Grants & Prizes

Herbert G. Gutman Prize for Outstanding Dissertation

The Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) is pleased to announce its annual Herbert Gutman Dissertation Prize, established with the cooperation with the University of Illinois Press. LAWCHA, founded in 1998, encourages the study of working-class men and women, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal contexts. It aims to promote an international, theoretically informed, comparative, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and diverse labor and working-class history.

The dissertation prize is named in honor of the late Herbert G. Gutman, a pioneering labor historian in the U.S. and a founder of the University of Illinois Press’s “Working Class in American History” Series. LAWCHA hopes that the spirit of Gutman’s inquiry into the many facets of labor and working-class history will live on through this prize. The winner will receive a cash prize of $500 from LAWCHA and a publishing contract with the University of Illinois Press. The prize award is contingent upon the author’s acceptance of the contract with the University of Illinois Press.

Eligible dissertations must be in English, concerned with U.S. labor and working-class history broadly conceived, and defended in the academic year 2013-14 (September 1, 2013-August 31, 2014). Applicants are not required to be members of LAWCHA at the time of the submission. The winner will be announced at our national conference.

To apply for the Gutman Prize, email LAWCHA@Duke.edu the title of your dissertation, the date of your defense, the name of your advisor, and a PDF copy of the dissertation; and mail (3) three hard copies of the dissertation and a letter of endorsement from the dissertation advisor stating the date of the defense by January 3rd, 2015 to:

LAWCHA
226 Carr Building (East Campus)
Duke University
Box 90719

2013 Prize

Winner: Vilja Hulden for her 2011 University of Arizona dissertation, “Employers, Unite! Organized Employer Reactions to the Labor Union Challenge in the Progressive Era.” Advisor: David Gibbs.

2012 Committee: Nelson Lichtenstein UC-Santa Barbara, Chair; Michael Pierce, University of Arkansas; and Heather Thompson, Temple University.

Past Winners

  • 2012 Winner: Marjorie Elizabeth Wood for her 2011 University of Chicago dissertation, “Emancipating the Child Laborer: Children, Freedom, and the Moral Boundaries of the Market in the United States, 1853-1938.” Advisor: Thomas Holt.
  • 2011 Winner: Jacob Remes, “Cities of Comrades: Urban Disasters and the Formation of the North American Progressive State.” (Duke University, Advisor: Gunther Peck)
  • 2010 Winner: Jessie B. Ramey, “A Childcare Crisis: Poor Black and White Families and Orphanages in Pittsburgh, 1878-1929” (Carnegie-Mellon University, Advisor: Tera W. Hunter)

  • 2009 Winner: Michael Rosenow, “Injuries to All: The Rituals of Dying and the Politics of Death among United States Workers, 1877-1910” (University of Illinois, Advisor: James R. Barrett)
  • 2008 Winner: Jarod Roll, “Road to the Promised Land: Rural Rebellion in the New Cotton South, 1890-1945” (Northwestern University, Advisor: Nancy Maclean)

Philip Taft Labor History Book Award  

The Cornell University ILR School, in collaboration with LAWCHA, is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Philip Taft History Award for the best book in American labor and working-class history published in 2010. The winner is Cindy Hahamovitch, No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor(Princeton University Press). Based on extensive research in archival collections and oral history interviews across national and imperial borders, Cindy Hahamovitch offers an incisive and expansive history of Jamaican “guestworkers” in the United States since World War II. Revealing the intricate dynamics between local and global contexts and between individual aspirations and corporate demands, Hahamovitch’s engrossing interpretation stands as a cautionary tale of how state regulation of labor migration produced working conditions detrimental to all workers, especially to guestworkers subjected to a permanent state of deportability.

For information on nominations for the 2013 Prize, please visit the Taft Award website. <www.ilr.cornell.edu/taftaward/>