Manhattan College Offering New Labor Studies Major in 2011

Starting in January 2011, Manhattan College will be offering a new undergraduate labor studies major and minor in the school of arts.

Starting in January 2011, Manhattan College will be offering a new undergraduate labor studies major and minor in the school of arts. The labor studies program will teach critical intellectual skills enabling students to analyze social policy questions and prepare for graduate studies and/or careers in government, labor law, union organization, human resources, teaching, and much more.

“I am honored to serve as the first director of the B.A. in labor studies at Manhattan College and that the new program will pay tribute to Brother Justin Brennan, F.S.C., who was the first pioneer of labor education at the College,” said Joseph J. Fahey, Ph.D., professor of religious studies. “As part of our Lasallian tradition, we are committed to social justice for all and this will be further exemplified through the future work of Manhattan’s labor studies graduates.”

The labor studies curriculum was developed by an interdisciplinary program committee to educate students on the rapidly changing workplace in a global economic climate, including the rights of workers and the place of workers’ associations in an international context.

Students majoring in the new program are required to complete 30 credits with nine critical labor studies credits consisting of an introductory course, Labor Studies Colloquium, fieldwork and a senior seminar. The additional 21 credits are derived from the humanities, social sciences, business and education disciplines. Within the minor, students must take Labor Studies Colloquium and 12 credits of electives.

Both Labor Studies Colloquium and U.S. Labor Patterns and Movements are two new courses launching in January 2011 as part of the program. U.S. Labor Patterns and Movements, a labor history course, will analyze the ways that people have made history on the job from the rise of the corporate economy in the late 19th century to today’s global corporate era. In addition, both courses will utilize New York City sites significant to the story of the U.S. workforce and labor organizing.

“I am delighted that labor studies has been added to the already strong group of interdisciplinary majors offered by the school of arts at Manhattan, which include peace studies, the first such program in New York state, along with international studies and urban affairs,” said Richard K. Emmerson, Ph.D., dean of the school of arts.