CFP “Bread, Yes, But Roses Too”Government, Public Sector Unions, and Common Wealth – Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (Deadline: January 13, 2012)

Call for Papers, Workshops and Presentations for the 2012 Conference, to be held in Tacoma, Washington May 18 – 20.

Bread, Yes, But Roses Too: What Are the Roles of Government and Public Sector Unions in Creating and Sharing Our Common Wealth?

The presidential election year of 2012 offers an opportunity to reassess and relearn some of the history of labor-based politics from 100 years ago, when a Socialist candidate (Eugene Debs) received 1,000,000 votes in a run for president. In addition, 2012 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the “Bread and Roses” strike, when thousands of textile workers of many nationalities united to win a historic union victory in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In this conference we will reflect on this strike, including the role of art and music in the struggle, discuss the past and future of the public sector and public sector unionism, and consider labor’s role in electing government leaders committed to achieving a good life for all.

Conference sessions will be held in the heart of Tacoma’s historic downtown district. We invite proposals for academic research papers, panels and individual presentations, interactive workshops, drama, music, art, memorabilia displays, and other forms of presentation. Interactive sessions are preferred, and the reading of papers is discouraged.

We welcome all submissions including those that address:

  • Public sector union struggles in Canada and the U.S., including the struggle to save and expand the public sector itself
  • The meaning of common wealth: what kind of public goods and social wage should working people demand (education, public transportation, health care, parks, culture, etc.)?
  • Justice in growing, harvesting, distributing, and selling food, flowers, and forest products
  • Remembering the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike, including the role of women & immigrants
  • Achieving justice in historical accounts and in society for African Americans, other people of color, immigrants and women – How to reform a prison-industrial complex that is creating a “new Jim Crow”
  • Arts and the public sector, including public employment of arts workers and educators – Public policy and correcting America’s massive maldistribution of wealth
  • Labor in US and Canadian national, provincial, state, and local electoral politics, 1912 compared to 2012
  • War and its impact on progressive politics: 1912 to 1919, and today.

Proposal deadline is January 13, 2012. Please send a short summary and list of all presenters to Tom Lux, PNLHA VP-Washington, by email to [email protected]; or by mail to 17502 47th Ave NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155 USA. For further information contact Tom Lux at 206.367.0288. For updates, check our website: