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Center for Austrian Studies Presents

Rachel Batch, "'Klub Tito’ and the People’s War for Freedom"

10/24/17, 4:00 PM

About this event

This lecture examines the transnational political activism(s) of Croatian Americans during and immediately following World War II. A powerful coalition of radical and progressive Croatian organizations in the U.S. forged their working-class vision for industrial democracy and cultural pluralism at home in the ‘age of the CIO’, together with the goals for peasant empowerment and a federation of self-determining nationalities in “the old country” under Tito. Their fight against fascism – both abroad and in the U.S. – was prominent in this ‘thunder of the left’ and came to be challenged by Croatian Catholic leaders. In an attempt to bolster their own legitimacy and power as the rightful representatives of Croatian American communities, they obscured the dangers of fascism and undermined working-class values of inclusion and economic justice. Transnational political identities animated this rightward reaction in the early Cold War years.

Rachel Batch is an associate professor and chair of the History Department at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, where she teaches U.S. labor, industrial, immigration, and ethnic histories. Her research interests are social and cultural history approaches to workers and work cultures of the 20th century, and she has most recently contributed to a special issue of Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies on regionalism in the history of labor (“A Labored Mid-Atlantic Region Defined, Not Discovered: Suggestions on the Intersections of Labor and Regional History,” 2015.) Her current research on Croatian American class and ethnic identities at mid-century has been supported by Widener University, the National Endowment for the Humanities (Summer Scholars Institute) and by the Immigration History Research Center (travel fellowship) which she cheerfully and gratefully acknowledges.
Event Location
  • Andersen Library, room 120
  • 222 – 21st Avenue South
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA