Course Description

Are you eager to improve your academic writing abilities? Writing is hard work. Contrary to the widespread assumption that some people are born with a “gift” for writing and others are not, writing is a skill that must be learned. Learn to express complex ideas in argumentative, analytical writing by studying the field of labor (work).

Labor studies is an important academic field. Almost everyone has to work at some point in their lives. This work can be paid or unpaid, highly paid or low-waged. It can take place in the home or outside of the house. It can be rewarding, or it can feel like drudgery—or sometimes both. It can involve manual labor, or it can include sitting at a desk and writing. Work shapes all of our lives. Work has a history. Learning about the history and sociology of work helps us better understand social inequality and how to fight it.?

Through closely studying the history and politics of labor, you will gain greater facility in the? “labor?“ of writing, learn how to conduct academic research, and learn to think like a historian by analyzing rare historical documents housed at Duke’s Rubenstein Library. On the last day of class, you will present your research to the group in a supportive community setting. By the end of the course, you will have strengthened your writing, research, and presentation skills and gained a solid foundation in the study of labor.

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