The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) is pleased to announce its annual Herbert G. Gutman Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in U.S. Labor and Working-Class History, established in cooperation with the University of Illinois Press. LAWCHA encourages the study of working people, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal contexts. It aims to promote a diverse and cross-cultural understanding of labor and working-class history. And it encourages innovative, theoretically informed, and interdisciplinary approaches. Transnational and comparative studies rooted in U.S. history are welcomed, as are studies of capitalism in relation to the working-class experience.
The dissertation prize is named in honor of the late Herbert G. Gutman, a pioneering labor historian and a founder of the University of Illinois Press’s Working Class in American History Series. LAWCHA hopes that the spirit of Gutman’s inquiry into the many facets of labor and working-class history will live on through this prize.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 from LAWCHA along with up to $500 in travel expenses to attend the awards ceremony, and a contract to publish in the Working Class in American History Series. The prize award is contingent upon the author’s acceptance of the contract with the University of Illinois Press.
According to the Working Class in American History editors, the series publishes “research that illuminates the broad dimensions of working people’s influence in North America. We define working-class history capaciously and encourage submissions that explore waged, non-waged, and/or coerced labor, rural and urban settings, and the wide range of labor performed in nonindustrial settings, from agriculture to domestic service and beyond. We welcome consideration of the diverse contexts of the lives of those who work, including legal, political, and ideological aspects, as well as parameters of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration. As we seek to enhance understanding of pre-industrial and industrializing worlds, we also explore the new challenges that workers face amidst deindustrialization, globalized production, and an expanding service economy. We particularly seek projects that reflect the mobile, international, and diverse nature of capital and labor and apply a transnational or comparative outlook to the study of the working class. We find compelling work that considers the centrality of working people within the history of capitalism.”
Eligible dissertations must be in English and defended in the academic year 2021–22 (September 1, 2021–October 31, 2022). Dissertations will be considered only in one year’s competition.
Applicants are not required to be members of LAWCHA at the time of the submission. The winner will be announced at the membership meeting during the 2023 Organization of American Historians conference in Los Angeles, CA.
To apply send two electronic copies of the dissertation (one in pdf and one in Word.doc format) along with a letter from the dissertation advisor confirming the date of the defense (a letter of recommendation is not required). Submissions should also include a cover letter with full contact information: name, professional or home address, email, and telephone. Entries must be submitted by December 2, 2022 to: email@example.com with the subject line Gutman Prize.
Past winners of the prize include:
View all previous winners here.