Eric Arnesen

Eric Arnesen

Title:
Professor of History
Office:
Phillips Hall 212
Address: 801 22nd St. NW
Phone: 202-994-1053
Email:
arnesen@gwu.edu

Background

Eric Arnesen is the James R. Hoffa Professor of American Labor History and Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.  His scholarly work focuses on issues of race, labor, politics, and civil rights. In his book, Brotherhoods of Color, he explored traditions of black trade unionism and labor activism, white union racial ideologies and practices, and workplace race relations. In various essays, he has debated the uses of the concept of “whiteness” in American history, the character of black anti-communism, and the utility of the “long civil rights movement” framework. His current project is a political biography of the civil rights and labor leader A. Philip Randolph. A former president of The Historical Society, Professor Arnesen teaches courses on modern US history, American labor history, and race and public policy. His reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe and his review essays have appeared in The New Republic, Dissent, and Historically Speaking. In 2006, he held the Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the Swedish Institute for North American Studies at Uppsala University in Sweden and in 2011-2012 he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  He is currently co-chair of the Washington History Seminar at the Wilson Center.  (Complete C.V.)

Publications

Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

  • Winner, Wesley-Logan Prize in Diaspora History, American Historical Association and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, 2001.
  • Distinguished Honors, Robert F. Kennedy Book Award of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, 2002.
  • Finalist, Sidney Hillman Book Award, 2002.

Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923. Oxford University Press, 1991; University of Illinois Press, 1994 paperback edition.

  • Winner, John H. Dunning Prize, American Historical Association, 1991.

Editor, The Black Worker: Race, Labor, and Civil Rights since Emancipation. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007.

Black Protest and the Great Migration: A Brief History with Documents. Bedford Series in History & Culture, Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2002.

“A. Philip Randolph, Emerging Socialist Radical” in Andrew Kersten and Clarence Lang, eds., Reframing Randolph: Debating A. PhilipRandolph’s Legacies to Labor and Black Freedom (New York University Press, forthcoming 2014)

The Traditions of African-American Anticommunism,” Twentieth Century Communism Issue 6 
(2014): 124-148

Civil Rights and the Cold War At Home: Post-War Activism, Anticommunism, and the Decline of the Left” and “The Final Conflict?: On the Scholarship of Civil Rights, the Left and the Cold War,” American Communist History 11, No. 2 (Spring 2012): 5-44, 63-80

“No ‘Graver Danger’: Black Anticommunism, the Communist Party, and the Race Question.” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 3, no. 4 (Winter 2006): 13-52.

“Passion and Politics: Race and the Writing of Working-Class History.” The Journal of the Historical Society 6, no. 3 (Fall 2006): 323-56.

“Whiteness and the Historians’ Imagination.” International Labor and Working-Class History 60 (Fall 2001): 3-32.

Classes Taught

Hist 1311: Introduction to American History, 1876-present
Hist 3321: Contemporary U.S. History Since 1945