Grants & Prizes

David Montgomery Award

The David Montgomery Award is given annually by the OAH with co-sponsorship by the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) for the best book on a topic in American labor and working-class history. Eligible works shall be written in English and deal with United States history in significant ways but may include comparative or transnational studies that fall within these guidelines. The award is given in recognition of David Montgomery’s crucial role in pioneering new approaches to the study of working people and their history. David Montgomery was president of the OAH 1999-2000.

2017 Prize

Winner: Ryan Patrick Murphy, Deregulating Desire: Flight Attendant Activism, Family Politics, and Workplace Justice (Temple, 2016)

Past Winners

  • 2016 Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf, Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South: White Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie (University of Illinois Press, 2015)
  • 2015 Chantal Norrgard, Seasons of Change: Labor, Treaty Rights, and Ojibwe Nationhood (University of North Carolina Press)
  • 2014 2014 Stacey L. Smith, Oregon State University, Freedom’s Frontier: California and the Struggle over Unfree Labor, Emancipation, and Reconstruction (University of North Carolina Press)

Herbert G. Gutman Prize for Outstanding Dissertation

The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) is pleased to announce its annual Herbert Gutman Dissertation Prize, established in cooperation with the University of Illinois Press. LAWCHA encourages the study of working people, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal contexts. It aims to promote a diverse and cross-cultural understanding of labor and working-class history. And it encourages innovative, theoretically-informed and interdisciplinary approaches. Transnational and comparative studies are also welcomed.
 
The dissertation prize is named in honor of the late Herbert G. Gutman, a pioneering labor historian and a founder of the University of Illinois Press’s Working Class in American History Series. LAWCHA hopes that the spirit of Gutman’s inquiry into the many facets of labor and working-class history will live on through this prize.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $750 from LAWCHA along with up to $500 in travel expenses to attend the awards ceremony, and a contract to publish in the Working Class in American History Series. The prize award is contingent upon the author’s acceptance of the contract with the University of Illinois Press.

According to the Working Class in American History editors, the series publishes “research that illuminates the broad dimensions of working people’s influence in North America. We define working-class history capaciously and encourage submissions that explore waged, non-waged, and/or coerced labor, rural and urban settings, and the wide range of labor performed in non-industrial settings, from agriculture to domestic service and beyond. We welcome consideration of the diverse contexts of the lives of those who work, including legal, political, and ideological aspects, as well as parameters of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration. As we seek to enhance understanding of pre-industrial and industrializing worlds, we also explore the new challenges that workers face amidst deindustrialization, globalized production, and an expanding service economy. We particularly seek projects that reflect the mobile, international, and diverse nature of capital and labor and apply a transnational or comparative outlook to the study of the working class. We find compelling work that considers the centrality of working people within the history of capitalism.”
 
Eligible dissertations must be in English and defended in the academic year 2016-17 (September 1, 2016-August 31, 2017). Applicants are not required to be members of LAWCHA at the time of the submission. The winner will be announced at our national conference.
 
To apply send two copies of the dissertation (one pdf and one in Word.doc format) along with a letter from the dissertation advisor stating the date of the defense by January 1, 2018 to:

James Barrett, Chair
Herbert Gutman Dissertation Prize committee
[email protected]

2017 Prize

James C. Benton for “Fraying Fabric:  Textile Labor, Trade Politics, and Deindustrialization, 1933-1974” Georgetown University. Advisor: Joseph McCartin

2016 Committee: Jacob Remes, SUNY Empire State College; Jarrod Roll, University of Mississippi.

Past Winners

  • 2016 Winner: Stephen C. Beda, “Landscapes of Solidarity: Timber Workers and the Making of Place in the Pacific Northwest, 1900-1964” University of Washington, 2014
  • 2015 Winner: Jessica Wilkerson, “Where Movements Meet: From the War on Poverty to Grassroots Feminism in the Appalachian South” UNC-Chapel Hill, 2014. Advisor: Jacquelyn Dowd Hall
  • 2014 Winner: Jon Shelton, “Against the Public: Teacher Strikes and the Decline of Liberalism, 1968-1981,” University of Maryland, 2013. Advisor: Julie Greene
  • 2013 Winner: Vilja Hulden for her 2011 University of Arizona dissertation, “Employers, Unite! Organized Employer Reactions to the Labor Union Challenge in the Progressive Era.” Advisor: David Gibbs.
  • 2012 Winner: Marjorie Elizabeth Wood for her 2011 University of Chicago dissertation, “Emancipating the Child Laborer: Children, Freedom, and the Moral Boundaries of the Market in the United States, 1853-1938.” University of Chicago. Advisor: Thomas Holt.
  • 2011 Winner: Jacob Remes, “Cities of Comrades: Urban Disasters and the Formation of the North American Progressive State.” (Duke University, Advisor: Gunther Peck)
  • 2010 Winner: Jessie B. Ramey, “A Childcare Crisis: Poor Black and White Families and Orphanages in Pittsburgh, 1878-1929” Carnegie-Mellon University, Advisor: Tera W. Hunter.

  • 2009 Winner: Michael Rosenow, “Injuries to All: The Rituals of Dying and the Politics of Death among United States Workers, 1877-1910” University of Illinois, Advisor: James R. Barrett.
  • 2008 Winner: Jarod Roll, “Road to the Promised Land: Rural Rebellion in the New Cotton South, 1890-1945” Northwestern University, Advisor: Nancy Maclean.

Philip Taft Labor History Book Award  

2017 Award Recipient

LaShawn Harris, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy (Illinois)

For information on nominations for the 2018 Prize, please visit the Taft Award website. <www.ilr.cornell.edu/taftaward/>

For a list of past winners, see the ILR Website about the Taft Prize Past Winners.

Best Article Prize, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History

2015

Sarah F. Rose and Joshua A. T. Salzmann, “Bionic Ballplayers: Risk, Profit, and the Body as Commodity, 1964-2007” (11:1- Spring, 2014)