Leon Fink, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), will present the 2006 Mary Young Alumni Lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Gamble Room, 361 Rush Rhees Library, on the University of Rochester's River Campus. A reception will precede the talk at 4:45 p.m. in the Gamble Room.
Fink's lecture, titled "Sweatshops at Sea: Globalization and the La Follette Act of 1915," will discuss the contributing factors that led to President Woodrow Wilson's signing of the La Follette Act of 1915 and how the policy debate touched on many issues still present today. He will focus on legislators' attempts to combat the pressures of the international marketplace and will re-examine the issues of labor and globalization from a modern-day perspective.
Fink received his bachelor's degree with high honors from Harvard University in 1970 and went on to receive his doctorate in 1977 in American history from the University of Rochester. He is currently a professor of history and director of the Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World graduate program at UIC.
A prominent scholar in American labor history, Fink is the author of seven books, the most recent titled The Maya of Morganton: Work and Community in the Nuevo New South. The book discusses the arrival of several hundred Guatemalan-born workers in a Morganton, N.C., poultry plant and addresses fundamental questions about the globalization of the United States labor market. He is editor of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. Fink has also published more than 30 scholarly articles and several journalistic pieces.
Fink has received a number of honors, including fellowships from the Institute for the Humanities, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, and the National Humanities Center. He also serves on the national advisory board for the Society of History Education. From 1998 to 2001, Fink was the vice president of the teaching division of the American Historical Association.
The Mary Young Lecture Series is sponsored by the Department of History and recognizes the work of Professor Emerita Mary Young, a specialist in Native American history who joined the faculty as a full professor in 1973 after an 18-year tenure at Ohio State University. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact (585) 275-2052.