Sponsored by Labour/Le Travail, the Canadian Committee on Labour History and St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
October 12-13, 2018
St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
This two-day symposium aims to reassess the study and teaching of the history of the Canadian working class in order to chart a positive path for future study and activism. Re-Working Class will reflect on the past, present and future of working-class history and the working-class experience, assessing old debates and raising new ones, charting new directions for the field, and exploring how we might reinvigorate the study and teaching of labour.
Since the first issue of Labour/Le Travail in 1976, working-class history has evolved as a vibrant field of study, although the questions that animate the field have changed over time. Trends in historical study have veered away from examinations of class, labour mobilization and unions, yet we believe that analyzing work and class relations, in conjunction with other axes of power such as ‘race,’ gender, colonialism and sexuality, remains central to our understanding of history, as well as current debates about economic inequality, capitalism and the lives of working people. Within and outside the university, there are some encouraging signs of revitalized debates within working-class history, political economy, public history, the labour movement and the left.
In this light, we welcome proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtables, debates and cultural presentations (discussions of film, performance, visual art), that address the study and teaching of labour and working-class history in educational and heritage institutions, worker education programs, and cultural initiatives. Papers that address the Canadian working class in a North American and global context are welcomed.
Some subsidies will be available for grad students and the precariously employed.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- What is the relationship between the histories of labour and settler colonialism?
- How can we address the historical complexities of multiple forms of labour: paid, unpaid, coerced, indentured?
- How might comparative, global, and transnational labour history research inform Canadian working class history and visa versa?
- What theoretical perspectives have aided or inhibited our understanding of working-class histories?
- Which time periods, groups of workers, and themes need new or renewed attention?
- What is the relationship between historical and contemporary analyses, labour studies and labour history?
- What does politically-engaged history mean in the 21st century?
- How is labour history communicated in educational institutions, and to the public in museums, public history and through popular culture?
- What is the relationship between labour history and labour movement praxis?
- What new opportunities for dissemination and outreach does the 21st century afford?
PLEASE SEND PROPOSALS, INCLUDING THE TITLE OF THE PAPER OR PANEL, A SHORT ABSTRACT OF THE PRESENTATION (UP TO 300 WORDS), AND A SHORT BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT TO: [email protected] BY 28 FEBRUARY 2018.