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Photo of Schuhrke, Jeff

Jeff Schuhrke, PhD



Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

“Agrarian Reform and the AFL-CIO’s Cold War in El Salvador,” Diplomatic History, Vol.44, No. 4: 527-553, 2020.

“‘Comradely Brainwashing’: International Development, Labor Education, and Industrial Relations in the Cold War,” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History Vol. 16, No. 3: 39-67, 2019.

(co-authored with Jasmine Kerrissey) “Life Chances: Worker Fatalities in Less Developed Countries,” Social Forces Vol. 95, No. 1: 191-216, 2016.

“Toward Radical Risk Reduction and Revolutionary Adaptation: Climate Disasters, Agriculture, and Capitalist Modernity,” Human Geography Vol. 6, No. 3: 75-88, 2013.

Other Publications (selected)
“No Justice, No Italian Beef: Workers at Portillo’s Food Chain Walk Out on Strike,” In These Times, July 8, 2021.
“U.S. Unions Are Voicing Unprecedented Support for Palestine,” In These Times, May 26, 2021.
“US Labor Leaders Should Stand with Palestine,” Jacobin, May 12, 2021.
“The Movement to End At-Will Employment Is Getting Serious,” In These Times, April 6, 2021.
“Union Dues Are About Building Democratic, Self-Sustaining, Working-Class Organizations,” Jacobin, February 23, 2021.
“After Threatening Strike, Chicago Teachers Set “New Standard” With Safer School Reopening Plan,” In These Times, February 10, 2021.
“The Labor Movement Has a Game Plan for the Biden Era,” In These Times, January 20, 2021.

“‘This Strike Is a Fight for Our Lives’: Healthcare Workers Are Walking Off the Job to Demand Pandemic Protections,” In These Times, December 2, 2020.

“Millions of U.S Workers for Walmart, McDonald’s and Other Corporate Giants Rely on Food Stamps and Medicaid,” In These Times, November 20, 2020.

“El fracaso de la reforma agraria fue un patrocinio de los sindicatos estadounidenses,” El Faro Academico, November 14, 2020.

“‘We Won’t Let Him’: Unions Nationwide Are Planning a General Strike If Trump Tries to Steal the Election. In These Times, November 3, 2020.

“The Nightmare Facing the Poor and Working Class If There’s Not Another Stimulus,” In These Times, October 12, 2020.

“Why Won’t the US’s Largest Labor Federation Talk About a General Strike?” Jacobin, September 18, 2020.

“Healthcare Workers Are Leading the Largest Strike Ever at the University of Illinois-Chicago,” In These Times, September 16, 2020.

“The US Labor Movement Needs More of the UE’s ‘Them and Us’ Unionism,” Jacobin, August 10, 2020.

“When Arab-American Detroit Auto Workers Struck for Palestinian Liberation,” Jacobin, August 3, 2020.

“OSHA Is Failing Essential Workers. Why Not Let Them Sue Their Bosses?” In These Times, July 29, 2020.

“Weed That’s Legal and Union: Marijuana Dispensary Becomes First in Illinois to Unionize,” In These Times, June 29, 2020.

“Field Museum Workers Say It’s Time for the CEO to Start Making Sacrifices, Too,” In These Times, June 12, 2020.

“How the AFL-CIO Can Fight Imperialism and Climate Change,” Jacobin, January 17, 2020.

“Reckoning With the AFL-CIO’s Imperialist History,” Jacobin, January 9, 2020.

“Chicago Teachers Won Public Support for Their Strike. Here’s How.,” In These Times, October 15, 2019.

“Graduate Workers Will Fight Like Hell to Stop the Trump Labor Board’s New Rule,” Truthout, September 27, 2019.

“Strikes Work: The Story of the 2019 UIC Grad Worker Strike,” The Activist History Review, August 14, 2019.

“Got a Text to Go to a Picket Line? Might Be from Bernie,” Salon, June 8, 2019.

“How UIC Grad Workers Fought the Neoliberal University Model — And Won,” Jacobin, May 1, 2019.

“UIC Needs an Investment in Faculty — Not Just Campus Renovations,” Chicago Tribune, February 2, 2019.

“The Making of the Graduate Working Class,” Perspectives on History, January 29, 2019.

“A Testing of the Waters After Janus,” Jacobin, November 14, 2018.

“Today Amazon, Tomorrow the Railroad Industry,” Common Dreams, October 3, 2018.

“Thousands of Chicago Workers Are Out On the First Citywide Hotel Strike In Over a Century,” In These Times, September 11, 2018.

“Voters Just Killed Right to Work in Missouri, Proving Labor Still Has Power Under Janus,” In These Times, August 7, 2018.
“Ed Sadlowski (1938-2018),” Jacobin, June 16, 2018.

“In a Historic First, the Chicago Teachers Union and Charter School Teachers Have Joined Forces,” In These Times, February 1, 2018.

“In the GOP Tax Bill, Only the Rich Can Afford Grad School,” Salon, December 3, 2017.

“Workers Say NAFTA’s Neoliberal Foundations Need to Be Dismantled from the Left—Not the Right,” Truthout, October 28, 2017.

“A Trailblazing New Law in Illinois Will Dramatically Expand Temp Workers’ Rights,” In These Times, October 4, 2017.

“8,000 Airport Workers in Chicago Just Won a Wage Raise and the Right to a Union,” In These Times, September 11, 2017.

“New Study Finds ‘More Sweatshops Than Starbucks’ in Chicago,” Salon, May 28, 2017.

“Ohio Factory Workers Fight for a Union: ‘Everyone Deserves a Seat at the Table,’” Alternet, January 4, 2017.

“Taking Militancy to College,” (co-authored with Dawn Tefft), Jacobin, December 28, 2016.

“A Ph.D. in Organizing,” (co-authored with Dawn Tefft), Labor Notes, December 16, 2016.

“The Fight For Free College Moves to the States,” In These Times, December 13, 2016.

“Labor Research and Action Network Aims to Connect Researchers and Scholars with the Labor Movement,” In These Times, June 27, 2016.

“New Chicago Law Will Give Almost Half a Million Workers Guaranteed Paid Sick Leave,” In These Times, June 22, 2016.

“American and Palestinian Unionists Build International Solidarity To Win ‘Freedom’ for Palestine,” In These Times, April 6, 2016.

“Supermarket Checker: ‘If You Want Personality, Then You Come to My Line,’” In These Times, May 19, 2014.

“Equal Work Deserves Equal Pay, Say UMass Amherst Professors,” In These Times, January 29, 2014.

“Cooperation Without Borders,” In These Times, October 22, 2013.

“Seeking Environmental Justice, Community Battles Railroad and Rahm,” In These Times, August 22, 2013.

“Deli Worker Speaks Out Against Sexual Harassment and Racial Slurs,” In These Times, July 10, 2013.

Notable Honors

2021, Shirley A. Bill Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of History

2021, Kenneth May Media Award, Labor and Employment Relations Association

2020, Semi-Finalist, Fulbright U.S. Student Program

2019-2020, Marion S. Miller Dissertation Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of History

2019-2020, Marion S. Miller Dissertation Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of History

2018-2019, Robert V. Remini Scholarship, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of History

2017-2018, Provost's Award, University of Illinois at Chicago, Graduate College

2009-2011, IDCE Fellowship, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE)

2008, Spirit of Service Award, Corporation for National and Community Service


University of Illinois at Chicago, PhD in History, 2020
University of Massachusetts Amherst, MS in Labor Studies, 2014
Clark University, MA in International Development and Social Change, 2011
Colorado State University, BA in History (Magna Cum Laude), 2004
University of Leicester (semester abroad), 2003


- Modern America: From Industrialization to Globalization
- Introduction to Latin American History
- Chicago and the World
- History of Chicago
- Latin America since 1850
- History Methods Colloquium

Selected Presentations

"From 'Free' Trade Unionism to Free Trade Zones: US Labor Internationalism at Cold War's End," Labor and Working-Class History Association 2021 Conference, May 27, 2021, (virtual conference).
"Writing and Teaching a Labor History of Contingent Faculty" (panel contributor), United Association for Labor Education 2021 Conference, May 24, 2021, (virtual conference).

“The History of Labor Movements in the U.S.”  Invited guest lecture for sociology course Reorganizing Labor and Life, School of the Art Institute Chicago, September 5, 2019, Chicago, IL.

“Land, Labor, and ‘Free’ Trade Unionism: Agrarian Reform and the AFL-CIO’s Cold War in El Salvador.”   Labor and Working-Class History Association 2019 Conference, May 30-June 1, 2019, Duke University, Durham, NC.

“Student Labor Struggles in the Age of Corporate Universities” (panel contributor). Invited presentation for DePaul University Department of International Studies, April 16, 2019.

“Academic Unions: History and Current Prospects” (with Prof. Robert Johnston).
UIC History Department, Brownbag Presentation, February 27, 2019, Chicago, IL.

“The Making of the Graduate Working Class: Perspectives on University Activism and Responsibility” (panel contributor).
American Historical Association Annual Meeting, January 3-6, 2019, Chicago, IL.

“Organized Labor’s Alliance for Progress: the AFL-CIO and Foreign Aid in the 1960s.”
Loyola University Chicago History Graduate Student Conference, November 3, 2018, Chicago, IL.

“Modernizing the Global Working Class: Labor and Development in the Cold War.”
UIC History Department, Brownbag Presentation, March 14, 2018, Chicago, IL.

“U.S. Labor’s Modernizing Mission: Exporting Industrial Pluralism in the ‘Development Decade.’”
History of Science Society 2017 Annual Meeting, November 9-12, 2017, Toronto, Ontario.

“U.S. Labor History: A Brief Sketch.”
Invited lecture for Students Organizing United with Labor (SOUL), University of Chicago, October 24, 2017, Chicago, IL.

“U.S. Labor’s Modernizing Mission: Exporting Industrial Pluralism in the ‘Development Decade.’”
Labor and Working-Class History Association 2017 Conference, June 22-25, 2017, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

“U.S. Labor’s Modernizing Mission.”
Northwestern University Buffett Institute for Global Studies Graduate Conference, March 30-31,  Evanston, IL.

Invited response to Jonathan Levy (University of Chicago)- “The New Economy Revised.”
History of Capitalism Seminar, September 30, 2016, Newberry Library, Scholl Center, Chicago, IL.

“Toward Radical Risk Reduction and Revolutionary Adaptation.”
The Politics of Disaster: The Mitigation, Management and International Response to Environmental Crises, May 26-27, 2011, American Graduate School in Paris, Paris, France.

Research Currently in Progress

I'm interested in the role of the U.S. labor movement in carrying out U.S. foreign policy objectives during the Cold War, particularly with regard to international development programs in the Global South. I'm currently adapting my dissertation on the AFL-CIO's Cold War foreign interventions into a book manuscript, and am also in the beginning stages of a new project examining the impact of international labor solidarity in El Salvador's civil war (1980-1992).