January 8-9, 2015. The University of Sydney, Australia. This conference aims to bring together historians and scholars interested in exploring the comparative and transnational dimensions of the labor history of both Australia and the US. Final schedule now available, and registration is now open!
Historians and other scholars have long recognized both similarities and differences in the labour experience in Australia and the United States. Both countries were built upon European expansion and settlement at the expense of native peoples. The Australian labour movement developed a vigorous Labour Party, while the US did not. Once robust, union membership in both countries has been in decline in recent years. Divisions based on gender, race and class have been significant in both countries. Movements in both countries exchanged ideas and individuals. While Australians have been interested in scientific management, and in the organizational strategies embodied in the Knights of Labour and the IWW, in the US the Australian experience with compulsory arbitration and labour politics has drawn significant attention.