On October 13, 2021, graduate students in Professor Andy Urban’s U.S. Labor History colloquium sat down to talk with Rebecca Givan, the president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT; Ann Gordon, the Emeriti Representative to our Executive Council; and Sherry Wolf, the union’s senior organizer.
In the wide-ranging conversation that ensued, graduate students—in their roles as interviewers—had the opportunity to learn about the union’s history, its present struggles, and what the future might bring. This was also a consciousness-raising exercise. At Rutgers, graduate workers are members of the union and therefore have a stake in learning about how the union’s goals, composition, and philosophy has changed over time. Through this act of collaborative knowledge production, students also learned how they might organize for the future.
With this page and the accompanying posts written by the students, Rutgers AAUP-AFT hopes to begin building a section of the website dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of our own history. As the union continues to grow, we hope these histories can help provide a road map for moving forward.
Elissa Branum and Sarah Coffman
Labor History as Living History at Rutgers
The Fight for Humanity in Higher Ed