Grants & Prizes

LAWCHA Dissertation Proposal Workshop

The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) is pleased to announce its inaugural Dissertation Proposal Workshop. The workshop supports doctoral students working on dissertations about working people, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal context in any period and place.

The dissertation prospectus workshop is intended for students who have not yet defended their dissertation prospectus and newly-minted ABDs. People who defended their dissertation prospectus before December 1, 2021 are ineligible to participate. At the workshop students will receive detailed feedback on their dissertation prospectus from scholars in the field, advice on applying for grants, and have an opportunity to network and share research and writing strategies with the other graduate student participants. The LAWCHA Graduate Student Affairs Committee will select up to ten graduate students to participate in the virtual workshop, which will take place on October 25, 2022 (7PM-10PM EST).

To apply doctoral students will:

  1. submit a draft dissertation prospectus of up to 2,000 words discussing the significance of their work, their methodology, and the sources to be consulted; and
  2. a curriculum vitae of no more than 2 pages.

All materials should be submitted by email to [email protected] by September 16, 2022. Please put ‘LAWCHA Dissertation Prospectus Workshop’ in the subject line.

The Alice Kessler-Harris Dissertation Prospectus Award

The Alice Kessler-Harris Dissertation Prospectus Award will be awarded to the best dissertation prospectus about working people, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal context in any period and place. All PhD candidates are eligible to apply.

The Committee will award a cash prize of $500 along with up to $400 in travel expenses to attend the awards ceremony at LAWCHA’s next general meeting.

To apply, submit the following to [email protected] by December 1, 2022.

  1. A dissertation prospectus of up to 2,000 words discussing the project and the significance of your work to the field, your methodology, and the sources to be consulted.
  2. A curriculum vitae of no more than 2 pages.

LAWCHA/Labor Research Grant

The Labor and Working-Class History Association and Labor: Studies in Working-Class History will jointly award a $2,000 research grant for a contingent faculty scholar, independent scholar, or community college faculty member engaged in work related to working people, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal context in any period and place. If the research results in an article, Labor will have first-right-of-refusal for publication, though publication is not guaranteed.


The intent of this award is to provide financial assistance for a labor history scholar who lacks access to traditional academic support for research. Eligibility is restricted to scholars employed as contingent faculty, including but not limited to adjunct faculty, visiting assistant professors, post-docs, term faculty; independent scholars without a formal academic affiliation; and community college faculty without institutional research support. Those with access to graduate school or other graduate student funds are not eligible.

All applicants must be members of LAWCHA. There is a reduced membership rate for contingent faculty and independent scholars.

To Apply:

Please submit the following to [email protected] by February 1, 2023:

  1. Project description (up to 750 words) indicating the scope of your work, its significance in your field, the specific uses to which you will put the funds, and how you meet the eligibility requirements related to institutional support.
  2. A curriculum vitae of no more than 5 pages.

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.

2022 Prize

Past Winners

  • 2020: Eduardo Contreras, Latinos and the Liberal City: Politics and Protest in San Francisco (University of Pennsylvania Press)
  • 2019: Ana Raquel Minian, Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration (Harvard University Press)
  • 2018: Lane Windham, Georgetown University, Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide (University of North Carolina Press)
  • 2017: Ryan Patrick Murphy, Deregulating Desire: Flight Attendant Activism, Family Politics, and Workplace Justice (Temple, 2016)
  • 2016: Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf, West Virginia University, Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South: White Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie (University of Illinois Press)
    Honorable mention: Lou Martin, Chatham University, Smokestacks in the Hills: Rural-Industrial Workers in West Virginia (University of Illinois Press)
  • 2015: Chantal Norrgard, Independent Scholar, Seasons of Change: Labor, Treaty Rights, and Ojibwe Nationhood (The University of North Carolina Press)
    Honorable mention: Brian Rouleau, Texas A & M University, With Sails Whitening Every Sea: Mariners and the Making of an American Maritime Empire (Cornell University Press)
  • 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

Call for Papers for the 2023 Prize: Deadline December 2, 2022

Past Winners

  • 2022 Winner: Yevan Terrien, “Exiles and Fugitives: Labor, Mobility, and Power in French Colonial Louisiana, 1699-1769,” University of Pittsburgh
  • 2021 Winner: Joshua Hollands, “Work and Sexuality in the Sunbelt: Homophobic workplace discrimination in the US South and Southwest, 1970 to the present,” UCL Institute of the Americas
  • 2020 Winner: Eladio Bobadilla, “One People without Borders”: The Lost Roots of the Immigrants’ Rights Movement, 1954-2006,” Duke University
  • 2019 Winner: Alina R. Mendez, “Cheap for Whom? Migration, Farm Labor, and Social Reproduction in the Imperial Valley-Mexicali Borderlands, 1942-1969,” University of California, San Diego
  • 2018 Winner: Nick Juravich for “The Work of Education: Community-Based Educators in Schools, Freedom Struggles, and the Labor Movement, 1953-1983,” Columbia University
  • 2017 Winner: James C. Benton for “Fraying Fabric:  Textile Labor, Trade Politics, and Deindustrialization, 1933-1974.” Georgetown University. Advisor: Joseph McCartin
  • 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

2022 Award Recipients

Sonia Hernandez, For a Just and Better World:  Engendering Anarchism in the Mexican Borderlands, 1900-1938 (University of Illinois Press, 2021)

Stephanie Hinnershitz, Japanese American Incarceration:  The Camps and Coerced Labor During World War II (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021)

For information on nominations for the 2021 Prize, please visit the Taft Award website.

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


Jason Resnikoff, “The Paradox of Automation: QWERTY and the Neuter Keyboard” (18:4 Dec. 2021)


Reena N. Goldthree, “A Greater Enterprise than the Panama Canal”: Migrant Labor and Military Recruitment in the World War I-Era Circum-Caribbean” (13:3-4 Fall 2016)


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


Tobias Higbie, “Why Do Robots Rebel? The Labor History of a Cultural Icon” (10:1 Spring 2013)

Christopher Phelps, “The Closet in the Party: The Young Socialist Alliance, the Socialist Workers Party, and Homosexuality, 1962 – 1970” (10:4 Winter 2013)

Jon Shelton, “Against the Public: The Pittsburgh Teachers Strike of 1975-1976 and the Crisis of the Labor-Liberal Coalition” (10:2 Summer 2013)


William P. Jones, “The Unknown Origins of the March on Washington: Civil Rights Politics and the Black Working Class” (7:3 Fall 2010)


Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf, “Sanctifying the Southern Organizing Campaign: Protestant Activists in the CIO’s Operation Dixie”

Conference Travel Grants

The Labor and Working-Class History Association awards competitive travel grants of $400 each to graduate students, contingent scholars, and independent scholars who are presenting at its LAWCHA conference (every other year), at the OAH (in off-years), and the North American Labor History Conference (NALHC). To be eligible, applicants must be members of panels already accepted for the relevant conference program. Each applicant must submit a one-page abstract of the paper to be presented and a c.v. Recipients must join or already be members of LAWCHA. Preference will be given to presenters who have not received travel grants in the past. The LAWCHA Program Committee will announce deadline and submission procedures in advance, and the grants will be distributed at the conference.

Applications for LAWCHA’s 2023 Conference at Rutgers are due February 19, 2023

Info and application: