This month the Working Class in American History series is saying farewell to Alice Kessler-Harris, who is retiring from the series after 35 years, as well as welcoming Thavolia Glymph as a new series editor.
Dr. Kessler-Harris is the R. Gordon Hoxie Professor Emerita of American History and Professor Emerita in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University. Throughout her decades’ long career, she focused on American labor history with specific attention to women and gender. She is the author of the classic work, Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States, and In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America which won the Joan Kelly, Philip Taft, Herbert Hoover, and Bancroft prizes. Most recently, the University of Illinois Press was lucky to work with Dr. Kessler-Harris on her Women Have Always Worked: A Concise History, second edition. Dr. Kessler-Harris was instrumental in building and supporting the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) from its beginnings in 1999, and she won LAWCHA’s Distinguished Service to Labor and Working-Class History Award in 2012. She is also a past president of LAWCHA and the Organization for American Historians.
Dr. Kessler-Harris has served as an accomplished and vital editor, and Illinois authors have benefitted greatly from her years of experience and guidance. She has been a valuable colleague and partner on the series, who eagerly championed and supported new work from emerging scholars and work from established scholars alike. Because of her intervention, women’s and gender studies in labor continue to be a strong thread through the series, and we look forward to continuing to support the projects for which Dr. Kessler-Harris paved the way.
At the same time, we are excited to welcome Thavolia Glymph to the Working Class in American History series editorship. Dr. Glymph is a professor of history and law at Duke University, and her work focuses on the nineteenth-century US South. She will be a critical partner as the series editors seek studies of slavery and freedom in labor studies. Dr. Glymph is the author of Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household, which won the Philip Taft Prize and was a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Prize, and The Women’s Fight: The Civil War’s Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation. She is also co-editor of two volumes of the award-winning documentary series Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867. In addition to her distinguished publishing record, Dr. Glymph is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, a member of the American Antiquarian Society, and serves on the Board of Directors of The Gettysburg Foundation. She is the current president of the Southern Historical Association, and is a past board member of LAWCHA. We all feel extremely lucky to be able to call Dr. Glymph a colleague in our work in labor studies, and we look forward to the critical role she will play in the series as both an editor and a colleague.
–Alison Syring, acquisitions editor