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Ken Fones-Wolf, Ph.D.

Professor, Stuart and Joyce Robbins Chair

Teaching Fields

Degrees

Research Interests

Much of my career has focused on labor and social history, particularly the intersection of religious belief and working-class activism. With my wife, Elizabeth, I recently coauthored Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South, which examined the role of religion in one of the pivotal movements in U.S. labor history, the CIO’s Southern Organizing Campaign following World War II. That work emphasized white evangelical Protestants. For my next project, I hope to explore the relationship of black churches and the labor movement during the CIO years (1935-1955). I also serve as the senior editor of the Labor and Working-Class History entries  for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History.

I have also worked on Appalachian and West Virginia history topics, and currently (for the past ten years) edit the journal, West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies. In 2007 I wrote Glass Towns, which explored the efforts to develop a solid manufacturing base in an economy that relied too heavily on resource extraction. I also wrote an introduction for the reprint of Fred Barkey’s book on the West Virginia Socialist Party.

Courses Offered

Publications

Struggle for the Soul of the South: White Protestants and Operation Dixie, with Elizabeth Fones-Wolf (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2015).
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/84rbt8sy9780252039034.html

Culture, Class, and Politics in Modern Appalachia (WVU Press, 2009)

Glass Towns: Industry, Labor and Political Economy in Appalachia, 1890-1930s (University of Illinois Press, 2007).

Transnational West Virginia (WVU Press, 2002)

The German-American Radical Press (University of Illinois Press, 1992)

Trade Union Gospel (Temple University Press, 1989)