Events (Old)

Bread and Roses Strike Centennial Anniversary – Call for Papers, Cultural, and Video Presentation (Deadline: July 1)

When 30,000 workers walked out of Lawrence’s textile mills in the dead of a New England winter in January 1912, they launched an epic confrontation between capital and labor. With immigrant women playing a central role, the strike gained national prominence. To commemorate the strike’s100th anniversary and to consider its lessons for today, the Lawrence History Center is issuing a call for papers, art, spoken word, and video presentations for a Bread & Roses centennial conference to be held in Lawrence, Massachusetts on Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, 2012.

Submissions of individual papers and panel presentations will be considered through July 1, 2011. Graduate, undergraduate, and high school students are encouraged to submit. Include a brief biography of up to 250 words with your submission.

Notification on acceptance will be made by mid-Oct. 2011.

An edited book with several of the selected papers will be published in the Baywood Publishing Series, Work, Health and Environment.

Suggested paper/panel themes:

  • Immigrant Workers and Unionization Then and Lessons for Today
  • Women workers in the Bread & Roses Strike: Are There Lessons for Today?
  • How Did the Strike Story Resonate Beyond Lawrence?
  • Commemoration and Memory: How Lawrence Recalls the Strike
  • Teaching Strikes: Bread & Roses and Labor Studies
  • Community – Labor Coalitions for Change
  • Labor Activism and Political Repression
  • Strikes and Social Change: Then and Now
  • How the International Press Covered the Strike
  • Worker and Community Health and Safety in Lawrence Then and Now
  • The Hazards of Working with Wool
  • Imaging a Sustainable Lawrence: What Might 2062 Hold?
  • Organized Labor and the Church: Then and Now
  • The Roles of Music, Art and Spoken Word in Telling Labor’s Story
  • Immigrant Communities Then and Now

Activities and Events

  • A permanent multi-media history exhibit will be housed in the top
    floor of the Everett Mill building showcasing the strike’s lead-up,
    events, and aftermath. Artifacts, rare video from the strike, oral
    history recordings, publications, and original documents will be
    exhibited to tell the Bread and Roses story. Current and former UMass
    Lowell students and history department faculty are engaged in the
    creation of this exhibit, including Professor Forrant. Notables
    including the U.S. Secretary of Labor, the national president of the
    AFL-CIO, Governor Deval Patrick, and Senators John Kerry and Scott
    Brown will be extended invitations to attend the opening of the
    exhibit. This event will garner national and international attention.
  • An exhibit of famed painter Ralph Fasanella’s original works
    depicting moments in the Bread and Roses strike to be displayed in
    Lawrence. Fasanella spent considerable time living and working in
    Lawrence and his paintings are widely known and revered.
  • An academic symposium in Lawrence of students and scholars from
    across the country who will present work that relates to the strike?s
    themes and lessons. The symposium will include a weekend-long series
    of panel discussions, presentations, lectures, and walking-tours of
    the city. The symposium is being chaired by Professor Forrant. Over a
    dozen area colleges and universities are supporters of the symposium.
  • Bread and Roses Labor Day 2012 Festival. Vendors, labor unions,
    community groups, and local businesses will join prominent performers,
    business leaders, public officials, and union leaders to help
    Lawrencians celebrate labor day and the strike?s centennial.
  • Lawrence Reads. Through the public library age-appropriate
    histories of the strike books will be simultaneously read and
    discussed across the city.

For more information, see the Lawrence History Center Bread and Roses Symposium Site or contact Professor Bob Forrant at