HIST 254 Spring 2013 Workers' Stories, Workers' Lives: Narrative Approaches to U.S. Labor History

Cross Listed as AMST254
This course will use novels, comics, poetry, autobiographies, zines, films, and visits to historic sites as windows into the complex histories of work and working-class life in U.S. history. Reading labor studies texts alongside these literary and cinematic accounts, we will survey major developments in the U.S. economy, labor force, types of work, and the lives of working people. Topics include: the transition from household economies to wage labor; work regimes under slavery; divergent experiences of immigrant labor and cultural assimilation; industrialization and the consumer society; deindustrialization and structural unemployment; the sexual division of labor; and the rise of knowledge and service economies. Throughout, we will focus on ways in which working people cope with or resist the burdens of their work lives and organize to seek greater control over decisions that affect them, including: union organizing, political engagement, stealing, and sharing their own interpretations and representations of their experiences.
Class Format: lecture
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Enrollment Preference: preference given to American Studies majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
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Enrollment Limit: 20
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Class Number: 3927
HIST254-01(S) LEC Workers Stories, Workers Lives Division 2: Social Studies Andrew R. Cornell
MR 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Pareksy 220 3927
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