Webster University and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis invite members of the community to an afternoon with writer and Cornell University historian Jefferson Cowie and Webster professors Dr. John Chappell and Dr. Allan MacNeill for a panel discussion on the economic and social upheavals of 1970’s America.
The panel discussion will take place at the Webster University Library (101 Edgar Road, Webster Groves, MO 63119) in the Emerson Conference Room #120 at 4:00pm on Monday, March 17. It is free and open to the public.
The panel discussion occurs in conjunction with The Rep’s world premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s “Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976” and will explore issues raised by the play: labor disputes, the shrinking working class, and the evolution of economics and culture in a decade of dramatic change in America.
“Rebecca Gilman is one of the leading American playwrights of her generation,” said Seth Gordon, Associate Artistic Director at The Repertory Theatre St. Louis. “When putting Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976 together, she read Jefferson Cowie’s [book] Stayin’ Alive and it filled her with inspiration to write about this period of our history and how it so deeply affects the challenges we face today. We now have a wonderful opportunity to explore the play, written by one of the leaders of her field, and the book, written by one of the leaders of his, and see just how they complement each other. It should be a very engaging, lively discussion.”
Jefferson Cowie holds the ILR Dean’s Professor Chair at Cornell University, where he teaches courses on labor relations, law, and history. His most recent book Stayin’ Alive: The 1970′s and the Last Days of the Working Class (2012, The New Press) was called “the most groundbreaking and original national history of a working class since E.P. Thompson’s Making of the English Working Class” (New Politics) and won both the 2011 Francis Parkman Prize for the Best Book in American History and the Merle Curti Award for the Best Book in Social and Intellectual History. Cowie also edits Dissent, a political journal established in 1954, and has appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition and other media outlets.
John Chappell serves as chair of Webster’s Department of History, Politics, and International Relations. He earned his doctorate from Indiana University, and specializes in post-1945 American history.
Allan MacNeill is a professor in Webster’s Department of History, Politics, and International Relations. He earned his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, and specializes in economic history and political economy.
“Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976” runs March 12-30 at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves, MO 63119). Call (314) 968-4925 for tickets. More information about the play at www.repstl.org.