Elizabeth Faue

Elizabeth Faue

Director, Labor@Wayne; Employment and Labor Relations Program
Professor, History and Employment and Labor Relations

313-577-5358; 577-2525


255 Reuther Library; 3173 Faculty/Administration Bldg

Curriculum vitae



Elizabeth Faue

Elizabeth Faue is known for her work exploring the gendered dimensions of labor, politics, and working-class experience and as an advocate for interdisciplinary scholarship, labor studies, critical engagement and higher education. Currently Director of Labor@Wayne and the Employment and Labor Relations program, she served as Chair of the Department of History from 2015-2023, as Associate Dean of the Graduate School from 2007 to 2009, and as Director of Graduate Studies in History from 2010 to 2015. A union member for much of her career, Faue is a first-generation college graduate and the daughter and granddaugher of unionists.

Faue is the author of "Rethinking the American Labor Movement" (Routledge, 2017), an interpretive history, "Community of Suffering and Struggle: Women and Men in the Labor Movement in Minneapolis 1915-1945" (University of North Carolina Press,1991) and "Writing the Wrongs: Eva Valesh and the Rise of Labor Journalism" (Cornell University Press, 2002). She has written more than fifty articles and nearly 200 other publications. She edited volume 7 of "Encyclopedia of American History (The Making of Modern America, 1900-1929)" and special issues of "Labor History" (1993) and "Social Science History" (2000). Her current research focuses on changing workplace risk and endangerment since the 1970s and its relationship to American Democracy, and on the contemporary teacher and nurse activism. 

Since 2016, Faue has headed Career Diversity initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the History Department. She and her two colleagues, Tracy Neumann and Eric Ash, received an American Historical Association Career Diversity Implementation grant for 2018-2020 to improve doctoral education and expand career pathways in History. She also has been part of the grant team for a Council of Graduate Schools career diversity grant.  In 2016-2018, Faue was the Project Director of The Value of Humanities in the Global City, a National Endowment for the Humanities Next Generation Humanities PhD Planning Grant awarded to Wayne State University for August 2017-May 2018. The Challenge Grant project sought to enhance the skills and experience of doctoral students in the broadly-defined Humanities to broaden career diversity and improve career outcomes in the changing landscape of employment and higher education. The WSU's project focused on two aspects--developing skills and knowledge of faculty mentors, thus creating a new cohort of Next Generation Humanities PhD Mentors, and on creating new models for Humanities-based internships for doctoral students to enhance professional development. As part of the NEH Grant, and with support from the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Next Generation Humanities PhD Steering Committee established pilot Humanities Clinics in summer 2017 and summer 2018, along with traditional internships, that offered professional experience to doctoral students in the Humanities and Social Sciences and opportunities to network, engage with community, and enhance their skills. Faue continued to serve as executive director of the Humanities Clinic until summer 2024, when the Humanities Clinic has been incorporated into the Humanities Center, and as postdoctoral mentor to its managing director, Lillian Wilson, for the Clinic, now in its ninth year.

As coordinator for the North American Labor History Conference between 1991 and 2003, Elizabeth Faue brought over 2000 scholars to the annual conference. As a program chair and officer of the Social Science History Association, she expanded the labor network and made crucial links among scholars of different disciplines. One of the founding members of the Labor and Working Class History Association and of the Working Class Studies Association, she has served on the editorial boards of International Labor and Working Class History, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, Workers of the World: International Journal of Strikes and Social Conflicts, Labour History, Labour History Review, Labor History, and Social Science History.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Gender and women's history

  • Labor and working class history

  • Politics and policy, 20th century U.S., and comparative

  • Occupational health and safety


Nurse and teacher labor activism; occupational health and safety; environmental history; family history and genealogy


  • Susan B. Anthony Postdoctoral Fellow in Women's Studies, University of Rochester, 1988-1990
  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota (History) 1987
  • M.A., University of Minnesota (History) 1985
  • B.A., University of Minnesota (English, Summa Cum Laude), 1979

Awards and grants

  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Next Generation Humanities PhD Planning Grant (2016-2017)

  • American Historical Association Career Diversity Implementation grant (co-PI with Eric Ash and Tracy Neumann), 2018-2020

  • American Historical Association, Career Diversity Faculty Institutes grant, 2017-2018

News mentions

Selected publications


  • Rethinking the American Labor Movement (Routledge, 2017)
  • Writing the Wrongs: Eva Valesh and the Rise of Labor Journalism (Cornell University Press, 2002)
  • Community of Suffering and Struggle: Women, Men and the Labor Movement in Minneapolis, 1915-1945 (University of North Carolina Press, 1991)

Articles, chapters and review essays

  • “Responding to the Shadow of Tragedy: Jeanne Stellman and the Work of the Women’s Occupational Resource Center,” co-authored with Amanda Lauren Walter, Journal of Women’s History (2022), 94-115
  • “Work and the Politics of the Injured Body: Health, Gender, and Workplace Democracy in the United States,” in E. Betti, S. Neunsinger, L. Papastefanaki, M. Tolomelli, S. Zimmermann, eds, Women, Work, and Agency: Organizing and Activism around the World in the Long 20th Century, Work and Labor Transdisciplinary Studies for the 21st Century series (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2022), 187-208
  • “The Precarious Work of Care:  OSHA, AIDS, and Women Health Care Workers, 1983-2000.” Co-authored with Josiah Rector. Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 17:4 (December 2020), 9-33
  • “Fix the Workplace, Not the Worker: Labour Feminism and the Shifting Grounds of Equality in the U.S. Workplace, 1960-91,” co-authored with Josiah Rector and Amanda Lauren Walter, Labour History 119 (November 2020), 93-114
  • “Battle for or in the Classroom: Teacher Strikes in the Context of School Violence and Integration,” in Strike for the Common Good: Fighting for the Future of Public Education, eds. Rebecca Kolins Givan and Amy Schrager Lang (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2020), 36-49
  • “The Laboring of American Journalism—The Other ‘Labor Beat,’” Journalism and Communication Monographs 22:1 (March 2020), 81-86; published February 10, 2020
  • “In a World of Fragmentation, There is No Single Working-Class Story,” in How Does Documentary Pop the Political Bubble: Retrospective of Julia Reichert’s Fifty Years in FilmSound Board online forum, Moving Image Department, Walker Art Center and East Side Freedom Library, February 2020
  • “Radical Experience and the Surveillance State,” Reviews in American History 45:1 (March 2017), 136-144
  • “Re-imagining Labor: Gender and New Directions in Labor and Working-Class History,” in Rethinking U.S. Labor History: Essays in the Working-Class Experience, 1756 - 2009, Donna Haverty-Stacke and Daniel J. Walkowitz, eds., (New York: Continuum Press, 2010), 266-288
  • “United States of America,” Histories of Labour: National and Transnational Perspectives, Joan Allen, Alan Campbell, Malcolm Chase, John McIlroy, eds., Society for the Study of Labour History (London: Merlin Press, 2010), 164-195
  • “’Methods of Mysticism’ and the Industrial Order: Michigan Labor Law, 1870-1940,” The History of Michigan Law, eds. Paul Finkelman and Martin Hershock (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006), 214-237
  • “Shifting Labor’s Loyalties: Redefining Citizenship and Allegiance,” in Philip Abbott, ed, The Many Faces of Patriotism (Boston: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), 111-27
  • “Gender, Class and History.” The New Working Class Studies. John Russo and Sherry Linkon, eds. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005), 19-31, 237-42
  • “Revolutionary Desire: Redefining the Politics of Sexuality among American Radicals, 1919‑1945,” co-authored with Kathleen A. Brown, in Sexual Borderlands: Constructing an American Sexual Past, Kathleen Kennedy and Sharon Ullman eds, (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2003), 273-302
  • "Social Bonds, Sexual Politics and Political Community on the U.S. Left, 1920s-1940s," coauthored with Kathleen A. Brown, Left History 7:1 (Spring 2001) 7-42
  • "Reproducing the Class Struggle: Class, Gender and Social Reproduction in U.S. Labor History." Amerikanische Arbeitergeschichte Heute, edited by Irmgard Steinisch, Mitteilungsblatt des Instituts fur soziale Bewegungen (Bochum: Ruhr Universitaet, 2001), 47-66
  • ‘Paths of Unionization: Community, Bureaucracy, and Gender in the Minneapolis Labor Movement, 1935-1945,’ in Baron, ed, Work Engendered: Toward a New Labor History (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), 296-319; reprinted in Lynd, ed, `We Are All Leaders': Essays on Alternative Unionism in the 1930s (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996), 172-98; "Gender and Community in the Minneapolis Labor Movement," in Gordon, ed, Major Problems in American History, 1920-1945 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin,1999), 356-63
  • "Women, Family and Politics: The Farmer-Labor Women's Federation and Social Policy in the Great Depression." In Women, Politics, and Change in Twentieth Century America. Edited by Louise Tilly and Patricia Gurin. New York: Russell Sage, 1990. 436-456
  • "The `Dynamo of Change': Gender and Solidarity in the American Labour Movement of the 1930s." Gender and History 1:2 (Summer 1989), 138-158

Citation index

Courses taught by Elizabeth Faue

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Spring-Summer Term 2024 (current)

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022