Teamster Union Responses to Congressional Investigations in the Late 1950s

“A Hard Boiled Egghead”: Harold Gibbons, the McClellan Committee, and the Culture of Investigation in the 1950s — Bob Bussell
A Game of Cat and Mouse? The McClellan Committee and Chicago’s Teamsters Local 743 — Leisl Orenic
Perspectives on the McClellan Committee Hearings: The FBI Reports of Hoffa’s Spy — David Witwer

Why Progressive Faculty Should Boycott Teach for America: A Round Table Discussion

When Teach for America was founded more than 20 years ago, there was a teacher shortage in the United States, especially in high poverty districts. That shortage became the rationale for a program that recruited undergraduates from top colleges to circumvent traditional teacher training routes and go directly into high poverty schools for a two-year […]

Approaches to Anti-Unionism in the 20th Century South

The organization of labor in the American South was historically distinct from the United States as a whole from the eighteenth through to the twentieth centuries. Businesses in the South operated on different philosophical and methodological planes in negotiating the region’s complicated racial politics and, in the twentieth century, in conflicts with the labor movement. […]

Growing Apart: The Political History of Inequality

What are the driving forces behind American inequality?  This panel draws on the web resource Growing Apart and explores the political history of American inequality. Colin Gordon (University of Iowa) will provide an overview; John Schmitt (Center for Economic and Policy Research) and Lisa Levenstein (UNC-Greensboro) will offer response and comments.

Teaching Working-Class Students

Teaching Inequality: A Multimodal Approach in the Writing Classroom — Cherie Rankin
Classroom at the End of the ‘Line’: Assembly Line Workers at Midwest Community and Technical Colleges — Sharon Kennedy
“But Poor People Don’t Live Here”: What Does it Mean to Teach Inequality at a Community College in Two of the Top Ten Richest American Counties (says Forbes)? — Karen Gaffney

Men at Work: Feminized Labor and the Limits of Sex Equality

Over the past half-century, women have leveraged federal antidiscrimination laws in struggles against workforce subordination. In particular, they turned the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into critical weapons in their fight for workplace equity. But men’s campaigns in these same years revealed the limits of […]

Photographing without Shaming

This panel presents the powerful photography of Earl Dotter, Mark Strandquist, and David Bacon. In “How My Photographs of the Scotia Mine Widow in 1976 Continue to Inform My Photographs Today,” Dotter shows how his process of respect and relationship building enabled him, while a photographer for the United Miners Workers Journal, to gain permission […]

How to Tell the Whole Story of Migrant Workers Organizing since 1965

Organizing Migrant Workers at the Time of the 1986 Amnesty; The ILGWU Immigration Project and the Relevance of Social Unionism — Gabriel Lattanzio
The Making of the United Farm Worker Union (UFW) Historiography: 1965 to 1980 — Jose Moreno
Chicanos Revolt against Literacy Tests in the Pacific Northwest — Josué Q. Estrada

People’s History: What Is It? What Might It Become?

A way of doing history that Jesse Lemisch long ago christened “doing history from the bottom up” has recently lost Vincent Harding, David Montgomery, Alfred Young, and Howard Zinn. The conference theme of Fighting Inequality requires a history in which the past and the possible future are seen through the eyes of the poor, the […]

New Perspectives on Activism and Economic Inequality in the 1970s and 80s

The 1970s and ‘80s are remembered as decades in which “staying alive” proved tremendously difficult for working people and organized labor. This panel investigates a range of new strategies by which working Americans continued to fight against income inequality and advocate for workplace rights in these years, even as policy makers increasingly embraced neoliberal economics. […]