Friday, January 19, 2006, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Remembering Virden: shaping and reconstructing radical and racial memories of an epic event, 1898-1936
Rosemary Feurer, Northern Illinois University
Commentators: Susan Hirsch, Loyola University Chicago, and Erik Gellman, Roosevelt University
The October 1898 battle at Virden, Illinois was one of the epic events of labor strife in the late 19th century. The union miner "martyrs" who died in the bloody battle with Thiel detective agents were resurrected numerous times in the years afterward, used to construct radical and racialized memory in the region, a memory that became vital for contesting or reaffirming the UMWA. The story of this construction, reconstruction, and contestation of memory in the decades following the events brings to light the power of commemoration in workers' ability to see themselves as fully-formed actors in the public sphere.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Labor History
Co-sponsored by the History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University and the Labor and Working Class History Association
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
Family and Community History
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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