Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Dorothy Sue Cobble
  • Distinguished Professor of History and Labor Studies
  • Degree: Ph.D.,  Stanford University
  • Additional Degree(s): B.A.,  University of California, Berkeley
  • Specialty: Modern US: History of Labor; Women's and Gender History
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Office: 204 Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8219
  • Office 2: 50 Labor Center Way, Room 154
  • Phone 2: 848-932-1742
  • Research Interests: 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.

pdf Curriculum Vitae (152 KB)


  • 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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