RACHEL BOYLE PORTFOLIO
I study labor in the past and in the present. As a historian, I study how people made a living in the past, from sex workers in industrial Chicago to farmers and domestic servants in rural Connecticut. I interrogate the complex ways that people interacted across class, race, and gender, and pay particular attention to the ways that workers coped with and resisted unequal power relationships.
As a public historian and cultural worker myself, I am also invested in finding better ways to make an ethical living today. As member and current board member of the National Council on Public History, I aim to support fellow public historians advocating for racial, gender, and economic equity. I also ask what other economic models public historians might experiment with to undercut capitalism, assert the value of cultural labor, and ensure that more people have access to a living wage.
Principal Investigator, Historic Resource Study of Laborers at Weir Farm National Historical Park, 1882-1957, National Park Service, 2022.
Author, Still Grinding? How the Pandemic is Accelerating Job Precarity in Public History, History@Work, The NCPH Blog, March 2021.
Author, “Envisioning Shared Authority as an Alternative Economic Model for Cultural Organizations,” in Museums and Revenue (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).
Facilitator, Economic Justice and the Ethics of Public History (Part II),” Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History, Hartford, Connecticut, March 2019.
Author, “Envisioning New Economic Models of Public History,” Part I; Part II; Part III, Omnia Blog, May – July 2018.
Facilitator, “Negotiating Power Lines: Economic Justice and the Ethics of Public History,” Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2018.
Author, Beyond Passion Projects: Rethinking the Economic Models of Public History, American Association for State and Local History Blog, July 2017.
Author, “She Shot Him Dead: The Criminalization of Women and the Struggle over Social Order in Chicago, 1871-1919.” PhD Dissertation, Loyola University Chicago, 2017.
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