Civic Labors . . . is intended to prompt further discussion about engaged scholarship and teaching. The essays will help readers to think further about the theory and practices of engagement and scholar-activism, asking what publics ought to be addressed and how best to shape this engagement. The contributors drive home the point that, regardless of the scale or type on involvement, power and engagement are entwined. These stories provide hope and an impetus for scholars and teachers to engage creatively in ongoing struggles that Shelton Stromquist sees as connected, at once local and transnational: “How do we build and sustain a vital movement for social justice and equality capable of contesting for power and remodeling our workplaces, or communities and indeed our countries into the humane and just world to which we aspire?” Or as David Montgomery urges, “carry it on!”
—from Civic Labors
Working class studies often attracts scholars who spend their careers, and not a small amount of their non-work lives, at the crossroads of writing, teaching, and living the struggle. The essays in this new collection examine the challenges and opportunities for engaged scholarship in the United States and abroad. A diverse roster of contributors discuss how participation in current labor and social struggles guides their campus and community organizing, public history initiatives, teaching, mentoring, and other activities. They also explore the role of research and scholarship in social change, while acknowledging that intellectual labor complements but never replaces collective action and movement building.