Vivian Price, professor of Interdisciplinary Studies/PACE and coordinator of Labor Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), has been awarded a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholarship to teach at the University of Liverpool in England during the spring 2018 semester.
In Liverpool, Price will teach a course focused on labor studies and the environment that is tailored to the region. Her students will research how trade unions and the Labour Party are addressing the important issues of jobs and the environment. Toward the end of the semester the students’ work will be on public display.
“After studying literature on labor and the environment, students will interview labor leaders, politicians, environmentalists, and take photographs of them and local work places for a photography and performance exhibit,” said Price, whose students will also be comparing initiatives in the European Union and Asia. “It will be some variation of what I do here with my colleague, Ellie Zenhari. I hope to be connect with faculty and students in other departments at the university to see if we can do something interdisciplinary.”
As a Fulbright Scholar, Price says her overall goal will be to “promote public dialogue at the University of Liverpool and in local communities.” She has visited the United Kingdom (UK) several times in the past, but has never been to Liverpool, which has transformed from shipping to a tourist port town.
“I applied there because Liverpool is a working-class town,” said Price, who has been teaching, working and conducting research on unions, the environment, and social justice for decades. “It’s the heart of the Labour Party in England. Historically, it was a nexus location for the slave trade, and now it’s one of the oldest Black communities and LGBTQ communities in the country.”
When it was a shipping hub, Liverpool was a significant economic driver in the country, similar to the Port of Los Angeles but now commerce has shifted to automated ports like Rotterdam. Price sees automation affecting employment in the L.A. and Long Beach harbor, so she will also be studying how the Liverpool dockworkers have responded to change.
Price is also looking forward to learning how England will transform after it secedes from the European Union, and how the country’s intersection between the labor and the environmental movement functions.
“There may be more cohesion in the UK around labor and healthy jobs and communities that is worth studying as a model for the U.S.,” she said. “We see communities here, like Watts, Wilmington, Paramount, Flint, and across the country demanding good jobs—not just building jails or manufacturing toxic commodities—and healthy, safe places to raise families. My hope is that my research will bring ideas home on how to work together for the good of the ninety-nine percent.”