Gunther W. Peck, Fred W. Shaffer Associate Professor of History and Public Policy  

Office Location: 308 Carr Building
Office Phone: 919.668.5297 or 919.613.7317
Duke Box: 90719
Email Address: peckgw@duke.edu

Areas of Expertise

  • Environment and Energy, Environmental History
  • History
  • Immigration and Migration

Education:
PhD, Yale University, 1994
MPhil, Yale University, 1991
MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1989
BA, Princeton University, 1984

Research Categories: comparative labor, immigration, and environmental history

Research Description: The central problem I have studied as an historian of labor, immigration, and the environment has been the persistence of unfree labor relations in North America and the social, cultural, and geographic reasons for that complex reality. I am currently writing a book entitled "Trafficking in Race: The Rise and Fall of White Slavery, 1700-2000," which explores the history of human trafficking and the ideologies of freedom, slavery, and race that immigrants, their advocates, and border bureaucrats have used to describe and summarize the problem. I have received fellowships from the National Humanities Center and the American Council for Learned Societies to research and write the book and aim to finish the project in 2009. My first book, entitled Reinventing Free Labor:  Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880-1930, examined the histories of three infamous padrones and the immigrant workers they imported to North America and exploited. Published by Cambridge University Press in 2000, the book won the Taft prize for best book in North American Labor History, the Billington Prize for the best book in frontier history, and the Pacific Coast Branch Award for best book in comparative North American history. I have published articles on labor, immigration, and environmental history in The Journal of Amiercan History, Social History, Labor History, The Western HIstorical Quarterly, and Environmental History. I have a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Terry Sanford Institute in Public Policy and teach undergraduate courses in ethics, North American environmental history, North American immigration history, and 20th century U.S. social and cultural history. I also teach graduate seminars in social theory and transnational history in the Department of History.

Teaching (Spring 2014):

  • Housecs 59.06, House course (sp top) Synopsis
    See instru, M 07:30 PM-10:00 PM
  • History 345d.001, North american environmntl hst Synopsis
    Carr 103, MW 10:05 AM-10:55 AM
  • History 487s.01, Cap sem: imm. policy history Synopsis
    East duke 204d, M 04:40 PM-07:10 PM
  • Pubpol 816.01, Ethics and policy-making Synopsis
    Rubenstein 153, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. G.W. Peck. "The Shadow of White Slavery: Innocence, Rescue, and Empire in Contemporary Human Trafficking Campaigns."  2012
  2.  "Feminizing White Slavery in the United States: Marcus Braun and the Transnational Traffic in White Bodies, 1890-1910."." Workers Across the Americas: The Transnational Turn in Labor History. Ed. Leon Fink. (Oxford University Press), June, 2011.
  3. G.W. Peck. ""The Nature of Labor: Fault Lines and Common Ground in Environmental and Labor Historyā€¯." Environmental History 11.2 (April, 2006): 212-38..
  4. G.W. Peck. ""Making Sense of White Slavery and Whiteness"." LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 1.2 (Summer 2004) (June, 2004): 41-63..
  5. ""Contracting Coercion? Rethinking the Origins of Free Labor in Great Britain and the United States"." Buffalo Law Review 51.1 (Winter, 2003): 201-18.

Gunther W. Peck