Amanda Walter | Towson University

Biography

Amanda Walter joined the Department of History in 2019. In 2019, Walter earned her
Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit. Her dissertation, “‘I’ve Always Had
a Voice. Now I’m Going to Use It!”: The Working Women’s Movement and Clerical Unionism
in Higher Education,’ shows how clerical workers, influenced by the working women’s
movement, sought to address their problems through unionization starting in the 1970s.
Despite the conflicted history of the labor movement and women’s rights, unions slowly
recognized the opportunity to organize women and the largely non-union clerical sector,
both to address workers’ needs and to shore up losses. Through an examination of clerical
organizing campaigns in higher education, she contends that unions had to adopt new
and diverse organizing styles to meet a new constituency of women clericals. The working
women’s movement had a tremendous impact on the labor movement’s efforts in this sector,
including improving organizing methods, identifying what workplaces would serve as
targets for new organizing campaigns, and expanding what issues should be prioritized
in campaigns and contracts. Walter is currently working on expanding her dissertation
into a book.

As a member of an interdisciplinary working group on a grant from the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID), Walter helped analyze existing research on
the question of how to increase the civic and political participation of women, especially
in developing countries, and the risks women face to participation. This work shows
the multitude of barriers women face to civic and political participation due to their
gender. The group completed a white paper to support the expansion of efforts to encourage
women’s political participation internationally.

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Walter is currently also working on a collaborative research project on women’s occupational
health, focusing on the emergence of the field and fetal protection policies.

Selected Publications:

Walter, Amanda, and Elizabeth Faue. “Responding to the Shadow of Tragedy: Jeanne Stellman
and the Work of the Women’s Occupational Health Resource Center.” Journal of Women’s History (Spring 2022).

Gerring, Nicole, Kristin Eckert, Kyu-Nahm Jun, Matt Lacouture, Sharon Lean, Juan Liu,
and Amanda Walter. “Strengthening Women’s Civic and Political Participation in the
Developing World: A Synthesis of the Scholarly Literature.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 21 (August 2021). 

Cassedy, Ellen, Amanda Lauren Walter, and Karen Nussbaum. “Organizing 9to5.” The Forge: Organizing Strategy and Practice (April 2021).

Faue, Elizabeth, Josiah Rector, and Amanda Walter. “‘Fix the Workplace, Not the Worker’:
Labour Feminism and the Shifting Grounds of Equality in the U.S. Workplace.” Labour History, no. 119 (November 2020): 95-117. 

Walter, Amanda. “Rights and Respect: The Working Women’s Movement’s Influence on Clerical
Unionization in the United States.” Journal of Labour and Society 22, no. 2 (2019): 381-397. https:// doi.org/10.1111/lands.12410

Eckert, Kristin, Nicole Gerring, Kyu-Nahm Jun, Matt Lacouture, Sharon Lean, Juan Liu,
and Amanda Walter. Strengthening Women’s Civic and Political Participation: A Synthesis of the Scholarly
Literature
. Washington, D.C.: United States Agency for International Development, 2017.

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Recent Presentations:

“Changing Tactics for Changing Times: SEIU Clerical Organizing in Higher Education,”
Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives Brown Bag Series, Michigan State University, East Lansing,
Michigan, January 2020.

 “Alliances in Higher Education Organizing: Faculty, Students, and Staff at Cornell
University.” Social Science History Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois,
November 2019.

“Understanding Workplace Risk through a Gendered Lens.” Continuing the Struggle, The
International Labor Organization (ILO) Centenary and the Future of Global Workers
Rights, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., November 2019.

“Management Consultants in the Academy: Clerical Organizing at Boston University.”
Labor and Working-Class History Association Conference, Duke University, Durham, North
Carolina, May/June 2019.

’At Work, At Home, Women Count:’ Jeanne Stellman and the Work of the Women’s Occupational
Health Resource Center.” Social Science History Association Annual Conference, Phoenix,
Arizona, November 2018.

“They Just Use Your Mind, and You Never Get Credit’: 9 to 5’s Impact on the Working
Women’s Movement,” North American Labor History Conference, Wayne State University,
Detroit, Michigan, October 2017.

“Gender Quotas Bring Risk and Rewards,” Strengthening Women’s Civic and Political
Participation, Women’s History Month Event, President’s Commission on the Status of
Women, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, March 2017.

Courses Taught  
Fall 2021  
HIST 146 History of the United States Since the Civil War
HIST 306 Women in 20th Century US History
TSEM Towson Seminar
TSEM Towson Seminar
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View more information: https://www.towson.edu/cla/departments/history/facultystaff/amanda-walter.html

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