LAWCHA 2017 Conference Call for Papers

Call for Proposals

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The Labor and Working Class History Association, an organization of scholars, teachers, students, labor educators and activists, welcomes individual and session proposals for the 2017 LAWCHA conference in Seattle, June 23-25. The conference theme will be Scales of Struggle: Communities, Movements, and Global Connections.

Workers’ struggles today, as in the past, illustrate the interconnections between local communities, regional and national social movements, and the structures of global capitalism. Workers’ lives are marked by new challenges that have historical antecedents and historical parallels: involuntary migrations of people displaced by economic transformation, capital mobility, war and disaster; persistent structures of discrimination, inequality, and political disfranchisement; and the invention of new forms of proletarianized and contingent labor. To meet these challenges workers have invented new forms of struggle ranging from work-based organization to social movements, from direct action to educational campaigns, from local alliances to transnational coalitions.

How did different scales of struggle in the past affect the nature of work, forms of exploitation, workers’ agency and workers’ dreams? What bearing does history have for understanding contemporary challenges? In what ways can teachers, as workers and educators, shape and convey these histories?

The Program Committee invites proposals that address the broad theme of Scales of Struggle and related sub-themes of: War and Empire (on the centenary of the U.S. entry into World War I reconsidering the revolutions and anti-colonial movements of the twentieth century that transformed workers’ struggles); Borders and Coalitions (exploring ways in which working people have negotiated the presence of geo-political, economic, socio-cultural and conceptual borders from the personal to the transnational); Struggling for Justice (examining labor’s part in movements for social, economic, racial and gender justice, past and present); and the Public Work of Labor History (uncovering the work of teachers, labor educators and public historians to bring labor’s story to broad publics from the classroom to new media, from walking tours to commemorative events). Proposals on other labor and working class topics also welcome.

LAWCHA seeks a dynamic and inclusive program. The Program Committee welcomes full session and individual proposals, in a range of formats, encompassing teaching and professional development sessions as well as historically focused proposals on all chronological eras and geographical areas. The committee encourages sessions whose presenters, as well as topics, reflect intersectionalities inclusive of race, class, gender, sexuality and identity, employment and rank. The committee looks forward to individual or collaborative proposals from scholars, teachers, students, labor educators and activists, and public historians.

Guidelines for Proposals

Sessions will be scheduled for 75 minutes, including 30 minutes for discussion among speakers and attendees. Proposals may take one of the following forms:

  • Panel, roundtable, or workshop with multiple presenters
  • Individual presentation
  • Performance, reading, display, or screening

Proposals should include:

  • Proposed title and a brief description (full session proposals should include an abstract for the session and for each paper/presentation)
  • Suggested session title (or topic)
  • One-paragraph biography for each presenter
  • Contact information for each presenter, including mailing and e-mail addresses
  • Technology needs, if any

Deadline for proposals: October 15, 2016.

Send inquiries to [email protected].