This September the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the UW Department of History will welcome Dr. Michael Schulze-Oechtering. Oechtering joins us a Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year. During his postdoctoral tenure within the Department of History, Michael will be working with Professor Moon-Ho Jung and completing his current book manuscript, No Separate Peace: Multiracial Struggles Against Racial Capitalism in the Pacific Northwest. This study examines the parallel and overlapping activist traditions and grassroots organizing practices of Filipino cannery workers in Alaska and Black construction workers in Seattle between the 1970s and the early 2000s.
Oechtering received his BA from the University of Washington, double majoring in History and American Ethnic Studies. As an undergraduate, he was also the Bridges Center's Martin and Ann Jugum Scholarship recipient in 2006-2007 and a committed activist working with EMPOWER, MEChA, and the People’s Institute Northwest. From 2006-2009 Michael also served as an Associate Editor on the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project, compiling a database of Chicano history, conducting multiple interviews and video editing.
He is currently Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies in Fairhaven College at Western Washington University (WWU). Prior to Michael's faculty appointment at WWU, he received his Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His research uses social movement history and Comparative Ethnic Studies to explore how communities of color in the United States have both questioned and crossed racial boundaries. He is the author of “The Alaska Cannery Workers Association and the Ebbs and Flows of Struggle: Manong Knowledge, Blues Epistemology, and Racial Cross-Fertilization,” which was published in the Amerasia Journal. Moreover, he has forthcoming publications in two edited volumes on Filipino American Studies, Diaspora Dreams: The Filipino Second Generation and Filipinx American Studies: A Critical Registry of Terms.
Passionate about social justice and the history of labor, Oechtering has used his research to remain connected to his family’s experience as Filipino immigrants in low-wage service jobs. He writes, “One way I have been able to balance my accountability is through being able to focus my studies on communities of color and how they have organized amidst their marginalized status.”
As part of the Bridges Center's sponsorship of his post-doctoral fellowship, Michael will be regularly participating in Labor Studies events, including a presentation of his work at a 2019-2020 Labor Studies Workshare.
His teaching interests include critical/comparative ethnic studies, anti-racist social movements, histories of capitalism, Asian American/Native Pacific Studies, and the Black Radical Tradition.
We look forward to welcoming him (back) this fall.