These Shining Lives


About These Shining Lives (the play) | Resources | Center Stage | University of Maryland School of Law | Linking Law & the Arts Series


About These Shining Lives

These Shining Lives logo.These Shining Lives (written by Melanie Marnich and directed by Baltimore native David Schweizer) is a play about the women radium dial painters. Australian scholar-scientist Vilma Hunt writes that "the history of women's work and industrial hygiene demonstrates that women have always worked in industries in which exposure to these physical and chemical agents has been severe." (274) In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century it was the danger of lead poisoning from working in the lead mills and the impact on women's reproductive capacity. In the 1920s and early 1930s it was radium poisoning which affected women specifically recruited by employers to paint radium on the dials of clocks because of their precision. Radium dial painters were especially susceptible to radium poisoning because they used their tongues to make the point on the paint brushes which were dipped in radium. There is a special irony about radium poisoning of women factory workers since Madame Marie Curie, the first world renowned woman scientist, along with her husband Pierre, discovered radium in 1898.

Many of the issues raised directly and indirectly by the play - the desire for economic independence, work as enhancing self worth and the exploitation of women workers - still resonant with women workers today. A conversation between the playwright and scholars will explore the persistence of these themes almost 90 years later. Professor Taunya Banks

 


Resources

Internet


Books, Court Cases and Articles

The following materials represent only a sampling of the many resources available on the legal issues surrounding the rights of workers in historically dangerous environments.

Online access to some of these articles is limited to students, faculty, and staff of the University of Maryland School of Law. For additional research assistance please contact the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at 410-706-6502.

Books

Blank, Robert H. FETAL PROTECTION IN THE WORKPLACE; WOMEN'S RIGHTS, BUSINESS INTERESTS AND THE UNBORN (1993). Thurgood Marshall Law Library: KF3467 .B57 1993

Claudia Clark, RADIUM GIRLS: WOMEN AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH REFORM, 1910-1935 (1997).

Goldstein, Leslie Friedman, CONTEMPORARY CASES IN WOMEN'S RIGHTS. (1994). Thurgood Marshall Law Library: KF478.A4 G65 1994

Ross Mullner, DEADLY GLOW: THE RADIUM DIAL WORKER TRAGEDY (1999). [Review]

Court Cases

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc. United States Supreme Court. 499 U.S. 187 (1991).

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, et al., plaintiffs-applellants, vs. Johnson Controls, Inc., defendant-appellee : on appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin : motion for leave to file and brief of the American Civil Liberties Union ... [et al.] Amici Curiae in support of appelants. Thurgood Marshall Law Library: KF3467 .I578 1988

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, et al., plaintiffs-applellants and Local 322, Allied Industrial Workers of America, AFL-CIO, intervening plaintiff-appellant, vs. Johnson Controls, Inc., defendant-appellee : on appeal from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Honorable Robert W. Warren, presiding : appendix of defendant-appellee, Johnson
Controls, Inc. Thurgood Marshall Law Library: KF3467 .I577 1988a

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, et al., plaintiff-applellant and Local 322, Allied Industrial Workers of America, AFL-CIO, intervening plaintiff-appellant, vs. Johnson Controls, Inc., defendant-appellee : appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Judge Robert W. Warren, presiding : brief of intervening plaintiff-appellant. Thurgood Marshall Law Library: KF3467 .I572 1988

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, et al., plaintiffs-applellants, vs. Johnson Controls, Inc., defendant-appellee : on appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin : motion for leave to file and brief of the American Public Health Association ... [et al.], Amici Curiae in support of appellants. Thurgood Marshall Law Library: KF3467 .I574 1988

Articles

Ashford, Nicholas A.; Caldart, Charles C. The Control of Reproductive Hazards in the Workplace: A Prescription for Prevention. Industrial Relations Law Journal v.5, no. 3 (1983). p. 523-563.

Bettinger-Lopez, Caroline; Sturm, Susan P. International Union, U.A.W. v. Johnson Controls: History of Litigation Alliances and Mobilization to Challenge Fetal Protection Policies. SSRN (2007).

Calloway, Deborah A. Accomodating Pregnancy in the Workplace. Stetson Law Review v. 25 no. 1 (Fall 1995). p.1-53.

Gatson, S. N. Labor policy and the social meaning of parenthood. Law & Social Inquiry v. 22 (Spring 1997) p. 277-310.

Hunt, Vilma R. A Brief History of Women Workers and Hazards in the Workplace. Feminst Studies v.5 no. 2 (Summer, 1979) p. 274-85.

Hoeksma, N. G., (student author) Regulating Risk: Reproductive Toxins in the Workplace in the Post-Johnson Controls Era. Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies v. 14 no. 2 (Spring 2005) p. 289-313.

Krupp, S. J., (student author) Environmental hazards: assessing the risk to women. Fordham Environmental Law Journal v. 12 no. 1 (Fall 2000) p. 111-39.

Raines, Lisa; Push, Stephen. Protecting pregnant workers. Harvard Business Review v. 64 no. 3 ( May/Jun 1986) p26-30.

Petchesky, Rosalind . Workers, Reproductive Hazards, and the Politics of Protection: An Introduction. Feminist Studies v. 5 no. 2 (Summer 1979) p. 233-45. 1979).

Samuels, S. U. Amici curiae and the Supreme Court's review of fetal protection policies. Judicature v. 78 (March/April 1995) p. 236-41.

Samuels, S. U. The fetal protection debate revisited: the impact of U.A.W. v. Johnson Controls {111 S. Ct. 1196 (1991)} on the federal and state courts. Women's Rights Law Reporter v. 17 (Spring 1996) p. 209-22.

Samuels, S. U. The lasting legacy of International Union, U.A.W. v. Johnson Controls {111 S. Ct. 1196 (1991)}: equal employment and workplace health and safety five years later. Wisconsin Women's Law Journal v. 12 no. 1 (Spring 1997) p. 1-19.

Sharpe, William D. The New Jersey Radium Dial Painters: A Classic in Occupational Carcinogenesis. Bulletin of the History Medicine v. 52 (1978) p. 560-570.

Swanston, S. F. Inequity in the environmental health protection of women. Women's Rights Law Reporter v. 16 (Fall 1994) p. 36-41.

Thomson, M. Reproductivity, the Workplace and the Gendering of the Body (Politic). Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature v. 14 no. 3 (Fall 2002) p. 565-94.

Valentine, Jeannette M.; Plough, Alonzo L. Protecting the Reproductive Health of Workers: Problems in Science and Public Policy. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law v. 8 no. 1 (Sprint 1983) p. 144-163.


Films

Film: Lessons from Woburn (1999) (27 min.) - documentary. Thurgood Marshall Law Library (VIDEO): KF228.A7 B37 1999

Film: Radium City (1987) (89 mins.) - documentary. [About]

Film: Silkwood (1983) (131 mins.) - drama. [About]


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