Australian-US Comparative and Transnational Labour History Conference

8th Jan 2015  - 9th Jan 2015

Thursday, 8 January and Friday 9 January, 2015
The University of Sydney, Australia

Call for Papers

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.

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. We welcome both explicitly comparative papers and papers that explore the movement of people and ideas between the two countries. We also welcome proposals for papers that examine aspects of one country that lend themselves to comparison. We hope to encourage researchers working on similar issues in both countries to collaborate.

We would like to receive abstracts (about 750-1,000 words with a list of references) by 15 April 2014 with authors being notified of acceptance by 15 May 2014. We then ask the authors for a full copy of the paper (6-8,000 words) by November 15 to allow for circulation to commentators before the conference.

On the basis of the papers accepted for the conference we would be looking for publication either as a special issue of a journal or an edited book.

We encourage potential contributors to contact us a.s.a.p. if they are interested in doing a joint paper with an Australian or US co-researcher.

We will be seeking financial support to provide some assistance for US participants, particularly graduate students.

Please send abstracts and brief cvs and any questions to Greg Patmore (greg.patmore@sydney.edu.au) and Shelton Stromquist (shelton-stromquist@uiowa.edu)

Australian Society for the Study of Labour History
Business and Labour History Group, School of Business, The University of Sydney
Labor and Working Class History Association