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Daniel Walkowitz

Daniel J. Walkowitz holds a joint appointment as Professor of Metropolitan Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and Professor of History in the History Department.    For fifteen years, from 1989 to 2004, he was Director of the Metropolitan Studies Program at the University.  From 2004 to 2007 he served as the inaugural Director of College Honors, and from 2007 to 2010, he served as the inaugural Director of Experiential Education in the College of Arts and Science.   An American social historian who specializes in labor, urban and working-class history, Walkowitz has authored over thirty articles, co-edited or authored five books, and produced three film/videos.

As co-founder and co-Director of New York University's Graduate Program in Public History, he pioneered efforts to bring America's past to broad general audiences in film and video.  Walkowitz, as Project Director, supervised the 90-minute docudrama, "Molders of Troy" (PBS, 1980), which was based on his book, Worker City, Company Town: Iron and Cotton Worker Protest in Troy and Cohoes, New York, 1855-1884 (Illinois, 1978)....... Continued below


Publications by Daniel Walkowitz


City Folk

This is the story of English Country Dance, from its 18th century roots in the English cities and countryside, to its transatlantic leap to the U.S. in the 20th century... Read more about this book »

Rethinking U.S. Labor History: Essays on the Working-Class Experience, 1756-2009

Coming in October 2010, “Rethinking U.S. Labor History" provides a reassessment of the recent growth and new directions in U.S. labor history... Read more about this book »

Working with Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity

Polls tell us that most Americans—whether they earn $20,000 or $200,000 a year—think of themselves as middle class... Read more about this book »


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In 1990, he produced and wrote (with Gerald Herman) "Public History Today," a thirty-minute informational video for the National Council on Public History. That same year, Walkowitz produced (with Barbara Abrash), "Perestroika From Below" (1990, Channel 4, UK) an hour-long documentary of the miners' strike in Donestk, Ukraine, which he also directed, wrote and narrated. This film evolved into a video oral history and documentation project on the working-class community in Donetsk co-directed by Walkowitz and Professor Lewis Siegelbaum, which is described in their book, Workers of the Donbass Speak: Identity and Survival in the New Ukraine, 1989-1994 (SUNY, 1995). To complete these and other research projects, Walkowitz has been the recipient of nearly $1 million in grants from, among others, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Council of Soviet and East European Studies, Channel 4 (UK), New York Council for the Humanities, and the Massachusetts Humanities Council. His most recent books are Working With Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity (University of North Carolina Press, 1999) and, co-edited with Lisa Maya Knauer, Memory and the Impact of Political Transformation on Public Space (Duke University Press, 2004) and Contested histories in Public Space: Memory, Race, and the Nation (Duke University Press. 2009).

These are both volumes in Duke's new series, Radical Perspectives on the Past, for which Walkowitz is the General Co- Editor.  In April 2010 he published City Folk: English Country dance and the Politics of the Folk in Modern America (NYU Press).  Combing extensive video oral histories with archival research, this book is both deeply historical and an ethnographic transatlantic study by a participant observer of the culture of liberalism as it moves between London and New York and places across both the UK and US.   Continuum Books is publishing his collection of essays on the future of labor history, Rethinking U.S. Labor History, co-edited with Donna Havarty-Stacke, in October 2010.A projected video for public television produced collaboratively with folklorists at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and based on City Folk is nearing final stages of development.  Professor Walkowitz is now working on a Peoples’ History of New York City based on the lectures in his New York City: A Social history lecture course.

Professor Daniel Walkowitz
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