work and in their travel to our conference. This helps enable those who need financial assistance to receive it.
  • Tuesday, December 03, 2019 6:33 PM | Anonymous

    "Why Academics and Academic-Related Staff in UK Universities Are On Strike" from Bruce E. Baker

    December 3, 2019

    As I write this, I and tens of thousands of other academic and academic-related staff at UK universities are finishing up eight days of strike action called by the UCU (University and College Union) over two separate disputes.  Members of LAWCHA and SLSA might be interested in this both as labor historians and as university employees.  As a labor historian trained in the right-to-work state of North Carolina who now sits on the National Executive Committee of UCU, I hope that my comments here might be of some interest.

    The first dispute relates to our pension, run by USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme).  In autumn 2017, the managers of the pension scheme produced a disputed valuation that suggested the scheme was seriously in deficit and needed to be converted from a defined benefit scheme to a defined contribution scheme.  The current changes proposed have more to do with steadily, and unjustifiably, increasing member contributions (from 8.0% of salary to 9.1%, with plans to rise to 9.6% and probably beyond, pushing new members out of the scheme and actually making it unsustainable).  The second dispute is over pay, casualisation, workload, and the gender pay gap.  Our pay is set in a nationally negotiated scale, and for the past ten years we have seen our wages decline by roughly 17% in real terms, even as more money than ever enter university accounts from student tuition fees.  The other three strands of this dispute are probably not all that different than in the United States, and they have typically been devolved to individual universities, who have refused to do anything concrete and immediate about the problems.

    The background for this dispute is the pension strike of spring 2018.  What was remarkable about that was the way it mobilised the grassroots of the union, creating momentum that existed outside the control of the union hierarchy.  An independent group called “USS Briefs” was formed to write and disseminate very thorough papers on every aspect of the dispute and many other issues related to university life and governance.  This and much more was circulated through very active and sophisticated social media networks, particularly Twitter.  This was also the first strike undertaken by UCU since the work of the Commission on Effective Industrial Action reported with suggestions about how to do more than take symbolic actions.  Instead of a one-day strike, we were out for fourteen days over four weeks, part of it in the worst blizzard the country had seen in years, bringing universities to a halt across the country.  When the previous General Secretary sent an offer from the employers to members with very strong advice to accept, against the advice of delegates, a majority of UCU members (many of whom had not been on strike), accepted what amounted to a promise to convene an expert panel. The panel met and vindicated the UCU’s position, but the employers refused to pressure USS into implementing its suggestions.  So here we are again.

    The other very significant effect of the dénouement of the 2018 strike was a radical restructuring of the leadership of the union. At the 2018 Congress, a pair of motions criticising the General Secretary’s handling of the USS dispute led to a walkout by the General Secretary and the rest of the full-time officials, whose union branch held a wildcat strike that brought the Congress to an end, perhaps the most dramatic union annual congress since the 1935 meeting of the AFL.  Not long after, the General Secretary went on sick leave and eventually resigned due to ill health.  Replacing her was Dr. Jo Grady, a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations at Sheffield University whose expertise is pension disputes.  She comes from Wakefield in Yorkshire, and her father was a miner on strike during the Miners Strike when Jo was born.  Along with the massive growth of membership during the previous dispute, and a much more diverse and active group of members taking up national leadership positions, UCU is a very different union today than it was two years ago when the USS dispute began.  The employers are a bit slow to learn this, but they are beginning to feel it.  The dispute is likely to drag into the spring towards the end of the academic year, but it bids fair to transform how universities are run in the United Kingdom.

    The picket lines are even stronger than in the previous dispute (my branch has had roughly twice as many picketing each day), and there is a confident and imaginative spirit.  Each day has a theme focusing on a key issue facing university workers.  We have baking contests.  We have the Shark of Solidarity (I can’t explain—just follow the Twitter account @SolidarityShark).  We have dogs and babies.  We have daily comics drawn by one of our members (@lyd_w) explaining key issues in an accessible format.  We also have daily teach-outs featuring a range of topics related to members’ research interests but also critically engaging with issues at the university.


  • Tuesday, November 05, 2019 8:16 PM | Anonymous

    SLSA Biannual Conference CfP: Expanding the Horizons of Southern Labor Studies

    September 11-13, 2020 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Submissions due January 15, 2020

    Over the past few years, SLSA has sought to modernize, energize, and organize – and the results have been amazing! We have expanded the geographical, chronological, and thematic boundaries of southern labor studies by extending our geographic scope to include the broader Atlantic world, and pushing our time frame back to pre-European settlement. We’re reaching beyond our traditional emphasis on the workplace, politics, protest, and unions to explore working-class cultures—foodways, music, film, family, and home life. This conference will continue the push outward and onward. 

    We warmly invite all academics, students, activists, labor organizers, union members, lawyers, and anyone with an interest in labor issues – past or present – to join us at our next meeting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to be held on September 11-13, 2020 (Friday afternoon through Sunday morning). The conference will focus on expanding the horizons of southern labor studies. We will also experiment with some creative new formats built around new work and new conceptions of southern labor and additional sessions specifically aimed to help us think about how to communicate with larger audiences and share our work with the public.


    See attached for the full CfP and application instructions: SLSACFP2020.docx

  • Thursday, October 24, 2019 9:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On SLSA's latest Working History podcast, "Making the Woman Worker," Eileen Boris discusses her new book, Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019 (Oxford University Press), the history of the ILO's labor protections for women, domestic and home workers in the Global North and Global South, and ongoing fights to recognize precarious labor from the care economy to the gig economy. Listen to Working History on the New Books NetworkSpotify, iTunes, and SoundCloud, and subscribe on these platforms to keep up to date on future episodes.

    Eileen Boris is the Hull Professor and Chair of the Department of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she directs the Center for Research on Women and Social Justice. An interdisciplinary historian, she specializes in women’s labors in the home and other workplaces and on gender, race, work, and the welfare state. She has authored numerous books, articles, and policy reports on the feminization of poverty, the wages of care, and welfare reform. Her non-academic writings have appeared in The Nation, LA Times, New Labor Forum, Labor Notes, Salon, Dissent, Women’s Review of Books, and the Washington Post. Borris' books include Art and Labor: Ruskin, Morris, and the Craftsman Ideal in America (1986) and Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the United States (1994), winner of the Philip Taft Prize in Labor History, and a coauthor, with Jennifer Klein, of Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State (2012), winner of the Sara A. Whaley Prize from the National Women's Studies Association. She is also a coeditor of Major Problems in the History of American Workers (2002), The Practice of U.S. Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues (2007), and Intimate Labors: Technologies, Cultures, and the Politics of Care (2010).

    Formerly a copresident of the Coordinating Council for Women in History, president of the board of trustees of The Journal of Women's History, and cochair of the program committee for the 2005 Thirteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, she currently serves on the executive committee of Social Science History Association and is the president of the International Federation for Research in Women's History.


  • Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On SLSA's latest Working History podcast, "Race, Slavery, and Psychiatry," Wendy Gonaver discusses her book, The Peculiar Institution and the Making of Modern Psychiatry, 1840-1880, the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Virginia, and the roles that race, the institution of slavery, and slave labor played in the development of psychiatric diagnosis and care through the nineteenth century and beyond. Listen to Working History on Spotify, iTunes, and SoundCloud, and subscribe on these platforms to keep up to date on future episodes.

    Wendy Gonaver graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1994, and received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary in 2012. She is currently is archives assistant at the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives at Chapman University. The Peculiar Institution and the Making of Modern Psychiatry, 1840-1880 was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019.  

  • Friday, September 06, 2019 12:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Southern Labor Studies Association is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 election. The newly elected Officers and Executive Board Members will begin their terms of service on October 1.

    Vice President: Keri Leigh Merritt

    Keri Leigh Merritt works as a historian and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. Her first book, Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South (Cambridge University Press, 2017), won both the Bennett Wall Award from the Southern Historical Association and the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association. Merritt is also co-editor, with Matthew Hild, of Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power (University Press of Florida, 2018), which won the 2019 Best Book Award from the UALE (United Association for Labor Education). Merritt also writes historical pieces for the public, and has had letters and essays published in a variety of outlets.

    Treasurer: Matthew Hild

    Matthew Hild earned his Ph.D. in the History, Technology, and Society program at Georgia Tech, where he is currently a lecturer.  He also teaches at the University of West Georgia. His books include Greenbackers, Knights of Labor, and Populists: Farmer-Labor Insurgency in the Late-Nineteenth-Century South (University of Georgia Press), Arkansas's Gilded Age: The Rise, Decline, and Legacy of Populism and Working-Class Protest (University of Missouri Press), and, as co-editor with Keri Leigh Merritt, Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power (University Press of Florida).

    Executive Board Members (in alphabetical order)

    Mary Frederickson (1-year term)

    Mary Frederickson is currently an affiliated faculty member in the Institute for Liberal Arts at Emory University and Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where she taught from 1988-2015. At Miami, she was awarded the Distinguished Educator Award from the College of Arts and Science and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Ohio Academy of History. Her research and teaching focus on gender, race, labor studies, and the social impact of disease. In 2010 she was a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. The following year, she published Looking South: Race, Gender, and the Transformation of Labor, a study of the low-wage, anti-union and state-supported industries that marked the creation of the New South and now the Global South. In 2012-13, she was named Senior Mellon Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University. Since 2013 she has been a Visiting Professor at Emory, in both the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts and the Rollins School of Public Health. She serves as series editor of “Public Health in the US and Global South,” for Southern Spaces. Recent publications include Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery, and the Legacy of Margaret Garner, 2013, (co-edited with Delores M. Walters); and Global Women’s Work: Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy, 2018 (with Beth English and Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama). Her many published articles include works on labor and cultural history, new trajectories in women’s history, and the relationship between historical consciousness and activism. The National Council for Research on Women, Fulbright-Hays, and the National Endowment for the Humanities have funded her research.

    Brian Kelly (2-year term)

    Brian Kelly is a lifelong trade unionist active in the University and College Union (UCU) at Queen’s University Belfast. His early research was on interracial unionism in the New South, but in recent years he has focused on the formative struggles that accompanied slave emancipation. His first book, Race, Class and Power in the Alabama Coalfields, 1908-1921  (Illinois, 2001), won a number of awards, including the Southern Historical Association's H. L. Mitchell Prize for an outstanding book in Southern working-class history, and its Frances Butler Simkins Award for the best first book by an author in Southern history. In the years since he has published widely on the problem of racial antagonism and its impact on working-class politics in the US. Formerly a Walter Hines Page Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, he holds non-residential fellowships at the Institute for Southern Studies (University of South Carolina) and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute (Harvard University). He is past director of the After Slavery Project  and is competing a study of black labor in Reconstruction South Carolina. 

    Sarah McNamara (2-year term)

    Sarah McNamara is Assistant Professor of History and affiliated faculty in the Latina/o, Mexican American Studies Program at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on Latinx, labor, women and gender, and immigration histories in the modern United States. She is at work on her first book, “From Picket Lines to Picket Fences: Latinas and the Remaking of the Jim Crow South, 1930-1964.” McNamara has two forthcoming articles, “Borderland Unionism: Latina Activism in Ybor City and Tampa, Florida,” which will appear in the 2019 summer issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History, and “A Not-So Nuevo Past: Latina Histories in the U.S. South,” in Labor: Studies in Working Class History as well as a special issue of the JAEH that interrogates the long history of multi-ethnic immigration to the U.S. South. In March 2018, her chapter “Settlement of Ybor City, 1885-1930,” was published in 50 Events that Shaped Latino History. Beyond historical work, McNamara is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration and sharing research on Latinx, immigration, and women and gender with a broad audience. She has written for Public SeminarThe Washington Post and published an ethnopoetic piece about the experience of undocumented activists in the U.S. South with South Writ Large. In addition to scholarship, McNamara is dedicated to student and community activism. At Texas A&M, McNamara acts as the faculty to sponsor to CMSA, previously the DREAMAct Club, which advocates for DACA and undocumented students at Texas A&M through collective action and university administrative change. McNamara’s work has received support from the American Historical Association, the American Libraries Association, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

    Susan O'Donovan (2-year term)

    Susan Eva O’Donovan is Associate Professor of History at the University of Memphis and has held appointments with History and African & African American Studies at Harvard University and the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland. A scholar of nineteenth-century race, labor, and politics, she has written extensively on African American experiences in the post emancipation South. Susan is currently at work on a new project, Becoming Citizens: The Political Lives of Slaves. Under contract with Metropolitan Books, Becoming Citizens explores the relationship between what slaves did for their owners and what they came to know and do for themselves in the years leading up to secession. Susan has served on/chaired numerous university and professional committees; she is co-director of the Memphis Massacre Project; a founding member of the After Slavery Project; and the district coordinator for West Tennessee History Day, an affiliate of National History Day.


CONTACT Southern Labor Studies Association 

c/o Erik Gellman, SLSA/UNC Liaison

Department of History

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

102 Emerson Drive, CB #3195

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3195

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