Assistant Professor Jacob Remes Speaks Out about Human Rights, International Development and Labor in Light of Occupy Wall St

By Helen Edelman, manager, Exchange

February 22, 2012

Assistant Professor Jacob RemesAs Occupy Wall Street has changed protest dynamics, vibrant groups like United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) are back in the forefront.

USAS has been fighting steadily for workers' rights even when the issue wasn't front-page news--and they're helping spearhead a new movement for economic justice.

Jacob Remes, at left, assistant professor of public affairs and former Yale Students Against Sweatshops activist, told AlterNet, “USAS trained a generation of activists to think about the connections between international human rights, international development, and American labor, and to think about it in a really thoughtful and nuanced way.”

Remes is a mentor at the Brooklyn Unit of the Metropolitan Center. He received his Ph.D. in history from Duke University in 2010. He studies the working class and labor history of North America, with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations and migration. His manuscript, titled “Cities of Comrades: Urban Disasters and the Formation of the North American Progressive State” examines the overlapping responses of individuals, families, civil society and the state to the Salem, Mass. fire of 1914, and the Halifax, N.S., explosion of 1917.

He is past executive secretary of the Labor and Working-Class History Association and was a Josephine de Karman Fellow, a University Scholar, a Kenan Center for Ethics Graduate Colloquium Fellow and an American Council of Learned Societies/Andrew W. Mellon Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellow. He received his B.A. in history f