James R. Barrett is a professor emeritus of history and African American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he won several teaching awards and was a University Scholar and chair of the history department. He grew up on the West Side of Chicago and has worked often with teachers, labor unions, and community groups. Barrett's research is primarily in the areas of labor history, urban history, race and ethnicity, and the history of social movements. His major works include History from the Bottom Up and the Inside Out: Ethnicity, Race, and Identity in Working-Class History (2017), The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multi-Ethnic City (2012), Work and Community in the Jungle: Chicago’s Packing House Workers (1987), William Z. Foster and Tragedy of American Radicalism (1999), and a critical edition of Upton Sinclair’s classic novel The Jungle (1907; 1988). He is currently at work with Jenny Barrett on "Chicago: A Peoples' History."
FORTHCOMING IN 2023: Contending with Capitalism: A David Montgomery Reader (University of Illinois Press)
Relations, negative and positive, between the Irish and African Americans, Jews, and other ethnic groups in the city. In this lecture, there is special attention given to religion, labor, and popular culture.