Profile: Dorothy Sue Cobble

Distinguished Professor


Dorothy Sue Cobble, Distinguished Professor, holds a joint appointment in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and the Department of History.

Books | Selected Articles | Videos | Curriculum Vitae

She received her Ph.D. in American History from Stanford University in 1986. She specializes in the historical and contemporary study of work, social movements, and social policy in the United States and globally.

Her books include Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women's Movements (co-authors Linda Gordon and Astrid Henry) (W.W. Norton, 2014); The Sex of Class: Women Transforming American Labor (Cornell, 2007); The Other Women’s Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton, 2004), which won the 2005 Philip Taft Book Prize for the best book in American labor history and other prizes; Women and Unions: Forging A Partnership (Cornell, 1993); and the award-winning Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century (University of Illinois, 1991).  In 2010, she won the Sol Stetin Award for Career Achievement in Labor History from the Sidney Hillman Foundation in New York City. In 2016 the Swedish Research Council awarded her the 2016 Kerstin Hesselgren Professorship at Stockholm University.

Professor Cobble has written numerous articles for anthologies, scholarly journals, general interest magazines, newspapers, and on-line sites. Her essays are frequently reprinted and have been translated into Italian, Swedish, Japanese, French, and Portuguese. She is the recipient of fellowships and research funding from the Swedish Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History at Harvard University, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U. S. Department of Labor, and other sources. She is also an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer, a position that enables her to speak to diverse audiences across the country hosted by colleges, historical societies, museums, and teacher workshops. Currently she is writing on global worker movements, women’s international reform networks, and America’s progressive political traditions from World War I to the present. She is also completing a biography of consumer, labor, and women’s rights activist Esther Peterson. Professor Cobble is an editor of the journal International Labor and Working-Class History, published by Cambridge University Press. 

For a profile of Dorothy Sue Cobble, please read the September 2010 issue of Rutgers' Focus.

  • Expertise

    - Historical and contemporary study of work, social movements, and social policy in the United States and globally.