In the middle of the Great Depression, widespread labor unrest led to the establishment of collective bargaining as a "peace offering" - a rational process through which to reconcile conflicting interests. Today, direct attacks on collective bargaining lay bare those conflicting interests and inspire alternate strategies to protect workers' rights and preserve decent labor standards. The United Association of Labor Educators (UALE) welcomes proposals for paper presentations, panels, research projects, workshops, demonstration teaching sessions, and other activities that illuminate how the labor movement broadly understood is responding to hard times.
The phrase, "subterranean fire" comes from an 1886 speech by August Spies, one of the Haymarket martyrs of Chicago:
"...If you think that by hanging us, you can stamp out the labor movement-the movement from which the downtrod- den millions, the millions who toil and live in want and mis- ery-the wage slaves-expect salvation-if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and every- where, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You can- not put it out. The ground is on fire upon which you stand."
Call for Proposals
The Conference Committee welcomes proposals on topics across the entire span of the challenges facing working people. Proposals may draw from all disciplines and take many forms, including strategic or academic reports; qualitative or quantitative analyses; teaching demonstrations; labor history research, curriculum for adults or K-12; union membership training tools; case studies; workshops; general curriculum design; strategy sessions and performances, music, art, including public art, and theater. We are interested in the impact of the economic crisis, inequality and the changing political climate on access to fundamental rights including collective bargaining and union representation, education, occupational safety and health, housing and healthcare.
Labor Studies Journal Conference Issue
The theme of this issue will be labor and the public sphere, which could encompass topics ranging from privatization and international austerity to fight back strategies, state-level attacks, relationships between unions and civic life and others. Submissions could be academic papers or teaching reflections/ demonstrations appropriate for the "Innovations" section of the journal. Send submissions to Jennifer Sherer or Katherine Sciaccitano.
How to Submit a Proposal
In addition to the plenaries, there will be 41 regular sessions at the conference on March 22, 23 and 24, 6 concurrent sessions on Thursday and Friday and 5 concurrent sessions on Saturday. Each session is 105 minutes with a 15-minute passing period. In addition, there will be workshops on Wednesday the 21st of March.
When to submit a Proposal
You may submit a proposal at any time before the deadline (see below). Submitting early allows you to have feedback from the Conference Committee before the final deadline.
The Role of the Conference Committee
The Conference Committee will review proposals. In order to make the conference as useful as possible, it may accept proposals as submitted or it may suggest changes in content, format or participants. Submitting early maximizes opportunities for interaction with the Conference Committee.
Proposals should include title, full contact information for all presenters or participants including organization/affiliation, mailing address, email address, phone number and corresponding author. The body of the proposal should be 300 - 400 words long. It should describe not only the topic of the presentation but the basis of the presenter's expertise and the form that the presentation will take (paper, interactive exercise, workshop, panel, debate, etc.) The deadlines mentioned here are dates when the proposal should be sent forward in its final form.
October 15: Deadline for proposals for individual or group (panel) presentations. The Conference Committee will review individual proposals to decide if or how to combine them with other proposals to make up a session. Proposals for full panel presentations will be reviewed in light of other proposals that come in. Send these proposals to Helena Worthen.
November 15: Working Group proposal deadline (Popular Education, Worker- Writers, K-12 Labor in the Schools, Online Learning, Immigration/Globalization, Central Labor Councils). All working groups will get at least one session which they can use for a meeting whether or not they submit a proposal for a presentation. The final number of sessions allotted to each working group will be decided by the Conference Committee. The WG deadline is later than the Individual or Panel deadline (November 15) because WG proposals are expected to be in final form. Contact information for Working Groups is at www. uale.org; new participants always welcome.
November 15: Deadline for proposals for papers to be submitted to the Labor Studies Journal conference issue. The theme of this issue will be labor and the public sphere, which could encompass topics ranging from privatization and international austerity to fight back strategies, state-level attacks, relationships between unions and civic life and others. Submissions could be academic papers or teaching reflections/ demonstrations appropriate for the "Innovations" section of the journal. Send submissions to Jennifer Sherer or Katherine Sciaccitano.
January 1, 2012: Deadline for Best Book, Best Labor Studies Journal Article, Outstanding Contribution and Lifetime Achievement Award nominations. Send these proposals to Mike Wisniewski. More details about nominations for the awards will soon be available on the website.