The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) is pleased to announce its annual  Herbert G. Gutman Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in U.S. Labor and Working-Class History,  established in cooperation with the University of Illinois Press. LAWCHA encourages the study  of working people, their lives, workplaces, communities, organizations, cultures, activism, and societal contexts. It aims to promote a diverse and cross-cultural understanding of labor and  working-class history. And it encourages innovative, theoretically-informed and interdisciplinary  approaches. Transnational and comparative studies rooted in U.S. history are welcomed, as are  studies of capitalism in relation to the working-class experience.  

The dissertation prize is named in honor of the late Herbert G. Gutman, a pioneering labor  historian and a founder of the University of Illinois Press’s Working Class in American History  Series. LAWCHA hopes that the spirit of Gutman’s inquiry into the many facets of labor and  working-class history will live on through this prize. 

The winner will receive a cash prize of $750 from LAWCHA along with up to $500 in travel  expenses to attend the awards ceremony, and a contract to publish in the Working Class in  American History Series. The prize award is contingent upon the author’s acceptance of the  contract with the University of Illinois Press. 

According to the Working Class in American History editors, the series publishes “research that  illuminates the broad dimensions of working people’s influence in North America. We define  working-class history capaciously and encourage submissions that explore waged, non-waged,  and/or coerced labor, rural and urban settings, and the wide range of labor performed in non industrial settings, from agriculture to domestic service and beyond. We welcome  consideration of the diverse contexts of the lives of those who work, including legal, political,  and ideological aspects, as well as parameters of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and  immigration. As we seek to enhance understanding of pre-industrial and industrializing worlds,  we also explore the new challenges that workers face amidst deindustrialization, globalized  production, and an expanding service economy. We particularly seek projects that reflect the  mobile, international, and diverse nature of capital and labor and apply a transnational or  comparative outlook to the study of the working class. We find compelling work that considers  the centrality of working people within the history of capitalism.” 

Eligible dissertations must be in English and defended in the academic year 2019–20 (September 1, 2019–October 31, 2020). Dissertations will be considered only in one year’s  competition. 

Applicants are not required to be members of LAWCHA at the time of the submission. The  winner will be announced at the membership meeting during the 2021 LAWCHA conference in  Chicago, IL.

To apply send two electronic copies of the dissertation (one in pdf and one in Word.doc format)  along with a letter from the dissertation advisor confirming the date of the defense (a letter of  recommendation is not required). Submissions should also include a cover letter with full  contact information: name, professional or home address, email, and telephone. Entries must  be submitted by December 2, 2020 to: LAWCHA lawcha.office@gmail.com with the subject  line Gutman Prize.