Initiative on Labor and Culture at Yale University


Colloquia 2009-2010

Workers of the World:

Christy Glass, "Work and Welfare during Market Transition: A Gendered Analysis of Social Change in Eastern Europe"

Christy Glass teaches sociology at Utah State University and has written widely on gender, work and welfare in Eastern Europe.

Thursday, March 4, 2010, 4PM, HGS 217A

“Come On Down”
A screening of a new independent film on working retail, followed by a discussion with the film's writer, director, producer and lead actors. Co-sponsored with American Studies, Film Studies, and Public Humanities at Yale.

Thursday, February 25, 2010, 4:30 PM

Linsley-Chittenden Hall, Room 317


Colloquia 2008-2009

Reconsidering the U.S. Labor Movement

A semester-long series of colloquia and roundtable discussions on contemporary unionism and labor activism featuring:

Dorothy Sue Cobble, "Making the Next Labor Movement Possible"

Dorothy Sue Cobble is professor of labor studies, history, and women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University. Her books include the award-winning Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century (Illinois, 1991); Women and Unions: Forging a Partnership (Cornell, 1993); The Other Women’s Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton, 2004), which won the Philip Taft Book Prize for the best book in American labor history in 2004; and The Sex of Class: Women Transforming American Labor (Cornell, 2007). Her current research focuses on the rise and fall of working-class liberalism in the twentieth century U.S.; global initiatives to revalue service work; and the intellectual legacy of pre-New Deal forms of unionism for labor and human rights movements today.

Monday, January 26, 2009, 7PM, HGS 211

Breakfast and roundtable discussion, Tuesday, January 27, 10:30AM, HGS 105.

A Conversation with Anna Burger, of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), on the Future of the Labor Movement

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

co-sponsored with Ezra Stiles College


Roundtable Discussion with John Borsos and Martha Vazquez of United Healthcare Workers West

Thursday, February 26, 2009

co-sponsored with Ezra Stiles College


Social Movement Activism After Yale:

A Conversation with Javier Morillo ('91) on his organizing work for an SEIU local in Minnesota.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009, Ezra Stiles College

Co-sponsored with ER&M and Ezra Stiles College.

Marc Bousquet, "How the University Works"

Marc Bousquet is Associate Professor of English at Santa Clara University, where he teaches courses on radicalism, the Left, and new media. He is the founding editor of the online journal Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor and the author of the new book, How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (NYU, 2008).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Breakfast and roundtable discussion, Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Remapping Cultural Studies:

Fred Turner, "From the Counterculture to the New Economy: Information Work and the Dream of Virtual

Fred Turner is Assistant Professor of Communications and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Stanford University. He is the author of From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (2006) and Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory (1996; Revised 2nd ed. 2001).

Thursday, November 20, 2008, 4:30 PM, HGS 211

Breakfast and roundtable discussion, Friday, November 21, 10:30 AM, HGS 105


Colloquia 2007-2008

“Made in L.A.”
A screening of the new labor documentary, Made in L.A., followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Jennifer Klein, with the filmmakers, Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar, as well Fátima Rojas and Juan Granados of Unidad Latina en Acción, and Elizabeth Breton from the UNITE-HERE Joint Laundry Board. Co-sponsored with the Program in Ethnicity, Race and Migration.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 7 PM

Linsley-Chittenden Hall, Room 317

"From the Plantation to the Prison: Imprisonment and U.S. Culture”

A one-day conference, co-sponsored with the Whitney Humanities Center’s Working Group on Marxism and Cultural Theory and the Initiative on Race, Gender and Globalization.

A day of discussions featuring:

Colin Dayan, Warren Professor of the Humanities at Vanderbilt University, and the author of The Story of Cruel and Unusual.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, and of Geography, University of Southern California, and the author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California.
Dylan Rodriguez, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California-Riverside, and the author of Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime.

with responses featuring faculty and graduate students in the Marxist and Cultural Theory Working Group.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

10 AM-5:30 PM

Whitney Humanities Center

Reconsidering Historical Materialism:

A Conversation with Vijay Prashad, the author of many books in ethnic and postcolonial studies, and professor of International Studies and Kellner Chair of South Asian History at Trinity College, about his latest book The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Whitney Humanities Center


Colloquia 2006-2007

Reconsidering Historical Materialism:

A Conversation with Achille Mbembe, the author of On the Postcolony and Research Professor of History and Politics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, on “The Political Life of Sovereignty.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Whitney Humanities Center

Workers of the World:

"Class Acts: Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels"
The ILC , together with Labyrinth Books, celebrates the publication of Yale sociologist Rachel Sherman’s book, Class Acts, with a conversation between the author and Michael Denning, followed by a reception.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 5:30 PM

Labyrinth Books


Colloquia 2005-2006

"The Biopolitics of Global Subjectivity"

A one-day conference at Yale University, organized with the Working Group on Globalization and Culture, with panels on:

“Moral Geographies and Religious Subjects”
Melani McAlister, Associate Professor of American Civilization at George Washington University, and the author of Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and U.S. Interests in the Middle East since 1945. She is currently working on a book entitled Our God in the World: The Global Visions of American Evangelicals.

“What’s Mobile about the Global? Movement, Space, Subjectivity”
Sandhya Shukla, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, and the author of India Abroad: Diasporic Cultures of Postwar America and England.She is currently working on a book entitled Cross-Cultures of Twentieth-Century Harlem.

“New Imperialisms and Popular Challenges”
Maria Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, and the author of The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development. She is currently working on Colonial Melancholy and the Racial Geography of the Postmodern Americas which compares the lasting effects of
British and Spanish racial projects in the Americas on postmodern and modern fiction.

“Immaterial Labor and Global Disciplines”
Andrew Ross, Professor of American Studies at New York University. His most recent books include Low Pay, High Profile: The Global Push for Fair Labor, No-Collar: The Humane Workplace and its Hidden Costs, and Fast Boat to China: Corporate Flight and the Consequences of Free Trade: Lessons from Shanghai.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hall of Graduate Studies, Room 401

Remapping Cultural Studies:

Kathy Newman,"'Burlesque with an Antenna': Television, Postwar History and the Origin of Cultural Studies"

Kathy M. Newman is Associate Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the author of Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism (2004). This talk is drawn from her second book, still in progress, titled: "Lowbrow: The Forgotten Culture of the 1950s." Newman is also a freelance writer for such publications as Pittsburgh City Paper and California Magazine, and she received her Ph.D. in American Studies at Yale in 1997.

Thursday, February 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
Hall of Graduate Studies, room 119

Co-sponsored by American Studies

Workers of the World:

Joel Beinin, "Egyptian Textile Workers: From Craft Artisans Facing European Competition to Proletarians Contending with the State."

Joel Beinin is Professor of History at Stanford University. He is the author of Workers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East (2001), The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora (1998), Was the Red Flag Flying There? Marxist Politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in Egypt and Israel, 1948-1965 (1990), and with Zackary Lockman, Works on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (1987). He is the editor with Joe Stork of Political Islam: Essays from the Middle East Report (1996), and with Zachary Lockman, Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation (1989).

Thursday, November 17, 2005, 4:30pm

Hall of Graduate Studies, room 211

Roundtable Discussion, Friday, November 18, 10:30am

Hall of Graduate Studies, room 105

Reconsidering Historical Materialism:

A Conversation with Michael Hardt, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Duke University. He is the author of Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy (1993), and with Antonio Negri, of Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004), Empire (2000), and Labor of Dionysus: A Critique of the State-Form (1994). He has also edited with Kathi Weeks, The Jameson Reader  (2000), and with Paolo Virno, Radical Thought in Italy (1996). (Click here for video of Michael Hardt discussing his life, collaborations with Antonio Negri, Empire, and radical politics.)

Tuesday, October 25, 7pm

Whitney Humanities Center, room 116

Co-sponsored with the Working Group on Marxism and Cultural Theory

Workers of the World:

David Montgomery, "Workers' Movements and Imperialism: From Berlin (1884) to Baku (1920)"

David Montgomery is the Farnan Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. His best-known books are The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925 (Pulitzer Prize finalist nomination, 1988), Citizen Worker: The Experience of Workers in the United States with Democracy and the Free Market During the Nineteenth Century (1993), Workers' Control in America: Studies in the History of Work, Technology, and Labor Struggles (1979), and Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862-1872 (1967). He has recently co-authored Black Workers' Struggle for Equality in Birmingha (2004).

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005, 4:30 PM

Whitney Humanities Center, room 208

Commentator: Blanca G. Silvestrini, Professor of History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is the author of Women and Resistance in Caribbean Contemporary Societies (1990), Politics, Society and Culture in the Caribbean (1984), Violencia y criminalidad en Puerto Rico, 1898–1973: Apuntes para um estudo de historia social (1980), Los trabajadores puertorriquenõs y el Partido Socialista, 1932–1940 (1978), and the co-author of Historia de Puerto Rico: Trayectoria de un pueblo (1987).


Colloquia 2004-2005

Reconsidering Historical Materialism:

A Conversation with Perry Anderson, Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, editor of New Left Review, and author of Passages From Antiquity to Feudalism (1974), Lineages of the Absolutist State (1974), In the Tracks of Historical Materialism (1985), English Questions (1992), A Zone of Engagement (1992), The Origins of Postmodernity (1998), Extra-Time: World Politics Since 1989 (2004), and Figures in The Forest (2005). (Watch Perry Anderson in conversation with Harry Kreisler here.)

Wednesday, April 20, 10:30 am
First & Summerfield United Methodist Church

Co-sponsored with the Marxism and Cultural Theory Working Group

Workers of the World:

Stephen J. Pitti, "Tracking the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez: A History."

Stephen J. Pitti is Professor in the History Department and American Studies, Yale University, and the author of The Devil in Silicon Valley: Race, Mexican Americans, and Northern California (2003).


Wednesday, April 13, 4:30 pm
Hall of Graduate Studies, room 211

Workers of the World:

Lillian Guerra, "Seremos Como Martí: Workers and Contradiction in the Cuban Revolution."

Lillian Guerra is Assistant Professor of Caribbean History at Yale University, and the author of Popular Expression and National Identity in Puerto Rico (1998) and The Myth of José Martí: Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth Century Cuba (2005). She has also published two books of Spanish-language poetry on themes of displacement and Latino identity.

Wednesday, March 30, 4:30 pm
Hall of Graduate Studies, room 211

Workers of the World:

Ching Kwan Lee, "'Made in China': Labor's Contentious Transition from State Socialism."

Ching Kwan Lee is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the author of Gender and the South China Miracle (1998) and In the Twilight of Socialism: Chinese Workers' Livelihood Struggles in Reform China (forthcoming).

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 4:30 pm
Hall of Graduate Studies, room 119A

Round Table Discussion, Thursday, Feb. 24, 10:30 am
Hall of Graduate Studies, room 105

Co-sponsored with the Initiative on Race, Gender and Globalization

Working Group on Globalization and Culture, "Another World is Possible: Report on the 2005 World Social Forum in Brazil." (Amanda Ciafone, Michael Denning, Dan Gilbert, Sumanth Gopinath, Myra Jones-Taylor, Nazima Kadir, Christina Moon, and Naomi Paik) with Tanya Agathocleous.

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 7 pm
Hall of Graduate Studies, room 119

Co-sponsored with the American Studies Colloquium Series

Social Movement Activism After Yale:

Eunice Hyunhye Cho, "Building Bridges, Dismantling Borders: Working for Social Justice After Yale."

Eunice Hyunhye Cho (CC'00) is BRIDGE Project coordinator at the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She has co-authored the award winning BRIDGE: Building a Race and Immigration Dialogue in the Global Economy: A Popular Education Resource for Immigrant & Refugee Community Organizers (2004).

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 4:30 pm

Master's Tea, Ezra Stiles College

Co-sponsored with Ezra Stiles College

Workers of the World:

David Bacon, "From Tijuana to Baghdad -- Who Pays the Price of Globalization?"

David Bacon is a journalist and photographer. He is the author of The Children of Nafta: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (2004) and a regular contributor to The Nation, The Progressive, Z Magazine, The American Prospect, and L.A. Weekly. His photographs and articles can be seen at

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2004, 4:30 pm
W. L. Harkness Hall, Room 116

Round Table Discussion, Thursday, Oct. 21, 10:30 am
Hall of Graduate Studies, Room 105

Initiative on Labor and Culture at Yale University