Working women have a long history of fighting injustice on multiple fronts and leading social change. A century ago, women labor activists played vanguard roles in movements for child protection, social welfare, and women’s rights in and beyond the workplace. The pattern continues today, as working women take up battles for a living wage, healthcare, immigrant rights, equal pay, racial justice, and workers’ right to organize—issues that grow sharper as the gap between the 1% and everyone else continues to expand.
Our conference in honor of Women’s History Month 2016 will analyze and celebrate this tradition and explore the following questions: How can working women’s movements fight off conservative assaults and who are the allies in that fight? What strategies have worked—or not worked—in the past, and what can we learn from them? Can examples set by rising movements among women, youth, LGBTQIA communities, and people of color re-invigorate the mainstream labor movement? How might the labor movement become a better vehicle for the larger movement for social justice, and what is women’s role in this rebirth?
We seek papers, panels, films and performances that address these themes. Specific topics include but are not limited to:
- Working-class feminism
- Workers’ centers and women’s activism
- Queer labor history
- Women and socialism
- Women’s global resistance to neoliberalism
- Struggles for wage equality
- Labor sheroes, past and present
- Women’s work for justice in their communities
- Gender in the struggle for immigrant rights
- Latino Labor Movements
- The politics of housework, paid and unpaid
- African American Labor Struggles
- Women’s struggles in traditionally male trades
- Movement-building’s nuts and bolts
Proposals should be no more than two pages maximum. Proposals for panels are especially welcome, but we will also consider individual papers.
Please include a description of each presentation and a one page c.v. for each presenter. Email submissions are preferred.
Deadline for proposals: December 7, 2015
Tara James, Associate Director, Graduate Program in Women’s and Gender History
Sarah Lawrence College, 1 Mead Way, Bronxville, New York 10708