Milwaukee is a lovely summertime destination, a city on a lake with festivals nearly every week, a rich ethnic tradition reflected in architecture, neighborhoods, and foods, and many worthwhile sights and activities within a day’s drive, from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin North to the west, Chicago to the south, and Lake Michigan’s shoreline itself to the east. It is also a perfect site to contemplate labor’s past and future: the city has a long history with the labor movement and civil rights—from the tragedy of the 1886 Bayview Massacre, in which seven people were killed during a demonstration in favor of the eight-hour work day, to the late 1960s marches which led to Milwaukee being called “Selma of the North,” to the longest-running Socialist administration in U.S. cities, one which focused on “sewer socialism” in recognition of the needs for basic infrastructure to support working people. Wisconsin itself was instrumental in the development of the modern union movement and Robert LaFollette’s Progressive movement, but has also been at the bleeding edge of the current anti-union movement troubling labor throughout the United States. A perfect place to labor over labor.
Marquette University is the home of the J.R.R. Tolkien manuscript collection, containing the original manuscripts for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. As a conference bonus, conference attendees will be invited to a lecture on the manuscript collection by the curator of the collection, William Fliss, which will include a display of some of the collection’s greatest treatures. The conference will also be supported by Marquette’s new interdisciplinary research hub, the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities.
Information about travel to the conference site and accommodations at the conference hotel can be found here. More detailed information is coming soon.