Annemarie Strassel is a union leader, communications director, artist and historian with expertise in women’s labor and cultural production. She holds a PhD in American Studies from Yale University and has taught in the Department of Fashion Studies at Columbia College, Chicago, while serving as the Communications Director for UNITE HERE, the union of hospitality workers across North America.
As a McNeil Fellow in American Material Culture at Yale University, Strassel specialized in women’s history and fashion studies, using clothing and design to explore new dimensions of cultural production, social experience, and political practice. Her dissertation examines women leading the American fashion industry in the first half of the twentieth century, looking at the the feminist dimensions of early conceptions of American style. She has presented this research nationwide and published pieces of it in Women’s Studies Quarterly.
In addition to her academic work, Strassel serves as the Director of Communications for UNITE HERE, a labor union representing 300,000 workers across North America. Building on more than 20 years of experience in the labor movement, she has spearheaded grassroots campaigns that have been crucial to achieving justice and greater visibility for women and people of color who struggle, often invisibly, in the hospitality industry.
Strassel lives with her family in Detroit, Michigan. She is also a painter and nature photographer with an interest in flora and fauna native to Michigan.