Call for Proposals

Labor and Empire Small Conference

The journal Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas invites paper submissions for its upcoming conference–tentatively slotted for November 13-15, 2014 in Santa Barbara, California–on working people and imperial history. The conference defines imperial history broadly, encompassing not only the history of “classic” colonial-imperial settings, but of projects to reproduce state and corporate power through their extension across space. It will be interested in both the labor of empire—the work that it took to build large-scale power systems—and the roles of workers, peasants and indigenous people in challenging and enabling these systems in both core and periphery. Suggested themes include: the military and labor (from soldiers to contractors to sex workers); the militarization of “civilian” labor regimes; the relationship between organized labor and US global power; working-class imperial and anti-imperial politics; the tourist industry as a site of imperial labor; the imperial organization of labor migration and restriction systems; indigenous politics and labor regimes in colonial settings; the racializing and gendering of imperial labor relations; the environment and the work of imperial extraction; and the globalizing of labor organizing and resistance politics. We anticipate a primary focus on the U.S. empire, in whatever global region its power is felt, but we also encourage comparative perspectives with a labor focus.

Please send proposals consisting of a one-paragraph paper description and a brief CV to Paul Kramer ( and Julie Greene ( and CC LABOR ( Proposals are due by November 1, 2013.