First, choose a current labor issue, in the United States or elsewhere in the world, that you find interesting.
Current Events Assignment
1250-1500 words paper (typed, double-spaced) or equivalent work Due July 18
The conditions under which we live today are a product of historical events—of actions people took in the past and the social structures they left behind. We can only understand the problems of today if we understand the past events that have shaped our present.
In addition, we can only understand how to shape the future if we draw lessons from past experience. If we want to produce a particular outcome, the only way to know what kind of action we should take is to observe what kinds of actions have produced similar outcomes in the past. Labor historian Peter Rachleff put it well: “I study history because I am interested in the future.”
This assignment focuses on how we can use history and apply its lessons in our times.
First, choose a current labor issue, in the United States or elsewhere in the world, that you find interesting. Do some background research on that event (reporting and analysis from sources such as those listed below). This is not a long research paper, so you do not have to do extensive research.
Second, think about how the issue you are studying relates to the history we have studied. In what way is this issue or problem a product of events or social structures that we have studied historically? Are there any lessons we can draw about how people might shape the future, in regard to this issue, that we can draw from past efforts we have studied?
You can choose to present your work as a short paper (1000-1250 words) or in some other form, such as a slide presentation (PowerPoint) with narration, a short video (such as iMovie) of your own creation, etc. If you have another idea about how you would like to present your ideas, feel free to propose that. (I want to support your creativity, and so am open to your ideas, but it is best to check beforehand.)
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