Skip to main content

Labor and Film

Course Number
LS214

Part of the Online Labor Studies Program this course examines the history of unions in the US through the use of film. Students will explore the various social issues raised by each film. Each week we will watch a film, analyze it, and discuss our reactions.

Choose your Class

Effective March 16, 2020, the educational programs scheduled to be delivered at our New York City facility will be moved to virtual delivery, where possible, or rescheduled. For those programs that do not lend themselves to a distance-education format, we will postpone them until we receive guidance from the University and public health officials that it is safe to hold those programs in-person. Please contact ilrcustomerservice@cornell.edu with any questions. We will provide updates as they become available from the University.

Schedule & Details

Course

Labor and Film

Labor and Film examines the history of unions and workers in the United States through the use of 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.

KEY TOPICS

  • The historical context of each film

  • How movies shape society's perception of workers and unions

  • When, why and how filmakers changed history to make a "better" story

  • How the perspective of the filmakers shapes the presentation of the narrative

APPROACH AND FEATURES
Each week we will watch a film, analyze it and its historical context, and discuss our reactions.  The short weekly reading will be available as pdf files for download.  A list of DVDs and a link to where they can be purchased will be included in the syllabus.

BENEFITS TO YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION
You and your organization will have a small library of DVDs that can provide labor history education to community organizations sympathetic to labor and as an internal organizing tool.

Customized Delivery

Schedule this program for your organization.

Get Updates

Sign up for notification of new workshop dates.

Have Questions?

This course is part of this certificate

App-Workers Organizing: Global Perspectives

Join us for a one-day international forum on the topic of policy and organizational solutions to the challenges of the "app-based" economy.
  • Circle with checkmark Icon
    May 8, 2020
  • Circle with checkmark Icon
    $50
  • Circle with checkmark Icon

    New York, NY


Register for App-Workers Organizing: Global Perspectives

See more dates and locations for App-Workers Organizing: Global Perspectives

Negotiation Skills (online)

This introductory-level workshop is designed to develop the skills of union negotiators who do not have extensive experience in advancing a collective bargaining strategy. This online workshop is part of the four-course Labor Leadership Skills Certificate Program, participants do not have to be online at a specific time.


  • Circle with checkmark Icon
    Apr 6 - 26, 2020
  • Circle with checkmark Icon
    $199


Register for Negotiation Skills (online)

See more dates and locations for Negotiation Skills (online)

Private Sector Labor Law

Part of the Online Labor Studies Program this course surveys the major areas of the law as it applies to workers and unions in the private sector. Students will concentrate on major provisions of the NLRB, examining how NLRB and Federal Courts have interpreted the national labor laws.


Register for Private Sector Labor Law

See more dates and locations for Private Sector Labor Law