How have workers created social and political change in the United States? What counts as work? What can workers do today to maintain and build power? This course explores these three thematic questions through an exploration of the history of workers and their organizations in American history after emancipation. We will explore the history and meaning of class and work and the relationship of work to the state through reading, discussion, and film. We will pay special attention to the ways in which these understandings of class are shaped by gender. Readings include David von Drehle, Annelise Orleck, Jefferson Cowie, and Bethany Moreton.