What makes a wage just or unjust?

Mon, Oct 09

Guest Speaker: Dr. Daniel Graff

Headshot Graff

Dr. Graff has been the director of the Higgins Labor Program since 2014. Dedicated to encouraging the Notre Dame community to realize the centrality of “the labor question” — Who does the work, who gets the fruits, and who makes the rules? — to all human endeavors, Graff has initiated projects like the Labor Cafe, Lunchtime Labor RAPS, HFAN (the Higgins Friends & Alumni Network), and the Just Wage Working Group (with Professor Clemens Sedmak). He also writes and curates original online content, including the Labor Song of the Month, Work of Art/Art of Work, and The Labor Question Today blog.

Graff holds a joint faculty appointment as professor of the practice in the department of history, where he served as director of Undergraduate Studies for fifteen years, winning a 2011 Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and a 2013 Dockweiler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. His current research projects include labor licensing codes of conduct in contemporary American universities; race, labor, and citizenship in nineteenth-century St. Louis; and representations of the chronic crisis facing workers in the US since 1981.

Today, he will take you back to basics in raising the question: What makes a wage just or unjust?


Read This:

Unless otherwise noted, access readings on the course's Perusall page via Canvas.

  1. Daniel A. Graff and Kelli Reagan Hickey, "Just Wages for the Workforce: Why Health Care Should Lead the Way" (2022)
  2. Also read Dr. Graff's Observer columns: "What's up with wages? Nothing, and that's a problem (not a puzzle)" (2018), "How to wage war on low pay" (2018), and "Envisioning a just wage economy" (2018)