Log in

Robert H. Zieger Prize

Southern Labor Studies Association awards the Robert H. Zieger Prize at the biennial Southern Labor Studies Conference for the best unpublished essay in southern labor studies written by a graduate student or early career scholar, journalist, or activist.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 $500 award.

The Robert H. Zieger Prize was established in 2013 with the cooperation of the Zieger family and members of SLSA. The prize is named in honor of the late Robert H. Zieger–teacher, scholar, and tireless union activist. 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. Zieger served as an officer in the North Central Florida Central Labor Council and an organizer for the United Faculty of Florida. Along with his wife of fifty years, Gay Zieger, an English professor Santa Fe College, he maintained a strong commitment to social justice his entire life. Many of his former students went on to become labor organizers. 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.


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, in print or electronic format, 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. Calls for submissions are made in advance of the biennial Southern Labor Studies Conference.

Contribute to the Prize

Tax-deductable donations to the Robert H. Zieger Prize fund may be made to SLSA via PayPal (please click on “Add special instructions to the seller” and indicate the donation is for the Zieger Prize) or by mailing a check to SLSA's treasurer with Zieger Prize in the memo line.


2018 James Wall, University of Georgia

“'Boss is Still Boss': Johnson v. City of Albany and the Fight for Affirmative Action in the Black Belt"

2017 Josh Hollands, Institute of the Americas at University College London

"'There's a Bigot in Your Biscuit': Workplace Discrimination at Cracker Barrel, Civil Rights, and Corporate Activism in the United States"

2015 A. Lane Windham, University of Maryland

"The Cannon Mills Case: Out of the Southern Frying Pan, Into the Global Fire"

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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software