Category: Labor Studies

Anne Balay: As GLBT freedoms expand, who benefits–and who doesn’t

Queer rights becomes the paradigmatic symbol of the west – in Russia, gay liberation had gained some momentum until Putin linked gay rights with Western values, which then led to the systematic, legal oppression of gays in Russia today. The government is literally going into homes of gay people and taking their children away. And these Russian gays can’t hide, because during the period of comparative freedom, they had come out, and now have public personas. There’s no such thing as going back into the closet – once you’re out, that’s that. Their little window of freedom now targets them for state-sponsored abuse as the freedom and progress queers experience in the USA is used to punish queers globally. Continue Reading Anne Balay: As GLBT freedoms expand, who benefits–and who doesn’t

Excerpt: Creating Consumers, by Carolyn M. Goldstein

Like Marye Dahnke, dozens of home economists carved out spaces for themselves in the consumer products industries in the early 1920s. While home economists in business struggled to win legitimacy within the American Home Economics Association (AHEA), they also faced challenges convincing corporate executives and managers that their expertise was necessary to effective consumer-oriented production and marketing. Continue Reading Excerpt: Creating Consumers, by Carolyn M. Goldstein

Excerpt: Commonsense Anticommunism by Jennifer Luff

Doubting the capacity of the law to distinguish between legitimate militancy and subversive radicalism, labor conservatives disapproved of legislation outlawing sedition. Instead they pursued a voluntarist program of evangelizing about the evils of Communism and excluding Communists from AFL unions. In the aftermath of the first Red Scare, labor conservatives formed a crucial backstop against reaction. In the late 1930s, the situation changed. Alienated from the New Deal order and at odds with liberal union leaders in the competing Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO), labor conservatives abandoned commonsense anticommunism for calculated red-baiting. Continue Reading Excerpt: Commonsense Anticommunism by Jennifer Luff

Excerpt: Living the Revolution, by Jennifer Guglielmo

Dolly’s story is one of many that take us into the complex humanity of Italian immigrant women. She was anything but a victim. Throughout her life she embodied a full range of possibility. While her actions were at times controversial, she was decisive, savvy, and acted on her own behalf and in service of those in her community. It seems she learned this from her own mother Rosa, whose combined wisdom and ability to act was what saved her grandson’s life. Continue Reading Excerpt: Living the Revolution, by Jennifer Guglielmo

Historians on ‘The Help’: Vanessa May and Rebecca Sharpless Respond

Historians Vanessa May and Rebecca Sharpless discuss what’s wrong and what’s right with ‘The Help.’ Continue Reading Historians on ‘The Help’: Vanessa May and Rebecca Sharpless Respond

Philip Rubio comments on black unemployment & the legacy of segregation

Philip F. Rubio, postal worker-turned-history scholar and author of There’s Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality, has recently lent his expertise on race issues in government employment and especially the postal service in two very different but equally fascinating news outlets.  In a recent Huffington Post feature, “Black… Continue Reading Philip Rubio comments on black unemployment & the legacy of segregation

It’s time for our Spring ’11 titles to take the Page 99 Test–I hope they studied.

It’s been a while since we’ve put any of our books to the Page 99 Test.  Let’s make up for lost time, shall we?  Just as a refresher, the Page 99 Test follows Ford Madox Ford’s suggestion to “open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” Read on to… Continue Reading It’s time for our Spring ’11 titles to take the Page 99 Test–I hope they studied.

Vanessa May: When the Workplace Is Someone Else’s Home

Today we welcome a guest post from Vanessa May, author of Unprotected Labor: Household Workers, Politics, and Middle-Class Reform in New York, 1870-1940 (June 2011). Here she reflects on how some of the recent policies that now protect domestic workers in New York mirror the struggle for rights and reform during the era highlighted in her book.  The passing of… Continue Reading Vanessa May: When the Workplace Is Someone Else’s Home

EPIC SALE TIME!!

It’s EPIC SALE TIME! Over 700 UNC Press books are on sale! Read more about the huge deals here. Continue Reading EPIC SALE TIME!!

International Women’s Day Megapost Spectacular!

Happy International Women’s Day!  People are recognizing and celebrating the importance of women all over the world–check out the #InternationalWomensDay hashtag on Twitter to see the many ways people are expressing their appreciation for women today.  Here in the U.S., the month of March is National Women’s History Month, where we celebrate the many great achievements by women over the… Continue Reading International Women’s Day Megapost Spectacular!

Lisa Levenstein on Balancing Budgets and Public Employees

The recent events concerning public sector workers in Wisconsin have brought a great deal of reflecting and attention to the ways in which the government, at both the state and national levels, spends and saves money. UNC Press author Lisa Levenstein, with economics doctoral student Jason Brent, wrote an Op-ed in this past Sunday’s Greensboro News & Record on the… Continue Reading Lisa Levenstein on Balancing Budgets and Public Employees

Leon Fink: Oceanic Piracy–A War without Nations

In today’s guest post, Leon Fink, author of Sweatshops at Sea: Merchant Seamen in the World’s First Globalized Industry, from 1812 to the Present, reflects on the recent Somali pirate attack on a group of Americans on a private yacht.  With piracy on the rise off the Somali coast, the relationship between commerce, globalization, power, and security becomes problematic.  Fink… Continue Reading Leon Fink: Oceanic Piracy–A War without Nations

Remembering Allan Berube, historian of gays in the military

I currently have a live feed of the Senate Committee Hearing on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell open in another window on what would have been Allan Bérubé’s 64th birthday. Despite wide support of DADT’s repeal by President Obama and other high-ranking officials, Senator McCain and other Republican leaders are challenging any change in the policy before the year’s end, expressing… Continue Reading Remembering Allan Berube, historian of gays in the military

Philip Rubio hits the airwaves to talk snail mail and the effects of postal cuts on African American postal workers

The U.S. Postal Service faces an $8.5 million budget shortfall this year. NPR is broadcasting a series of stories about cuts in postal services and facilities and the lives and communities already being affected. One person with great insight into the social history of the USPS is Philip Rubio, author of There’s Always Work at the Post Office: African American… Continue Reading Philip Rubio hits the airwaves to talk snail mail and the effects of postal cuts on African American postal workers

The starting lineup for The Journal of the Civil War Era

Back in April we mentioned a call for papers for the inaugural edition of The Journal of the Civil War Era, a peer-review journal published in collaboration with UNC Press and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Pennsylvania State University. There’s been great response, and the issues are starting to take shape. We’ve got a special… Continue Reading The starting lineup for The Journal of the Civil War Era

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911

As a continuation of our series of posts on National Women’s History Month, today’s post will be about an event from 99 years ago today–the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. While horrific–146 workers, mostly poor Italian, German, and Jewish women between the ages of eight and twenty perished–the fire at Triangle Shirtwaist holds an important place in… Continue Reading The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911