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Out Now: Labour History, no. 108 – May 2015

This issue sheds new light on the historical experiences and agency of Australasian workers and labour activists. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of articles dealing with party political aspects of labour history. While the current issue includes some excellent studies in this vein, it also offers a strong accent on another core dimension of labour history, namely studies of work, occupations and labour markets; on what might still be referred to as labour process history or, more simply, the history of work and employment. Click here for more information.

Other News

  • Editorship of Labour History. The current editor of Labour History, John Shields, will be stepping down from the position in late 2015 after a five year term as chair of the journal’s Sydney-based Editorial Working Party (EWP). The ASSLH Federal Executive, in consultation with the Editorial Board of Labour History, wishes to appoint a new editor or editorial team to the position by mid-2015 to allow for a smooth transition. The Federal Executive welcomes expressions of interest from applicants located in any Australian university or universities, to be received by Friday 1 May 2015. Click here for more information.
  • Murder in Tottenham: Australia’s First Political Assassination by Rowan Day. In 1916, the murder of a police constable in Tottenham NSW swiftly led to the trial and execution of local IWW members. Day’s book on this highly politicised example of capital punishment in Australia will be launched 5:30pm, Friday 23 October 2015, Trades Hall, 4 Goulburn Street, Sydney. Click here for more information. RSVP to sales@anchorbooksaustralia.com.au.
  • Bernadette Hyland, Northern ReSisters: Conversations with Radical Women. In the first part of this book, Bernadette speaks to nine women from Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds who have been active in radical movements over the past forty years. Topics include trade unionism, Ireland, Women’s Liberation, radical bookselling, anti-racism and the peace movement. The second part contains a number of Bernadette’s previously-published articles, including an interview with Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, and a discussion with Cathy Crabb, Alice Nutter, Maxine Peake and Sally Wainwright about the “northern writer.” Click here to find out more about the book and how to buy it.
  • Fighting against War: Peace Activism in the Twentieth Century, 14th Biennial Labour History Conference, was held 11–13 February 2015, University of Melbourne. Throughout the Twentieth Century, labour movement activists have been in the forefront of challenges to war and militarism. This conference, hosted by the Melbourne Branch of ASSLH, sought to restore their role to our historical memory. A book of refereed conference proceedings was published to coincide with the conference.  Click here for more information, including copies of some of the conference papers.
  • The Australian-US Comparative and Transnational Labour History Conference, was held 8–9 January 2015, University of Sydney, Australia. Historians and other scholars have long recognized both similarities and differences in the labour experience in Australia and the United States. Both countries were built upon European expansion and settlement at the expense of native peoples. The Australian labour movement developed a vigorous Labour Party, while the US did not. Once robust, union membership in both countries has been in decline in recent years. Divisions based on gender, race and class have been significant in both countries. Movements in both countries exchanged ideas and individuals. While Australians have been interested in scientific management, and in the organizational strategies embodied in the Knights of Labour and the IWW, in the US the Australian experience with compulsory arbitration and labour politics has drawn significant attention. This conference brought together historians and scholars interested in exploring the comparative and transnational dimensions of the labour history of both Australia and the US. Click here for further details and here for a conference report posted on the Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) website.