July 2, 2021
The Yale History podcast is a new project at the History Department at Yale University that will present a series of interviews with historians from our department on a wide range of historical topics based on their research and expertise. You can find this and future episodes on the Yale History Podcast playlist on Yale’s Soundcloud or listen with the player below.
In the third episode, we discuss two recent articles by Dr. Jennifer Klein, Professor of History at Yale. These articles, “Inoculations: The Social Politics of Time Labor, and Public Good in COVID-America,” and “Austerity versus Reinvestment: A roadmap for a broad-based Connecticut economic recovery,” deal with shifting labor conditions and fiscal policy against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Klein joins the podcast to discuss these issues, the trends in American labor history since the late 20th century, the home healthcare industry, workers’ activism, and the impact of COVID on these issues.
Jennifer Klein is Professor of History at Yale University. Her work focuses on U.S. labor politics, social policy, and political economy in 20th century United States. Klein’s book Caring For America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State (Oxford University Press, 2015), co-authored with Eileen Boris, was awarded the Sarah Whaley Prize from the National Women’s Studies Association. Her previous book, For All These Rights: Business, Labor, and the Shaping of America’s Public-Private Welfare State (Princeton University Press, 2003) won the Ellis Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians and the Hagley Prize from the Business History Conference. Klein’s previous book, For All These Rights: Business, Labor, and the Shaping of America’s Public-Private Welfare State (Princeton University Press), is a study of how the U.S. developed a health care system based on private insurance tied to employment and of the alternative projects labor groups had sought to build for more equitable community-based care or public health insurance. She’s been a member of the Editorial Board of the journal, ILWCH (International Labor and Working-Class History) for 20 years, including serving a term as Co-Editor. Klein is the winner of the 2014 Hans Sigrist Prize, a major international prize conferred by the University of Bern and Hans Sigrist Foundation in Switzerland, for her work on the theme of “Women and Economic Precarity: Historical Perspectives”. In addition to academic journals and collections, her articles have appeared in Dissent, the New York Times, American Prospect.org, Washington Post.com, The Nation.com, and New Labor Forum. She’s been a recipient of fellowships from the NEH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Brookings Institution, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Research Center. She’s currently writing on carceral institutions, petrochemical production, and the geography of waste in Southeastern Louisiana. Professor Klein has been an elected senator on the Yale Faculty of Arts and Sciences Senate for 4 years.
Dr. Klein discusses her work with Kevin Gledhill (Ph.D. Yale, 2020), a 2020 - 2021 Graduate Alumni Fellow at Yale and historian of Iran and the Caspian Sea in the 18th and 19th centuries. Dr. Gledhill is currently affiliated with the Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University.