Inaugural Zieger Prize in Southern Labor Studies Awarded

Dear University of Florida Colleagues,

Thanks to the support of faculty and staff at the University of Florida, the generosity of colleagues nationally, as well as generous backing of the family of the late Bob and Gay Zieger, the Southern Labor Studies Association was able to establish an endowment in support of the biannual Robert H. Zieger Prize for the best essay in Southern Labor Studies.

I am pleased to report that the inaugural Zieger Prize was recently awarded to A. Lane Windham, a history PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, for her essay, “The Cannon Mills Case: Out of the Southern Frying Pan, Into the Global Fire.” This work is part of Ms. Windham’s dissertation in progress.

The award committee, which I chaired, was also composed of Max Krochmal (Texas Christian University) and Michelle Haberland (Georgia Southern University). The committee gave an honorable mention to Joey Fink, history PhD candidate at UNC-Chapel Hill, for her essay, “In Good Faith: Working-Class Women, Feminism, and Religious Support in the Struggle to Organize J. P. Stevens Textile Workers in the Southern Piedmont, 1974–1980.”

The committee cited Windham for her carefully researched and creatively argued study, which demonstrates that the threat of globalization was manufacturing employers’ most potent weapon against unionization. Scholars have long argued that in the years after the Civil Rights movement increases in the racial diversity of the textile industry workforce resulted in union victories like the Textile Workers Union of America’s (TWUA’s) successful election at Cannon in 1974. By explaining why those gains faded in the 1980s, “The Cannon Mills Case” offers a nuanced history of labor’s decline in the United States.

I invite you to find learn more about the work of the Southern Labor Studies Association by visiting our web site at:

You may make a donation in support of sustaining the Zieger Prize to: SLSA,
c/o Dr. Evan Bennett, Treasurer, Department of History,
Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Best Regards,
Paul Ortiz,
Executive Board Member,
Southern Labor Studies Association