It’s been a pretty earth-shattering year for labor in the United States with walkouts at Walmart, fast food strikes across the nation and the passage of “right to work” legislation in Michigan.
Those seeking perspective on these changes might consider taking a look at what’s come before by checking out the 35th Annual North American Labor History Conference, which take’s place Oct. 24-26 at Wayne State’s McGregor Memorial Conference Center.
This year’s three-day conference features addresses, book talks, panels, roundtables, and other events related to a variety of topics under the theme of “Geographies of Labor.”
Special event offerings include film screenings of “Harvest of Empire” and “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.” Also scheduled is a guided tour of the DIA’s Diego Rivera Murals.
Researchers, union members, activists and students will attend meetings and discussions led by scholars from North America and around the globe. In addition to formal papers, the program includes poetry, discussions of labor activism and daily keynote addresses.
Francis Shor, WSU professor of history and NALHC organizer, says this year’s conference explores transformations in technology and economic, social, political and cultural practices over the last several centuries. “These transformations have created new spatial regimes within and across geographic boundaries. Whether negotiating the changes around them or taking advantage of new possibilities to shape alternatives, workers have been central to remapping this emergent environment.”