The International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH) is an international network of historians concerned with the history of labour relations, labourers and labour and other social movements. Currently about 100 member institutions from five continents are associated with the ITH. The ITH is one of the worldwide most important forums of labour history.
Founded in Vienna (Austria) in 1964, the ITH became especially known for the organisation of the annual “Linz Conference”. Originally, the conference predominantly served as a platform of dialogue between the “Western” and “Eastern” scientific communities of labour historians.
The ITH favours a global and inclusive approach to labour history. It builds on a broadened view on “labour” including non-formalized labour relations, domestic and care work as well as coerced forms of labour. It is likewise asking how “class” was historically linked to other dimensions of inequality. One focus is on the agency and the politics of the working people themselves. The ITH connects the impulses from labour history as conceptualized and written in all five continents.
Following its tradition of cooperating with organisations of the labour movement, the ITH likewise puts emphasis on the conveyance of research outside the academic research community itself. A particularly significant cooperation for the ITH’s continuity exists with different Chambers of Labour in Austria. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Bonn) and the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam) are further important partner institutions.