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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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20th century U.S. history; U.S. and the world; global labor history; women’s and gender history; comparative social movements and social policy; women and work; service, low-wage, and precarious work.


  • 510:571 Seminar in U.S. History
  • 510:559 Twentieth Century U.S. History
  • 510:539 Colloquium in Women's and Gender History
  • 506:401 History Seminar: Economic Justice Struggles


  • The Best of Intentions: U.S. Women’s Social Justice Internationalism (under contract with Princeton University Press).
  • The Rise of Egalitarian Democracy in America (under contract with The New Press).



  • 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

  • “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.


  • 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.


  • “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-
  • Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2012-2015.
  • Awards Panel, Sol Stein Labor History Prize, Sidney Hillman Foundation, 2011-
  • Editorial Board, International Labor and Working-Class History.
  • Associate Editor, Signs.
  • American History Panel, National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Gender Equity Task Force, New Jersey Employment and Training Commission, 1993-94.
  • Expert Witness, NY Hotel and Motel Trades Council v. Hotel Association of NYC, Inc., 1988-90.


  • Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2012-2015.
  • Organization of American Historians Frederick Jackson Turner Award Committee, 2013-2014.
  • Awards Panel, Sol Stein Labor History Prize, Sidney Hillman Foundation, 2011-
  • Editorial Board, International Labor and Working-Class History, 1995 –
  • Contributing Editors, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History, 2004-
  • Expert Witness, NY Hotel and Motel Trades Council v. Hotel Association of NYC, Inc., 1988-90.

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