International Labor and Working-Class History

Call for review essays
The editorial board at International Labor and Working-Class History is pleased to announce an exciting change in the format of the journal. We will gradually be eliminating standard reviews of single books in order to replace them with fewer but much longer, more substantial, and more provocative review essays on particular issues, themes or problems. Rather than analyzing the merit of particular volumes, we hope to make the review session a forum for drawing together "state of the debate" approaches to knowledge about global labor history.

The essay format is familiar to us all, but it will be particularly appropriate for ILWCH, which has a unique scope and mission among academic journals. We hope that the review essays will allow people to craft an essay with a geographic focus on, say, new studies of unfree labor Latin America, or post-colonial labor in Africa, or Chinese labor since liberalization. Alternatively, it could draw various works together thematically from different nations or regions: public sector work, immigration, deindustrialization, slavery, decolonization, informal economy, etc, in one or more countries. We are wide open to creative ideas here, including looking at films, revisiting old classics in the literature, and the making of innovative connections that we would not normally see in book reviews. The emphasis will be on the realm of ideas and analysis rather than on simple academic adjudication of books. While we realize that we will not be able to review every deserving book because of this switch--and apologize in advance for that--there are other journals of record that will continue to offer thorough coverage of the published literature.

Essays will cover approximately three to five books and be of 5,000- 6,000 words in length. Proposals are very welcome, and we will be more than happy to help reviewers round out or hone down an appropriate list of books. If you would like to propose an essay idea to the editorial board, please send it to:

Jefferson Cowie
Associate Professor, Cornell University
Int'l Labor and Working-Class History