Labor and Film (LS214)

Labor and Film

This course will examine workers' lives and the labor movement using film. Students will explore the various social issues and problems raised by each film and examine how these issues are shaped by important social factors including social class, race/ethnicity and gender. We will pay particular attention to whether workers and their unions are depicted as passive victims of larger social forces or whether they are portrayed as participants in their own destinies. We will also explore how the films depict the relationship between the labor movement and other movements for social change.


Alex Blair

Alex Blair earned a PhD in U.S. history from the University at Buffalo in 1993.  He has taught U.S. history at Buffalo State College since 2007, specializing in labor history, immigration, and America in the Twentieth Century.  He also works as an historian consultant with a number of unions including the Teamsters, the CWA, the UAW, and New York State united Teachers.  Prior to joining the faculty at Buffalo State, Blair worked at Cornell University ILR in the Buffalo Extension Division from 1987 to 2002.  He also worked as co-host and executive producer of the weekly syndicated radio show "Prospering in America."  Most recently he has published a book on the Teamsters and the civil rights movement and an article on Labor and the political left in Buffalo, New York.



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