Recent Visiting Scholars and Events

Politics with Sober Senses: Conditions for Labor Renewal

Sam Gindin
“The Myth of American Decline”
Tuesday, April 14, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall
“Barriers to Union Renewal”
Wednesday, April 15, 6pm, Madison Labor Temple
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty & Public
Thursday, April 16, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

SAM GINDIN is a Canadian who got his MA in Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1970s and spent most of his working life (1974-2000) as the Research Director of the Canadian Auto Workers (and since 1985 as an Assistant to the President). From 2000-2010, he led the position of Visiting Packer Chair in Social Justice at York University. He remains active in the labour and social movements.  His writings have focused on the CAW, the auto industry, the crisis in organized labour in Canada and the US, and the political economy of American capitalism. His most recent and most ambitious project was, with his co-author Leo Panitch, of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire

Sports, Labor and Social Justice

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David Meggyesy
"Sports, Labor, & Social Justice in the 21st Century: Contemporary Issues & Future Directions"
Wednesday, April 23, 7pm, Room 7191 Helen C. White

Co-sponsored by the UW History Department

DAVID MEGGYESY played linebacker for seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals, now the Arizona Cardinals. Meggyesy’s best-selling football autobiography, Out of Their League, was honored by Sports Illustrated as one of the best 100 sports books ever written. He has written articles for many publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune and Heartland Journal. During his NFL career, Meggyesy was actively involved in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements, and was co-founder of the Esalen Sports Center. Meggyesy served as western director of the national football league players association (NFLPA), the NFL players union, and is board president of athletes united for peace. 

The Labor & Working Class Studies Project Presents

Rev. William Barber II
Thursday, March 13, 7pm, Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Avenue

Featuring a music and cultural event, with Gospel song powerhouse Yara Allen and the Solidarity Sing Along.

Please park in the City of Madison public ramp/State Street Capitol Ramp, located on the corner of Carroll and Johnson Streets.  Very limited parking in the Bethel lot ONLY for those people with handicapped needs or mobility concerns.  Drop offs to be done at front of the church on Wisconsin Avenue only please-do not use lot for that.   

For more information, contact Patrick Barrett at


REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER is President of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and co-founder and leader of the Moral Monday Movement, a multiracial, multi-issue social justice movement that has mobilized thousands of North Carolinians in mass protests. Rev. Dr. Barber, along with local, state, and national NAACP leaders, has helped to lead the fight for voter rights, just redistricting, health care reform, labor and worker rights, protection of immigration rights, and reparation for women survivors of Eugenics, release of the Wilmington Ten and educational equality.  Rev. Dr. Barber has been arrested three times for civil disobedience as he stood for educational, economic and equal justice. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award and the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest citizenship award. Rev. Dr. William Barber Jr. is a graduate of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham, N.C and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University and a Doctoral degree from Drew University. He is the former executive director of the North Carolina Human Relations Commission. 

Co-sponsored by: South Central Federation of Labor - Teaching Assistants Association Executive Board - Wisconsin NAACP - Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice - Student Labor Action Coalition - Fountain of Life Church - Center on Wisconsin Strategy - American Federation of Teachers Wisconsin - Havens Center for the Study of Social Justice - Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons - Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice - Madison Urban Ministry - Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures - Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development - 

The Labor & Working Class Studies Project (LWCSP) is a collaborative campus-labor-community initiative to connect the campus and the community in dialogue and action on issues related to labor and working class people. The LWCSP is a member of the Working Class Studies Association.

The Fight For Immigrant Rights And The U.S. Labor Movement

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Kent Wong
“Organizing Immigrant Workers: Building a New Labor Movement for a New Working Class”
Tuesday, September 24, 4pm, 206 Ingraham
“Immigration Reform and the Immigrant Youth Movement”
Wednesday, September 25, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, September 26, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by Global Studies, the Labor & Working Class Studies Project and the School for Workers

KENT WONG is director of the Center for Labor Research and Education at UCLA, where he teaches Labor Studies and Ethnic Studies. Kent was previously staff attorney for the Service Employees International Union, representing Los Angeles County Workers, and the first staff attorney for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.  Kent served as the founding president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, and has also served as the national president of the United Association for Labor Education, and the University and College Labor Education Association. He is a vice president of the California Federation of Teachers, a co-chair of the California Speaker’s Commission on Labor Education, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Labor College. Kent has published numerous books on the labor movement, union organizing, and immigrant workers and students.  He regularly addresses union, community, and student conferences throughout the country. 


Fighting Forward! A Labor and Working Class Summit

2013 Conference of the Working Class Studies Association

Madison College Downtown Education Center
Madison, Wisconsin • June 12-15, 2013

Join us at the epicenter of the “Wisconsin Uprising” for a gathering of working people, community and labor activists, students and educators focused on building a revitalized movement in support of labor and the working class.

Since the start of the Uprising, we have witnessed an historic response by working people to the decades-long assault on our rights and livelihoods. Now is the time to reflect, strategize, and build connections, as we not only continue to fight back against this assault but also move forward in building a better future for labor and working class people. It is time for Fighting Forward!

For more information, visit

At Work with Bourdieu

Rick Fantasia
"Reign of le Terroir: French Gastronomy in the Age of Neo-Liberalism”
Tuesday, March 19, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall
"Labor Solidarity: From Social Drama to Practical Myth"
Wednesday, March 20, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, March 21, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

RICK FANTASIA is the Barbara Richmond 1940 Professor in the Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. His research has been driven by questions of labor and of culture, and their interpenetration, both in the U.S. and in France. He writes periodically for Le Monde Diplomatique and is the author of Cultures of Solidarity and co-author (with Kim Voss) of Hard Work. His recent research has concerned the symbolic economy of French gastronomy and the dynamics of its transformation as a cultural field.


Woody Guthrie in Los Angeles, 1937-1941

Darryl Holter
"Woody Guthrie in Los Angeles, 1937-1941"
Monday, April 23, 12 noon, 1121 Humanities


From Wisconsin to Wall Street: Challenging the Power of the Super Rich

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Stephen Lerner
"From Wisconsin to Wall Street: Challenging the Power of the Super Rich"
Tuesday, April 10, 7 pm, Pyle Center Auditorium, 702 Langdon Street

Co-sponsored by 

STEPHEN LERNER is a labor and community organizer who has spent more than three decades organizing hundreds of thousands of janitors, farm workers, garment workers, and other low-wage workers into unions. He is the architect of the justice for janitors campaign, which has organized and helped win a union for hundreds of thousands of immigrant janitors. He has helped lead the work challenging the power of wall street and big banks, and is part of a growing movement in the us that is using non-violent civil disobedience and direct action protests to challenge corporate power. Stephen is a member of SEIU’s international executive board.

Immigrant & Workers' Rights: The Occupy Movement in California

Alejandra Juárez
"On Immigrant and Workers' Rights: The Occupy Movement in California"
Monday, November 14, 4 pm, 206 Ingraham

Co-sponsored by the Teaching Assistants Association (TAA) and the Student Labor Action Coaliton (SLAC).

ALEJANDRA JUÁREZ was born in the Central Valley of California. Both her maternal and paternal grandfathers were braceros during the 1930s. Her own parents began migrating in the 1970s following the harvest seasons in California, providing her with a bi-national upbringing. At the age of 15 she began working alongside her parents and older siblings as a farm worker during school breaks. After earning her BA at California State University, Stanislaus, she worked assisting immigrant adults learn English. Since then, she has also worked as a women's advocate against violence and sexual abuse, on campaigns to end the U.S. blockade on Cuba and on issues of food security among Latino immigrants, and has traveled to Venezuela, Mexico, and Paraguay as part of solidarity delegations. In 2007 she returned to university for a Masters in Public Policy from Oregon State University. There she wrote her thesis on Mexican agricultural policies. In the process of writing, she became aware of the inextricable link between NAFTA, the WTO, IMF, and OECD policies and the displacement of Mexican workers and campesinos who then are forced to migrate North. In early 2010 she began writing for El Organizador and joined its editorial board shortly thereafter. More recently, she organized for the March 4th (2010) and March 2nd (2011) State-wide Day of Action in defense of public education and against the budget cuts in California. She has been involved in organizing in the immigrant/Latino community for several years as part of a grassroots coalition known as the Alianza (or Alliance for a Just Immigration Policy). She's on the road today sponsored by the Emergency Labor Network (ELN) and Alianza por una Política Migratoria Justa to build a network of grassroots Worker-Community Committees where the struggles for workers' and immigrant rights -- women, Blacks, Latinos, and other oppressed sectors -- can unite and stand firmly based on politics of independence from the dominating parties and corporations.

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class

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Guy Standing
"The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class"
Tuesday, November 8, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall

Co-sponsored by GLOBAL STUDIES

GUY STANDING is Professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath in the UK. He was previously Director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organisation, where he worked for 30 years. He has been involved in numerous research and advisory projects, in developed and developing countries and, in the early 1990s, in the “transition” countries of Eastern Europe. He has written and edited books on labor economics, labor market policy, unemployment, labor market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection policy. Recent books include: The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic, 2011); Social Income and Insecurity: A Study in Gujarat, with Jeemol Unni, Renana Jhabvala and Uma Rani (Routledge, 2010); Work after Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship (Edward Elgar, 2009) and Promoting Income Security as a Right: Europe and North America (Anthem Press, 2005).