The JHI Blog’s fifth-annual Graduate Student Symposium will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023.

This year’s symposium, “The Intellectual History of Labor,” will include papers that explore the complex, multivalent, and ever-evolving concepts of labor and work.

The event is free and open to the public on Zoom. Please register in advance here.

The symposium will consist of three panel sessions throughout the day. Each session will include presentations by the panelists followed by a 30-minute discussion session moderated by a member of the JHI’s Board of Editors.


Panel 1: Theories of Labor
10:00 am Eastern / 3:00 pm BST / 4:00 pm CEST / 7:00 pm IST 

Mishael Knight (University of Cambridge) “Idleness in Sixteenth-Century English Politics.”

Alec Israeli (University of Cambridge) “Historians as Laborers: History-Writing and the Capitalist Mode of Production, by Way of Thoreau, Marx, and Friends”

Vishal Verma (Jawaharlal Nehru University) “Intellectual History of Labor in late Nineteenth- and early Twentieth-Century Modern India: Rahul Sankrityayan and his Political Thoughts”

Discussant: Professor Robert Norton (Notre Dame)
Chair: Shuvatri Dasgupta (University of Cambridge/University of St Andrews)

Panel 2: Labor, State, and Nationhood
11:30 am Eastern / 8:30 am PDT / 4:30 pm BST / 5:30 pm CEST

Matias Xerxes Gonzalez (University of Turin) “Altering the Nation from Within: The Mexican ‘Working Nation’ and the ‘Fraternal Chain’ of Work”

Fritz Kusch (University of Bremen) “Labor and Capitol United? The American Protective Tariff League and the Protectionist Argument to Win Over Labor, c. 1885–1926”

Zhaorui Lü (University of California Irvine) “Recognizing Workers’ Wives: Honor, Social Reproduction, and Citizenship in the PRC from 1949 to 1957”

Discussant: Professor Don J. Wyatt (Middlebury College)
Chair: Tom Furse (City, University of London)

Panel 3: Worker’s Voices
1:30 pm Eastern / 10:30 am PDT / 6:30 pm BST / 7:30 pm CEST

Sharon Zhang (Harvard University) “Reciprocal Training, Reciprocal Management: Making Sense of Technological Adoption and Scientific Management through Workers’ Movement in Early Republican China”

Kelvin Ng (Yale University) “In the Wake of Disconnection: Labor Immobility and Political Thought in the Bay of Bengal, 1930–1950.”

Rachel Darby (University of Oxford) “Wages for Housework, the Night Cleaners Campaign, and Radical Strategy in the British Women’s Liberation Movement.”

Discussant: Professor Maryanne Horowitz (Occidental College)
Chair: Artur Banaszewski (European University Institute)

For more information, please contact