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Higgins Center Labor Film Series to begin Sept. 12

Author: Arts and Letters


The fifth annual Higgins Center Labor Film Series at the University of Notre Dame will begin Sept. 12 (Monday) with the presentation of “Salt of the Earth” at 4:30p.m. in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

A revolutionary, 94-minute film that served as a restaging of the events surrounding a vicious miners’ strike in New Mexico, “Salt of the Earth” remains unique in American cinema for both the circumstances of its production and its forward-looking content. The film was made independently by several victims of the Hollywood blacklist that resulted from the notorious hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the late 1940s.

The series, which is sponsored by the University’s Higgins Labor Research Center and is free and open to the public, will feature four more films throughout the academic year, all but one beginning at 4:30p.m. in the Hesburgh Center auditorium. They are:

  • Oct. 24 — “Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town,” to be shown in conjunction with a conference titled “Thriving in a Wal-Mart World”, chronicles the debate of neighbors in a small Virginia town about the American dream.
  • Nov. 8 — “Life + Debt,” which begins at 4:50p.m., tells the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agendas.
  • Feb. 6 — “Clockwork” tells the story of Frederick Taylor and his followers, who, 100 years ago, designed and used the radical “scientific management” program to help meet the challenges of American management under a regime of quantitative measures and systematic planning.
  • March 20 — “The Corporation,” which has been called a “wonderfully done indictment of modern capitalism,” features interviews with Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky, and statements from companies, including Burson Marsteller, Disney, Pfizer and Initiative Media.

The Higgins Labor Research Center is named for activist priest Monsignor George G. Higgins, a forceful voice for social justice in the workforce for the last half-century. The center provides a multidisciplinary view to the study of the economic and social consequences of different systems of work organization and the relationship between workers and management.

Contact: Teresa Ghilarducci, Higgins Center director and associate professor of economics, 574-631-7581,

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on August 30, 2005.