Dr Steven Parfitt: Populism and the Knights of Labor in the late-19th-century United States

The Knights of Labor were one of the great working-class movements of the late nineteenth-century United States, involved in all the social and political convulsions of the period.

In their waning years, they were attached to the new People’s Party in the 1890s, and much of their rhetoric and conception of American society could easily fall under the heading 'populist.'

This presentation addresses two questions: how well does the study of populism help us to understand the Knights? And is populism a useful frame for historical movements, or even for contemporary ones?

About the speaker

Steven Parfitt is a Teaching Fellow in History at Loughborough University.

He has published two books, including Knights Across the Atlantic, a history of the Knights of Labor in Britain and Ireland, more than a dozen academic articles and book chapters on American, British and global labour history, as well as more than thirty articles in magazines and newspapers including the Guardian, Jacobin, Open Democracy and In These Times.

He is currently an anti-casualisation officer for the Loughborough branch of the University and College Union.

This event is organised by the Populism Research Group.

Contact and booking details

Giorgos Katsambekis
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