Off the Shelf Podcast

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About the Podcast

"Off the Shelf: Revolutionary Readings in Times of Crisis" is a podcast series featuring in-depth conversations with Black scholars on the University of Illinois campus and beyond. Each episode explores books and scholars they recommend we take “off the shelf” to help us understand these revolutionary times and creative agendas for the here and now.


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Season 3, Episode 2: Bill Fletcher Jr. on Strategies for Successful Organizing

In this episode, host Augustus Wood talks to legendary writer, scholar, and trade unionist Bill Fletcher Jr. They cover Fletcher’s storied life from his early years as a teen activist and then college, labor organizing, and leadership in the Black Radical Congress, among other experiences. Today, Fletcher is a frequent columnist and contributor to a number of media outlets, speaking on social justice, labor, and electoral and international politics. Listen now; view episode S3, Episode 2 show notes and transcript.

Season 3, Episode 1: Joe William Trotter Jr. on the Story of Black Labor in Building Industrial America

Welcome to a new season of Off the Shelf! In this season opener, host Augustus Wood and guest Joe William Trotter Jr. (history and social justice, Carnegie Mellon University) engage in a deep discussion of Black working class history, grounded in Trotter's pathbreaking research and published works, notably Black Milwaukee: The Making of an Industrial Proletariat, 1915-45 and Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America. Listen now; view episode S3, Episode 1 show notes and transcript.

Podcast Archives

Season 1 Episodes

Season 2 Episodes



Augustus Wood is a scholar of political economy and gentrification, labor, and social movements in late 20th and early 21st Century African American urban history. A past HRI campus fellow (2017–18), he is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Labor Education program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Wood has authored articles that appear in the Labor Studies Journal and co-authored book chapters with Dr. Sundiata Cha-Jua. He is the editor of the upcoming special edition of Labor Studies Journal on Black Workers and COVID. He is a contributor on Routledge’s forthcoming Encyclopedia of Antiracism. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Humanities and Social Sciences Journal. He hosts the "Radio Free Labor" program on 90.1 FM WEFT Champaign Radio. Learn more about Augustus Wood.

Augustus Wood