Julie Greene is a historian of United States labor, immigration, and empire. Her research and teaching also engage with transnational and global approaches to history. She is the author of The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal (Penguin Press, 2009), The Organization of American Historians awarded The Canal Builders its 2009 James A. Rawley Prize for the best book on the history of race relations. Greene’s recent articles include “Movable Empire: Labor Migration, U.S. Global Power, and the Remaking of the Americas,” in Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (2016) and “The Wages of Empire: Capitalism, Expansionism, and Working-Class Formation,” in Jana Lipman and Daniel Bender, eds., Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialism (NYU, 2015). Other articles include "Spaniards on the Silver Roll: Liminality and Labor Troubles in the Panama Canal Zone, 1904-1914," in International Labor and Working-Class History (Fall 2004) and "The Labor of Empire: Recent Scholarship on U.S. History and Imperialism," in Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas (Summer 2004). She is also author of Pure and Simple Politics: The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881-1917 (Cambridge, 1998); co-editor, with Eric Arnesen and Bruce Laurie, of Labor Histories: Class, Politics, and the Diversity of the Working-Class Experience (Illinois, 1998); and associate editor, with Eileen Boris, John French, Joan Sangster, and Shelton Stromquist (with Leon Fink as editor), of Workers, the Nation-State, and Beyond: Essays in the Labor History of the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Greene is currently working on two book projects. The first, titled Box 25: Exploring the World of Caribbean Workers, uses a set of remarkable memoirs written by canal workers (and held in Box 25 at the Library of Congress) as the starting point for a recreation of their travels and travails. The second project, titled Movable Empire: Labor Migrations and the Making of U.S. Global Power, 1890-1934, examines the role of labor and migration in the making of the U.S. ‘New Empire’, and spans across the Caribbean, Central America, and onward to Hawaii and the Philippines. This project explores the centrality of migration to the economic expansionism of the U.S. as well as its formal acquisition of empire. Along the way it asks us to rethink both the causal engine of U.S. global power as well as the processes of working-class formation.
In the 2013-2014 academic year Greene was the Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. She has received several other fellowships including from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. She was founding Reviews Editor in 2004 of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, and continues to serve as an editor of the journal. Labor received the Council of Editors of Learned Journals Award for Best New Journal in 2005. Greene served as President of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in 2013-2015, and she is currently Vice President (President Elect) of the Labor and Working-Class History Association. Greene is also an Editor of the University of Illinois Press’s Working-Class in American History series, which has been publishing important works since its founding in the 1970s by David Brody, Herbert Gutman, and David Montgomery.
In 2011 Greene and Ira Berlin Co-Founded, and they now Co-Direct, the Center for Global Migration Studies at the University of Maryland, a center dedicated to generating knowledge of the history and politics of global migrations. More information about the Center can be found at http://www.globalmigration.umd.edu/
Greene has served on the advisory board for several documentary films including the recent Panama Canal for the series American Experience on PBS. She has published blogs and op-eds on a variety of topics in, among others, Huffington Post, Dissent, Baltimore Sun, and the Denver Post.