“Get off your knees” – the Rosemary Feurer lecture 2014

At the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014 an important paper was delivered Professor Rosemary Feurer of Northern Illinois University.  Prof. Feurer, who had also spoken at the inaugural festival in Cork in 2012, examined the parallel activities of Mother Jones and the great Irish socialist leaders James Connolly and “Big Jim” Larkin, in particular looking at the similar paths they followed, both geographical and philosophical and conclusions they reached.

You can download the full text of Prof. Feurer’s lecture by clicking on the link below:-

Get Off Your Knees Feurer

 

 

Rosemary Feurer

Rosemary Feurer in Cork, August 2014 with the banner of Women Against Pit Closures from the UK Miner’s Strike 1984

Rosemary Feurer is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University.  She co-directed “Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman”.  Author, she writes extensively on labour history.  Rosemary is Administrator of www.motherjonesmuseum.org website and Mother Jones Lives.  She attended the inaugural Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork in 2012 and delivered the above lecture at the same festival on August 1st, 2014.   You can download the full lecture by clicking on the link below:

 

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Prof. Rosemary Feurer set to return to this years Spirit of Mother Jones festival

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Prof. Rosemary Feurer visits Cork’s historic Shandon Steeple in 2012.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to confirm that Professor Rosemary Feurer, who attended the inaugural Mother Jones festival is returning to the 2014 festival.

Rosemary is Associate Professor of History at the Dept. of History, Northern Illinois University. Her fields of study include the United States – 20th Century, Labour and Social Movements.

Rosemary will present a lecture entitled “Get off your knees”: James Connolly, Jim Larkin and Mother Jones in the Fight for a Global Labour Movement”, at the Firkin Crane Centre on Friday 1st August at 3pm.

“James Connolly, Jim Larkin, and Mother Jones were leading transnational organisers a century ago who learned from each other.  Connolly’s decision to come to the U.S. was in part inspired by the grounding in direct action labour movement struggles that Jones had helped to innovate. Long before James Connolly or James Larkin came to the U.S., the Irish workers and socialist movement that they led caught Mother Jones’ attention. The Irish and U.S. labour movement came to use the same language and inflection as they grew together. The similarity of language and purpose in these leaders, despite factional distinctions in their organisational loyalties, allows us to see how the radicals of a century ago contributed to the grounding of a global labour movement.

 

Both Connolly and Jones were members and speakers for the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. And they both meant the “World” part of the title, even after Jones had stopped paying dues to the organization. They thought of themselves as being part of the same global movement that would allow workers democratic decision making and ownership and direction of human civilization. They used notions of “civilizing” influence of socialism and democracy.  

 

Both deeply believed that there was no one more suited to controlling the economic destiny of the nation than those who produced the wealth of the nation. They were comrades in the struggle for workers power”.

 

Rosemary Feurer, has been studying the links and connections between these activists and will discuss her important findings and reflections at this lecture, which is co-sponsored by the School of History at University College Cork.

She manages the largest website on labour history in the USA, www.laborhistorylinks.org and also manages www.motherjonesmuseum.org  Her publications include Radical Unionism in the Midwest 1900-1950 from Working Class in American History Series in 2007.

Rosemary’s award winning documentary which she produced and co-directed,  “Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman” was shown at the 2012 Cork Mother Jones Festival and Rosemary will again present this documentary on the opening night of the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival at 6pm.

2014 is the 100th Anniversary of the Ludlow massacre. Rosemary will also contribute at our remembrance of this important event in American history; “Then came Ludlow and the nation heard” a discussion along with Jim Green which will take place on Thursday evening at 7.15 at the Firkin Crane.

Our guest contributors – Marat Moore & Rosemary Feurer

Profiles of two more of our guest contributors, author and former coal miner Marat Moore and film producer and author Rosemary Feurer

 

Marat Moore

 

Marat Moore book cover

Marat Moore book cover

Marat is the author of “Women in the Mines, stories of Life and Work”, former coal miner and UMWA staff member. She is a founder of the Daughters of Mother Jones, which were involved in the Pittston coal strike of 1989-90.

Marat is currently writing a novel on Mother Jones and will be doing some research while in Ireland on her roots in Cork. She is seeking information on Cork in the period 1830 to 1850, with particular emphasis on the famine period.

So would anyone who has information on Cork in this period make contact with Marat during the course of the Mother Jones festival from the 31st July to 2nd August? Marat has encouraged the Cork Mother Jones Committee from the very start and the end result is the Cork Mother Jones Festival.

 

 

 

Rosemary Feurer.

Rosemary Feurer

Rosemary Feurer

Rosemary is a historian based in Northern Illinois University. Along with Laura Vazquez, Rosemary directed a 24 minute documentary entitled Mother Jones, America’s most Dangerous Women, which was first shown in 2007.  This documentary recalls the terrible conditions and labour oppression that motivated Mother Jones to travel the country mobilizing thousands of workers to fight for justice.

It shows scenes of the 1914 Ludlow massacre in all its horror and brings to life the extraordinary brutality visited on the miners and their families during this period.

The film includes the only known footage of Mother Jones proclaiming herself to be still a radical and longing for the day “when labour will have the destination of the nation in her own hands”.

Rosemary will introduce her documentary to Ireland at the Maldron Hotel on Tuesday evening 31st July at 7pm. This will be followed by a discussion and general talk on Mother Jones. There will be further showings of the documentary during the course of the festival depending on demand.

Rosemary’s husband’s grandfather was a breaker boy in the coal mines of Pennslyvania when he met Mother Jones. Rosemary has inspired and supported our Cork Mother Jones Committee in every way to ensure this festival will be a fitting tribute.