Elizabeth McKillen

My teaching and research specialties are in the history of U.S. foreign relations and U.S. labor history. Since coming to the University of Maine, I have regularly taught the two semester sequence in the history of U.S. foreign relations (HTY 473-474), U.S. labor history ( HTY 477), and the second half of the U.S. history survey (HTY 104). I also offer graduate courses in U.S. foreign relations and labor history, and have taught the senior seminar (HTY 498), and a seminar in immigration history. My research explores the importance of international political and economic issues for workers and the role of labor unions and other labor organization in shaping, and in resisting, U.S. foreign policy.




Making the World Safe for Workers: Labor, the Left, and Wilsonian Internationalism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013; paperback edition, 2018).

Chicago Labor and the Quest for a Democratic Diplomacy: 1914-1924 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995).

Current book project: “Contesting Colonized Lives: Women of the Transatlantic Irish Left and Anti-Imperialist Politics, 1900-1930.”

Recent Representative Articles:

“The Trump Presidency and U.S. Workers: America First or America Diminished?” H-Diplo and International Security Studies Forum, March 30, 2021, https://issforum.org/roundtables/policy/ps2021-17

“Learning the Scholar’s Craft,” H-Diplo and International Security Studies Forum,  September 16, 2020m 1-4, https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/discussions/6426903/h-diplo-essay-268-elizabeth-mckillen-learning-scholar%E2%80%99s-craft

“The Irish Sinn Féin Movement and Radical Labor and Feminist Dissent in the United
States, 1916-1921,” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History 16:3 (September 2019): 11-
37.  https://muse.jhu.edu/article/733113

“Labor and U.S. Foreign Relations,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, (August 2019): 1-29 at https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-732?rskey=P6F4Nl&result=1

“Reverse Currents: Irish Nationalist and Suffragist Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and U.S. Anti-Imperialism, 1916-24” Eire-Ireland (Fall/Winter 2018): 148-185.

“Workers, Donald Trump, and U.S. Foreign Policy,” International Security Studies Forum and H-Diplo: https://issforum.org/roundtables/policy/1-5AZ-workers, September 20, 2017.

“The Socialist Party of America: 1900-1929,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (June 2017):1-24 at http://americanhistory.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-413?rskey=pFjLc8&result=27

“Divided Loyalties: Irish-American Women Labor Leaders and the Irish Revolution, 1916-23,” Éire-Ireland 11:3-4 (Fall-Winter 2016): 165-187.

“Beyond Gompers:  The American Federation of Labor, the Creation of the International Labour Organization, and U.S. Labor Dissent,” in ILO Histories: Essays on the International Labour Organization and its Impact on the World During the Twentieth Century, eds. Jasmien Van Daele, Magaly Rodriguez Garcia, Geert Van Goethem, and Marcel van der Linden (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2010): 41-66.

“Integrating Labor into the Narrative of Wilsonian Internationalism,” in a special forum on “Workers, Labor, and War: New Directions in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations,” Diplomatic History 34 (September 2010): 641-662.

“Pacifist Brawn and Silk-Stocking Militarism: Labor, Gender, and Antiwar Politics, 1914-1918,” Peace and Change 33 (July 2008): 388-425.

“Hybrid Visions: Working-Class Internationalism in the Mexican Borderlands, Seattle, and Chicago, 1910-1920,” Labor: Studies in the Working-Class History of the Americas 2:1 (Winter, 2005): 77-107.

“Ethnicity, Class, and Wilsonian Internationalism Reconsidered: The Mexican- and Irish-American Immigrant Left and U.S. Foreign Relations, 1914-1922,” Diplomatic History 25 (Fall 2001): 553-87.bethbook

Current Projects

  • A study of early twentieth century Irish and Irish-American women labor activists and their transatlantic connections.