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Faculty Photo
Photo Credit: Nick Romanenko
Front row: (L-R) Nancy Sinkoff, Paul Hanebrink, James Delbourgo, Rudy Bell, Paul Israel, Paul G. E. Clemens
2nd: Judith Surkis, Matt Matsuda, Carolyn Brown, Johanna Schoen, Walter Rucker, Marisa Fuentes, Bayo Holsey, Samantha Kelly, Toby C. Jones
3rd: Jackson Lears, Seth Koven, Gail Triner, Ann Fabian, Barbara M. Cooper, Temma Kaplan, Melissa Feinberg
Last: Louis Masur, Jamie Pietruska, Mark Wasserman, David Greenberg, Alastair Bellany, Steven Reinert, Deborah Gray White, Norman Markowitz, John W. Chambers, Virginia Yans, Leah DeVun, Camilla Townsend, Sarolta Takacs, Don Roden



Dorothy Sue Cobble

Distinguished Professor of History and Labor Studies

Ph.D.,  Stanford University

B.A.,  University of California, Berkeley

204 Van Dyck Hall

50 Labor Center Way, Room 154

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pdf Curriculum Vitae (152 KB)


20th century U.S. history; politics and social movements; U.S. and the world; global labor history; transnational reform networks and international social policy; comparative feminisms; gender and work; service work and service unionism.


  • 510:571 Seminar in U.S. History
  • 510:559 Twentieth Century U.S. History
  • 506:401 History Seminar: Economic Justice Struggles


  • America’s Progressive Politics and the Global Women Who Made It. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, under contract.
  • How the Labor Movement Changed America. NY: The New Press, under contract.



  • Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements (co-authors: Linda Gordon and Astrid Henry). (Norton, 2014).
  • The Sex of Class: Women Transforming American Labor (Cornell, 2007).
  • The Other Women’s Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton, 2004).
  • Women and Unions: Forging a Partnership (Cornell, 1993).
  • Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century (University of Illinois, 1991).

Recent Essays

  • “The Other ILO Founders,” in Eileen Boris and Susan Zimmermann, eds. The Women’s ILO: Transnational Networks, Global Labor Standards and Gender Equity. Geneva: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming.
  • “Who Speaks for Workers? Japan and the 1919 ILO Debates Over Rights and Global Labor Standards,” ILWCH 87 (Spring 2015): 213-34. Reprinted in Jill M. Jensen and Nelson Lichtenstein, eds., The ILO From Geneva to the Pacific Rim: West Meets East. Geneva: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 55-79.
  • “Shorter Hours, Higher Pay,” Pacific Standard Magazine, November 2015.
  • “What ‘Lean In’ Leaves Out” (with Linda Gordon and Astrid Henry), The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Chronicle Review, September 22, 2014
  • “A Higher ‘Standard of Life’ for the World: U.S. Women’s Social Justice Internationalism and the Legacies of 1919,” Journal of American History 100 (March 2014).
  • “Pure and Simple Radicalism: Putting the Progressive Era AFL in its Time,” Labor 10:2 (Winter 2013), 61-87, 111-116.
  • "The Promise and Peril of Global Labor History," International Labor and Working-Class History 82 (Fall 2012), 99-107.
  • "Don't Blame the Workers," Dissent Magazine, Winter 2012.
  • “The Wagner Act at 75: The Intellectual Origins of an Institutional Revolution,” ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law 26:2 (Spring 2011): 201-212.
  • “Labor Feminists and President Kennedy’s Commission on Women,” In No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of American Feminism, ed. Nancy Hewitt (Rutgers University Press, 2010), pp. 144-167.
  • “Betting on New Forms of Worker Organization,” Labor 7:3 (Fall 2010): 17-23.
  • “More Intimate Unions,” in Intimate Labors: Care, Sex, and Domestic Work, eds. Rhacel Parrenas and Eileen Boris (Stanford University Press, 2010), pp. 280-295.
  • It’s time for New Deal Feminism,” The Washington Post 12/13/09.
  • "Friendship Beyond the Atlantic: Labour Feminist International Contacts After the Second World War," Arbetarhistoria (Stockholm, Sweden) 1-2/2009: 12-20.


  • Swedish Research Council 2016 Kerstin Hesselgren Professor, Stockholm University.
  • ACLS Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2015-2016.
  • Fellow, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 2010-2011.
  • Alice Cook Distinguished Lectureship, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, September 2010.
  • Sol Stetin Award for Career Achievement in Labor History, Sidney Hillman Foundation, 2010.
  • Fellow, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University, 2007-2008.
  • Philip Taft Book Prize for The Other Women’s Movement, 2005.
  • Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, 1999-2000.
  • Herbert A. Gutman Book Prize for Dishing It Out, University of Illinois Press, 1992.


  • Keynote, Nordic Labour History Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, November 2016.
  • Keynote, “Worker Mutualism in an Entrepreneurial Age,” 30th Annual Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, Sydney, Australia, 11 February 2016.
  • Session Chair and Commentator, “Gender and Labor,” Histories of American Capitalism Conference,” Cornell University, November 6-8, 2014.
  • Roundtable, “Women’s ILO: Gender Equality and Transnational Networks,” European Social Science History Conference, Vienna, Austria, April 2014.
  • Conference Paper, “Esther Peterson and Cold War Feminist Internationalism,” European Social Science History Conference, Vienna, Austria, April 2014.
  • Plenary Panel, 50th Anniversary Conference on the 1963 Presidential Commission on the Status Women,” Harvard University and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation, Boston, 14 October 2013.
  • Keynote, “Women’s Leadership and Global Labor Movements,” International Solidarity Center Conference, São Paolo, Brazil, July 2013.
  • “Feminism in the International Labor Movement,” Labour Movement Archives and Library, Stockholm, Sweden, June 18, 2013.
  • “Women’s Transnational Networks and the Legacies of 1919,” Geneva University, Geneva, Switzerland, December 2012.
  • "Humanizing Work," Institute of Advanced Studies, Nantes, France, 31 March 2011.
  • The Future of Labour History Journals,” European Social Science History Conference, Ghent, Belgium, April 16, 2010.
  • “Making the Next Labor Movement Possible,” Institute for Labor and Culture, Yale University, January 26, 2009.
  • “The Road Not Taken: Work-Family Reform in the Postwar U.S.” Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, September 2008.
  • “Feminism and Social Reform in Postwar America,” Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, Harvard University, July 2008.
  • “How The New Emotional Service Class is Transforming Labour,” Queen Mary, University of London, England, June 2008.
  • “U.S. Women’s Internationalisms, 1914-1975” Center for Pacific and American Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan, March 2008.


  • International Advisory Board, Global History of Equal Pay, 1945-2000, Vetenskapsradet Funds, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012-
  • Taft Book Prize Committee, 2013-
  • Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2012-
  • Organization of American Historians F.J. Turner Award Committee, 2013-2014.
  • Awards Panel, Sol Stein Labor History Prize, Sidney Hillman Foundation, 2011-2016.
  • Senior Editor, International Labor and Working-Class History, 2006-2010.
  • Editorial Board, International Labor and Working-Class History, 1994-
  • Expert Witness, NY Hotel and Motel Trades Council v. Hotel Association of NYC, Inc., 1988-90.


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