Work: The Politics of Laboring in American History

Call fro papers, deadline 3 February 2014

Work: The Politics of Laboring in American History Graduate Student Conference in US History, University of Michigan Department of History May 9-10, 2014

Farming, selling, creating, producing, reading, believing, policing, organizing, ministering, cooperating, dissenting, buying, writing, and nurturing. This conference will consider the myriad forms of work throughout American history, in order to engage scholarship in a wide range of subfields and disciplines. While race, gender, and class have become assumed and necessary categories of analysis, we offer "work" as a productive avenue for rethinking the politics of laboring. The question of work has been central to subfields such as labor, women's, and Latino history, but we propose to center work as a useful framework for historians across the broad landscape of colonial American, transnational, and modern US history. This conference will reflect on work in all of its forms, including slavery, waged and unwaged labor, industrial and domestic work, intellectual and cultural production, and the laboring body. We welcome individual paper proposals from graduate students inv!

estigating work in all periods of American history. What roles have race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, religion, and related categories played in shaping processes of laboring throughout American history? How might a reconsideration of work augment new scholarship on the history of capitalism?

We encourage paper proposals from a wide range of subfields, including political history, labor history, the history of the Atlantic World, African-American history, urban history, legal history, ethnic studies, gender history, labor and economic policy, and the history of U.S. empire and foreign policy. Proposals should include a 300-500 word abstract and a one-page c.v. Proposals should be in the form of individual papers only; a graduate student steering committee will make the selections and assemble the panels. Please direct any questions, and email your application materials, to by February 3, 2014.

Nora Krinitsky
PhD Candidate, History
University of Michigan 

[Cross-posted, with thanks, from H-Labor]