"One Big Union": The IWW and a Century of Radical Labor Activism, 1905-2005
A Conference and Celebration
Sponsored by the New Jersey May Day Committee, this conference will bring together scholars, cultural workers, and activists on Friday evening and Saturday, May 6-7, 2005.
2005 marks one hundred years since the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World ("The Wobblies"), a profound event in American labor and radical history -- indeed in American history -- and a point from which it is possible to trace the fortunes and misfortunes of progressive and left politics in America for the rest of the century.
This conference will provide an opportunity for dialogue and reflection: What forces produced this extraordinary
dream of a unified, indeed global movement of workers for radical social change--of bringing men and women across industries and cultures and languages into "One Big Union"? Who were these visionaries and what were their specific strategies? What were the movement's successes and failures? What events and counter-movements affected it? Where did it lead? Where is it now? What are the legacies and traditions of the IWW that matter for working people today?
We invite proposals from scholars, actors, artists and worker-activists, for workshops and/or presentations that explore these questions, the history of the IWW, its leaders, its historic labor actions and its legacies. Proposals with a New Jersey focus or special emphasis on the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913 are especially welcome. Our special aim, and the signature feature of New Jersey May Day Committee celebration since our inception May Day 2004, is to use this retrospect as a lens through which to explore present worker movements, to see what light present and past shed on one another.
The Saturday portion of the conference will take place at the Robeson Center, Rutgers University-Newark, and will be
largely organized around workshops. We ask that presenters share their work through informal presentations rather than
the reading of papers. Proposals for workshops should include a summary, with a list of 1-3 presenters and their topics, and brief bios or vitas. Workshops will include ample time for audience response and participation.
The conference will also include Friday night and Saturday night events to be announced.
Co-sponsored by: American Social History Project, Botto House/American Labor History Museum, Newark-Rutgers History Department, Spirit of the Arts Foundation
Prof. Jennifer Guglielmo,
4/05 Neilson Library, Department of History,
Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063.
Fax: 413-585-3389 Email: email@example.com
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