Award Recipients

2017 Award Recipient

LaShawn Harris

The Philip Taft Prize in Labor and Working-Class History has now completed its ninth year as a joint committee of LAWCHA and the Cornell ILR School and its 39th year as an award.  The Taft Prize Committee this year consisted of Ileen DeVault (Chair, ILR-Cornell), Louis Hyman (ILR-Cornell), Stacey Smith (Oregon State, LAWCHA), Thomas Dublin (SUNY Binghamton, LAWCHA), and Talitha LeFlouria (University of Virginia, LAWCHA). 

The 2017 Philip Taft Labor History Book Award goes to LaShawn Harris for her book, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners:  Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy, published by the University of Illinois Press.  Harris's focus on labor in the informal, irregular urban economy recovers the lived and laboring experiences of a population of poor, working-class women that have been completely elided in labor and working-class history.  Her creative and innovative research and analysis of both the opportunities and the dangers of this work help us reconceptualize how we think about labor and the economy.