From the Affiliated Societies column in the April 2013 issue of Perspectives on History
Affiliated Societies: Labor and Working-Class History Association
AHA Staff, April 2013
The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) will hold its national conference around the theme of "Rights, Solidarity, and Justice" in New York City, June 6–8, 2013. More than 80 sessions of academic panels, roundtables, workshops, and plenaries will focus on how varied groups of working people have organized historically to challenge their employers, each other, their communities, and the state to seek justice and improve their lives. In the present moment, faced with obstacles to organizing that evoke the past, workers and their allies are creating innovative organizational forms and strategies in the United States and around the world.
Graduate students, labor educators, public school teachers, labor activists, as well as academic historians and social scientists are well represented on the program. Panels explore such wide-ranging historical topics as precarious and excluded workers, sex work and state regulation, workers' resistance to the carceral state, empire, working-class feminist organizing and labor politics, and the meanings of citizenship.
A significant share of the program addresses contemporary issues facing workers: blue-green alliances and environmental struggles, "guerrilla history" and the Wisconsin struggle, Chicago teachers and social movement unionism, contingent faculty as a new majority in universities, and labor history and civic engagement. The program also includes updates on struggles to save sites of labor's public memory at Blair Mountain, West Virginia; Lawrence, Massachusetts; and Ludlow, Colorado. Scholars and activists from a number of other countries—Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Denmark, Austria, and Turkey—will also be part of the program. A plenary session on the opening day of the conference will feature activists and scholars Frances Fox Piven, Richard Wolff, Bill Fletcher, and Saket Soni discussing "The Assault on Labor and the Public Sector: Strategies for Resistance in the Post-Election Environment."
Most sessions will be held at the Brooklyn College Graduate Center for Worker Education, 25 Broadway in lower Manhattan (near the Bowling Green subway station). Program details and information about registration and housing are available at the LAWCHA website. All are welcome to join us for what promises to be a very exciting conference.
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