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HIST 385: Workers in the America

This guide is intended to help the students in Dr. Rogers Fall 2022 semester course with their research.


Welcome to the Workers in the Americas library research guide. This guide provides links to some useful resources for your research. It is not comprehensive, but intends to point the user to a variety of materials held at or through Emory.



First, you will interview someone about work and then write a short reflection about the conversation. This is a way to think concretely about work and the experience of work. The exercise comprises fifteen percent of your grade.


Second, you will write a paper about a specific labor historical connection between places in the Americas. This might be about parallel processes, such as the abolition of slavery in Cuba and the U.S. Or it might be about linked processes, such as the opening of maquiladoras for U.S-owned companies in Mexico. This essay amounts to twenty percent of the final grade.


Finally, you will also write a paper on experience, choosing one of the following paths:

  1. Interpret experience. Find a first-person source and explore it for its patterns and what it can tell us about the person’s ideas, urges, feelings. Texts like Biography of a Runaway Slave or All God’s Dangers.
  2. Question experience. Explore the theoretical debates surrounding experience and labor history. Read William Sewell’s essay on E. P. Thompson or Joan W. Scott’s essay “The Evidence of Experience.”

This paper contributes twenty-five percent to the final grade.