• Dorothy Sue Cobble
  • Dorothy Sue Cobble
  • Distinguished Professor Emerita of History and Labor Studies
  • Degree: Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Additional Degree(s): B.A., University of California, Berkeley
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  • 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)



  • Subversive Thinkers: An Intellectual History of American Labor (under contract, The New Press)
  • For the Many: American Feminists and the Global Fight for Democratic Equality (Princeton, 2021)
  • 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

  • ““America Once Led the Push for Parental Rights” (with Mona Siegel) Washington Post, 8 February 2019.
  • “The Other ILO Founders,” in Eileen Boris, Dorothea Hoehtker, and Susan Zimmermann, eds. The Women’s ILO: Transnational Networks, Global Labor Standards and Gender Equity. Geneva: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 27-49.
  • “Who Speaks for Workers? Japan and the 1919 ILO Debates Over Rights and Global Labor Standards,” In Jill 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.


  • Election to Membership in the Society of American Historians, 2018-
  • Honorary Doctorate in Social Science (DSc), Stockholm University, Sweden, September 2017.
  • Kerstin Hesselgren International Fellowship, Swedish Research Council 2016.
  • ACLS Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2015-2016.
  • Visiting Scholar, 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.


  • Scholarly Advisory Board, Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, 2020-
  • Editorial Committee, Labor, 2018-
  • Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2012-
  • 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., 1988-89.