*Working-Class New York* Revisited: THE PAST & FUTURE OF STRUGGLES FOR PROGRESSIVE CHANGE

WORKING-CLASS NEW YORK REVISITED: 

THE PAST AND FUTURE OF STRUGGLES FOR PROGRESSIVE CHANGE

Friday, April 23, 2021 * via Live Stream

Program is scheduled in U.S. Eastern Time

During the two decades since its publication, Joshua B. Freeman’s Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II has had a major influence on the efforts of labor and urban historians and New York activists to reckon with the achievements and failures of working-class people in shaping the city.  WORKING-CLASS NEW YORK REVISITED: THE PAST AND FUTURE OF STRUGGLES FOR PROGRESSIVE CHANGE will bring together scholars, activists, and political leaders to reconsider the book’s themes, explore subsequent scholarship on New York working-class movements, and present visions for progressive urban change.

 

Opening * 9:30am – 10:15am

Chair:  Stephanie Luce, Graduate Center and School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

Jack Metzgar, Emeritus Professor of Humanities, Roosevelt University

Samir Sonti, School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

This opening session will consider the contributions of Working-Class New York and suggest the challenges and possibilities for progressive urban change.

 

New York Labor Struggles in the Post-WW II era * 10:15am – 12:00pm

Chair/commentator:  Kimberly Phillips-Fein, Professor of History, New York University

Andy Battle, Bard Early College High School

Will Jones, Professor of History, University of Minnesota

Marc Kagan, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Premilla Nadasen, Professor of History, Barnard College, Columbia University

Since the publication of Working-Class New York, there has been a wealth of studies of labor struggles in New York City in the post-World War II era.  This panel will present some of the best recent work, examining factory move-outs and the efforts of public employees, transit worker dissidents, and domestic workers to build strong organizations and improve their jobs.

 

African American and Puerto Rican Movements in Postwar New York * 12:45pm – 2:30pm

Chair/commentator:  Martha Biondi, Professor of African American Studies, Northwestern University

Aldo Lauria-Santiago, Professor, Department of Latino & Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University

Johanna Fernández, Associate Professor of History, Baruch College, City University of New York

LaShawn D. Harris, Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University

Brian Purnell, Geoffrey Canada Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Bowdoin College

Leading scholars of African American and Puerto Rican history will discuss their work on postwar struggles in New York City, including Puerto Rican labor activism, the Young Lords, the fight against police brutality, and the Black freedom movement.

 

Roundtable:  Social Democracy in New York and the Nation *  2:45pm – 4:30pm

Moderator:  Joel Suarez, School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

Steve Fraser, Independent Scholar

Nelson Lichtenstein, Research Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

Touré Reed, Professor of History, Illinois State University

Ruth Milkman, Graduate Center and School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

Roundtable participants will consider the utility of social democracy as a way of understanding New York and the country in the postwar era, and will discuss its past and future strengths and limitations as an idea and a program.

 

Toward a Progressive Urbanism * 4:45pm – 6:30pm

Chair/commentator:  Penny Lewis, School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

Frances Fox Piven, Professor Emeritus, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Nikil Saval, Pennsylvania State Senator

Kafui Attoh, School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

Marta Gutman, Professor, Graduate Center and Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY, City University of New York

In recent years, cities have been a center for progressive action in the United States.  Coming from a variety of disciplines and positions, panelists will present their visions for a progressive urbanism, and how to get there.  

Reflections *  6:30pm – 7:15pm

Chair:  Stephen Brier, Graduate Center and School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University

Joshua B. Freeman, Professor Emeritus, Queens College, Graduate Center, and School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York

This concluding session will reflect on the significance of Working-Class New York and the career of Joshua B. Freeman, whose retirement this conference marks. ​