Andrew R. Cornell

Andrew R. Cornell
At Williams since 2016

Areas of Expertise


Andrew Cornell holds a B.A. in American Culture from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University.  He was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the John B. Hurford ’64 Center for the Humanties at Haverford College and has taught at the Harry Van Arsdale Center for Labor Education (SUNY) and Université Stendhal, in Grenoble, France.  Cornell has also worked an organizer with the American Federation of Teachers and four other labor unions.  His first book, Oppose and Propose!, examined the ways a radical pacifist organization struggled to balance strategic organizing and “prefigurative politics.”  His second book, Unruly Equality, analyzed the evolution of anarchist ideas and activism over the course of the 20th century.  Cornell’s current project is a study of class formation in the United States, particularly the history of the middle class — understood as an economic relationship, an identity, and a central ideological concept — under conditions of gendered, racial capitalism.


Research and Teaching Interests


  • Labor studies
  • History of capitalism
  • Social class, in relation to other identities
  • 20th and 21st century social movements
  • Anarchism, Marxism, Pacifism, and the Black Radical Tradition
  • Social movement theory
  • Theories of power and social transformation

Scholarship/Creative Work

“The New Wind: The Why?/Resistance Group and the Roots of Contemporary Anarchism, 1942-1954” in ed. Tom Goyens, Radical Gotham: The Anarchist Tradition in New York City from Schwab’s Saloon to Occupy Wall Street (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2017)

 Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the 20th Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016)

“Introduction” in Anatole Dolgoff, Left of the Left: My Memoirs of Sam Dolgoff. Oakland: AK Press, 2016.

“Occupy Wall Street and Consensus Decision Making: Historicizing the Preoccupation with Process.” Social Text: Periscope (Winter 2012)

“White Skin, Black Masks: Anti-Racist Roots of Contemporary Anarchism” in Dave Berry, Ruth Kinna, Saku Pinta, and Alex Prichard, eds., Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red (London: Palgrave, 2012).

Oppose and Propose! Lessons from Movement for a New Society (Oakland: AK Press, 2011)

“The Movement for a New Society: Prefiguration, Consensus, and Direct Action” in ed. Dan Berger, The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010)

“Undergraduate Participation in Campus Labor Coalitions: Lessons from the NYU Strike” in eds. Monika Krause, Mary Nolan, Mike Palm, Andrew Ross, The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Corporate University (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008)

“‘A New Anarchism Emerges, 1940-1954.” The Journal for the Study of Radicalism 5, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 105-132.