The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25th,1911

#LaborTalks: “Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” – A Conversation with Ruth Sergel

The Workmen’s Circle
247 West 37th St, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018

As we approach the 106th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, everything from basic health and safety in the workplace to the right to unionize itself are in great jeopardy.  In 1911, the tragedy of the Triangle Fire galvanized the labor fight that brought us new workplace safety regulations, and ultimately, the National Labor Relations Act. What lessons from the Triangle Fire can serve as a basis for new activism and organizing today? For artist Ruth Sergel, the response is to fuse art, activism, and collective memory to create large-scale public commemoration that incites civic engagement. Join us for a discussion and reception with Ruth Sergel and Brooklyn Institute faculty Jude Webre and Rebecca Ariel Porte as they discuss Sergel’s new book, See You in the Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the event, its history, and its contemporary relevance.

This event is co-presented by The Workmen’s CircleThe Sidney Hillman Foundation, and The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

It is the first in the ongoing #LaborTalks series.


  • Ruth Sergel
    Ruth Sergel’s work bridges art and technology, memory and wonder to create compassionate works that invite active civic engagement.

    Ruth’s films, public interventions and interactive installations have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, New-York Historical Society, Gray Art Gallery, Anthology Film Archives and 3LD Art + Technology Center. Her work has been shown internationally including Clermont-Ferrand (France), Shift Festival (Basel) and Théâtre de la Ville, (Paris) as well as broadcast on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) and PBS.

    Ruth’s first book, See You in the Streets: Art, Action + Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, was published by the University of Iowa Press in June 2016.

  • Jude Webre

    Jude Webre recently completed his Ph.D. in History at Columbia University and has taught courses at Columbia and for the Brooklyn Institute in U.S. History, American Studies, and Literature Humanities. His work explores the intersection of 20th-century American cultural and political history with modern intellectual history, with a particular interest in the relationship of poetry, aesthetic pragmatism, and cultural democracy.

  • Rebecca Ariel Porte

    Rebecca Ariel Porte holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research, which centers on nineteenth- and twentieth-century movements in British and American poetry, concentrates on crossings between early analytic philosophy and modern theories of poetics and aesthetics. Reviews and essays have appeared in the Boston Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and io9, among other publications.

Event Schedule

Wednesday, 7-9pm
March 15, 2017

Doors will open at 6:30pm


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