Reuther Library Announces Fishman Travel Grants to Visiting Scholars

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University is pleased to announce the awards from the Sam Fishman Travel Grant program for 2015. These annual grants provide up to $1,000 to support travel to the Reuther Library to access archival records related to the American labor movement. The award is named in honor of Sam Fishman, a former UAW and Michigan AFL-CIO leader.

As part of their research visits, awardees are invited to speak about their work at an informal event at the Reuther Library or as part of the North American Labor History Conference held on the Wayne State University campus in the fall. Watch for details of these events as individuals finalize their travel and research plans.

The 2015 awardees are:

Christina Flores, Doctoral Student, University of Chicago
“El Patroncito, Don Sotaco, y El Gobierno: The State’s Role in the Decline of the United Farm Workers, 1965-1980.” Research exploring the role that actors and agencies from various levels of American government have played in the evolving role of the United Farm Workers in worker representation as well as larger issues affecting the decay of the American working class in the 1970s. Flores will visit in conjunction with the North American Labor History Conference in October 2015.

Trish Kahle, Doctoral Student, University of Chicago
“The Graveyard Shift: Energy Industry Reorganization, Environmental Politics, and Rank-and-File Rebellion in the UMWA, 1963-1978.” Research examining the rise and fall of the Miners for Democracy during a period of intersection between struggles over energy production, workplace safety, and environmental politics. Kahle will visit in September 2015.

Donna Kesselman, Professor, Université Paris-Est Créteil
“The UAW and it Deals with the U.S. State: 1935-1952.” Research into the interrelationships and alliances between labor, management and government through the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and the emerging American social state. Kesselman plans to visit in July 2015.

Jason Kozlowski, Assistant Professor, West Virginia University
“Shifting Terrain: Work, Deindustrialization and Labor Relations in the Earthmoving Equipment Industry, 1967-2000.” A comparative, transnational study of deindustrialization in cities in which earthmoving equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has operated, analyzing the impact of changes in work processes, location of industrial production, and industrial conflict upon the industry, workplace cultures, and the surrounding communities. Kozlowski’s travel plans are not yet confirmed.

Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Associate Professor, Penn State University
“Making Media Work: A Cultural History of New Media and Management.” Research examining the relationships between new media, labor management, and labor movements, particularly labor's response to scientific management and the use of the stop watch and film in time and motion studies. Rodino-Colocino plans to visit in spring 2015.

Sarah Stanford-McIntyre, Doctoral Candidate, College of William & Mary
“Working Landscapes: The Labor of West Texas Oil, 1920-1970.” A regional history of oil, labor, and environmental change during the Permian Basin oil boom, including corporate imagery of technology, the mythology of the oil prospector, and the vital role of wage workers across the industry. Stanford-McIntyre will visit May 17-22, 2015.

Ben Zdencanovic, Doctoral Student, Yale University
“Business, Labor, and the Politics of Exceptionalism at the Dawn of the Welfare State, 1941-1955.” Research exploring the United States’ postwar political turn from New Deal social reformism, policy experimentation, labor policy, and government intervention in the economy. A comparative approach reveals significant diversions from social democratic models in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. Zdencanovic’s travel plans are not yet confirmed, but will likely involve a research visit in fall 2015.

The Sam Fishman Travel Grant Program operates on an annual basis, with applications due in January each year. Announcements for the 2016 application process will be announced in October 2015.

For further information about the Sam Fishman Travel Grant Program, please contact Erik Nordberg, Reuther Library Director, by phone at 313-577-2013 or by e-mail at