Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Marilyn Kallet

Committee Members

Benjamin Lee, Amy Billone, Helene Sinnreich


This dissertation examines the 1972 General Motors Lordstown strike not just as a historic event but as an ongoing, local phenomenon. My project argues that by examining working-class dissent across Youngstown’s industrial and postindustrial periods, we can recenter the regional complexities disregarded by national campaigns trying to exploit the Rust Belt for political power.

To explore Youngstown’s economy across this duration, my project presents a critical introduction followed by a four-part poetry manuscript. The introduction introduces the Jewish, labor, and deindustrialization scholarship that my project is in dialogue with, especially the research of LaToya Ruby Frazier, Sherry Lee Linkon, Hugh S. Manon, Frank D. Rashid, and Hana Wirth-Nesher.

The manuscript utilizes a variety of techniques, forms, and perspectives, including literary mapping; a labor strike that centers the experiences of women, diaspora, and the postindustrial generation; and intergenerational dialogue that places labor scholarship and my postindustrial experience in conversation. Many of the poems question how vernacular and working-class voices can subvert traditional forms and dismantle the academic gaze on labor.

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