WORKING HISTORY EPISODE FOCUSES ON THE WORKERS WHO BUILT THE PANAMA CANAL
SLSA’s latest Working History podcast, “’Best True Stories of Life and Work on the Panama Canal‘,” is available for listening on iTunes and SoundCloud. In the episode, Julie Greene, Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the forthcoming book, Box 25: The World of Caribbean Workers, discusses the men who built the Panama Canal, working and living conditions in the Canal Zone, and how U.S. expansionism at the turn of the twentieth century fueled the growth of a transnational working class.
Julie Greene specializes in United States labor and working-class history. Her research and teaching interests span across immigration and political history, the history of empire, and transnational approaches to the history of the Americas. She is the author of The Canal Builders: Making America’s Empire at the Panama Canal (Penguin Press, 2009), The Organization of American Historians awarded The Canal Builders its 2009 James A. Rawley Prize for the best book on the history of race relations. Greene’s articles include “Spaniards on the Silver Roll: Liminality and Labor Troubles in the Panama Canal Zone, 1904-1914,” in International Labor and Working-Class History (Fall 2004) and “The Labor of Empire: Recent Scholarship on U.S. History and Imperialism,” in Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas (Summer 2004). She is also author of Pure and Simple Politics: The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881-1917 (Cambridge, 1998); co-editor, with Eric Arnesen and Bruce Laurie, of Labor Histories: Class, Politics, and the Diversity of the Working-Class Experience (Illinois, 1998); and associate editor, with Eileen Boris, John French, Joan Sangster, and Shelton Stromquist (with Leon Fink as editor), of Workers, the Nation-State, and Beyond: Essays in the Labor History of the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2011). The latter book includes Greene’s essay, “Historians of the World: Transnational Forces, Nation-States, and the Practice of United States History.”
Greene has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others. She was founding Reviews Editor in 2004 of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, and continues to serve as an editor of the journal. Labor received the Council of Editors of Learned Journals Award for Best New Journal in 2005. Greene was founding Co-Chair of the Labor and Working-Class History Association in 1997-1999, and she is currently President of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. With Ira Berlin, Greene is co-founder and co-director of the Center for the History of the New America at the University of Maryland, a center dedicated to generating knowledge of the history and politics of global migrations. In the 2013-2014 academic year she was a fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.