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Mary Anne Trasciatti - Hofstra University. Hempstead, NY, US

Mary Anne Trasciatti

Professor of Writing Studies and Rhetoric | Hofstra University


Dr. Trasciatti is a Professor of Writing Studies and Rhetoric



Mary Anne Trasciatti Publication



Talking to the Girls loading image


Mary Anne Trasciatti, Associate Professor, Hofstra University Mary Anne Trasciatti Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition HU Office Hours with Mary Anne Trasciatti Unveiling and Dedication of the Triangle Fire Memorial



Mary Anne Trasciatti is Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy and Director of Labor Studies. She is also president of Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. Dr. Trasciatti studies working-class social movements, social protest, public memory, and practices of commemoration. She is completing a book on the civil liberties activism of radical labor organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and is co-editor of two recent anthologies: Talking to the Girls: Intimate and Political Essays on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (New Village Press, 2022) and Where Are the Workers?: Labor’s Stories at Museums and Historical Sites (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2022). Since 2010, she has helped organize the annual official Triangle fire commemoration and has led the project to build the Triangle Fire Memorial, scheduled for dedication in 2023. It will be the first labor memorial and one of only a handful of memorials to women in New York City.

Industry Expertise (3)


Writing and Editing


Areas of Expertise (6)

Public Memory/Commemoration

Public Protest

Triangle Shirt Factory Fire

Public Space and Public Expression

Women's Studies


Accomplishments (2)

Dedication of the Triangle Factory Fire Memorial (professional)


When the long-awaited Triangle Fire Memorial was dedicated in Greenwich Village on October 11, 2023, Hofstra Professor Mary Anne Trasciatti, president of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, marked the end of what was a professional and deeply personal journey that began in 2009. Read the story: https://news.hofstra.edu/2023/09/26/professors-dream-to-memorialize-triangle-fire-victims-to-become-a-reality/

Talking to the Girls: Intimate and Political Essays on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (professional)


Mary Anne Trasciatti has co-edited this book that brings together stories from writers, artists, activists, scholars, and family members of workers from the 1911 Triangle fire that killed 146 people in 15 minutes. One hundred and eleven years after the tragic incident, Talking to the Girls articulates a story of contemporary global relevance and stands as an act of collective testimony: a written memorial to the Triangle victims.

Education (3)

University of Maryland: Ph.D. 1999

Emerson College: M.A. 1991

Providence College: B.A. 1985

Media Appearances (23)

More cannabis, better housing market? How LI's economy might change in 2024

Newsday  print


Professor Trasciatti talked to Newsday for a year-in-review focused on the local economy and labor issues. The article says that 2023 was a banner year of labor activity in several industries, ranging from the successful contract negotiation by Teamster-represented UPS workers, to the months-long strike by Hollywood writers and actors, to ongoing struggles of unionized Starbucks workers. That momentum will continue into the new year as workers, particularly younger Americans, see union victories and dissatisfaction at their own jobs, Dr. Trasciatti said.

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A new memorial to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire reminds us of labor history

WBUR Public Radio  radio


Here & Now's Scott Tong talked to Dr. Trasciatti, the president of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, about the new memorial to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

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A Memorial to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Honors the Lives Lost and the Continued Importance of Labor Organizing

Vogue  online


Dr. Trasciatti described the Triangle Fire Memorial to Vogue: “It’s a steel ribbon that cascades down from the ninth floor of the building [where the fire began], and then it splits about 12 feet above the ground. And there are the names of all the people that died,” she said. Along with their names are the ages of everyone on the day of the fire. They also included the birth names—as opposed to only the married names—of many of the young women. “We put their birth names along with their married names so people would see how many relatives worked there and died there at the fire,” Trasciatti added. The historic text appears in English, Italian, and Yiddish to honor the majority of the languages spoken at the factory at the time, and includes first-hand accounts.

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Memorial honors 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire deaths that galvanized US labor movement

Associated Press  online


Dr. Trasciatti, president of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, said people would be moved by the newly installed Triangle Fire Memorial and learning the history of the fire and the changes to US labor laws that it inspired. “What they will see is a memorial that tries to build into the object itself the history of the fire, a history of working women, a history of Italians and Jews, a history of tragedy, but then also a history of change.”

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Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire memorial pays tribute to 146 killed in 1911 fire

Newsday  print


Features Professor Trasciatti, president of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition.

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A memorial restores humanity to the 146 ghosts of the Triangle Fire

Washington Post  print


Professor Trasciatti is president of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, which led the effort to install a memorial at the site of the 1911 fire that killed 146 garment factory workers.

Mary Anne Trasciatti at the dedication of the Triangle Fire Memorial

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Is The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Women's Roman Empire?

Huffpost  online


The Triangle Factory Fire is historic event that still seems to weigh on the minds of women, according to Dr. Trasciatti.

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Worsening climate events push New York farmworkers to seek resilience

WSHU National Public Radio  radio


Dr. Trasciatti was interviewed about New York state’s farm workers’ unions.

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Finally, a Memorial to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Victims

The New York Times  print


The New York Times talked to Dr. Trasciatti about the announcement that a memorial to the victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire would be dedicated on October 11, 2023. Rising nine stories high, the memorial is being installed on the very building that housed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, at the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place in Greenwich Village.

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UPS Deal

USA Today  print


“I think it’s huge. It’s huge. It really is,” said Professor Trasciatti about the tentative contract deal that UPS and its Teamsters union have signed, ahead of a strike planned for August 1. She added, “In material terms, it means wage increases, better working conditions, better benefits. In that way, it’s big, and symbolically it’s big. It shows what working people can accomplish when they organize smart campaigns.”

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Amazon workers on Staten Island vote for union

Newsday  print


Mary Anne Trasciatti, director of Hofstra University's labor studies program, said the union victory on Staten Island could lead to the organizing of hundreds of workers at Amazon warehouses on Long Island. "Workers at the different Amazon facilities on Long Island are going to be looking at what happened on Staten Island and saying, 'If we feel like we're not getting a fair shake, we can try to do it too,' " Trasciatti told Newsday. "This powerful victory is likely to inspire [unionization] campaigns at other Amazon locations."

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Amazon Workers in Staten Island Vote to Unionize

WCBS-TV News  tv


Professor Trasciatti was asked to comment on the historic vote taken by Amazon workers in Staten Island to form the company's first union.

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Amazon Workers in Staten Island Vote to Unionize

FOX 5 News NY  tv


Professor Trasciatti was asked to comment on the historic vote taken by Amazon workers in Staten Island to form the company's first union.

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IATSE’s Labor Push Is Part of Broader Worker Struggle Across U.S.

Variety  online


Mary Anne Trasciatti, Director of the Labor Studies Program and Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy, was interviewed by Variety about the push by IATSE (the International Alliance for Theatrical Stage Employees) for better on-set working conditions for its thousands of technicians and craftspeople. “I think the demands of the entertainment workers are very reasonable,” said Professor Trasciatti. “People aren’t asking for the moon. They are asking for safe workplaces, living wages and humane treatment.”

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How successful have the nationwide George Floyd protests been?

News 12 Long Island  tv


"If they are disrupting our way of life - it's because they've tried other routes and they haven't worked," says Hofstra University professor Mary Anne Trasciatti."They're doing exactly what protests are supposed to do. They're supposed to capture attention, force you to pay attention, make it almost impossible for you to look away and say there's a problem, it's not being addressed."

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Life After COVID-19

WSHU's The Full Story  radio


Dr. Mary Anne Trasciatti and other guests discuss the long-term impact of coronavirus on education, economy, industry, and health in the years to come.

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Experts: Controversial Gillette ad on masculinity achieved its goal

Newsday  online


"They are challenging this outdated construct of masculinity . . . the notion that men need to be tough and never show emotion," said Mary Anne Trasciatti, an associate professor of rhetoric and public advocacy at Hofstra University. Trasciatti said the ad, created by the advertising agency, Grey New York, wisely tapped into the culturally significant issue of "toxic masculinity" while generating intense buzz for Gillette's brand.

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Conservative Speaker's Appearance Ignites Protests at NYU

NBC New York  online


After an appearance by a conservative speaker sparked protest in NYC, Associate Professor of Rhetoric Mary Anne Trasciatti, PhD, spoke with WNBC-4 NY about how growing dissatisfaction, particularly among millennials, has led to an increase in public protests and resistance movements.

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The Rebel Girl

Jacobin Magazine  online


"As we build a movement to thwart Trump and win genuine social change, the activist life of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is instructive."

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Women’s Work: Dr. Mary Anne Trasciatti Leads the Effort to Build a Memorial to the Victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

News @ Hofstra  online


When Mary Anne Trasciatti first learned that New York state would fund a memorial to the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, she was, uncharacteristically, speechless... (Originally published in The Year in Review 2015-2016 issue of Hofstra Magazine)

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The Fighting Tradition

Jacobin Magazine  online


Associate Professor of Rhetoric Mary Anne Trasciatti, PhD, compares the recent Verizon strike by approximately 39,000 workers to the militant tactics of the early American labor movement in her article, “The Fighting Tradition” in Jacobin magazine.

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Group wants memorial for 146 women killed in Triangle fire

Newsday  online


A profile of Trasciatti's efforts to memorialize the 146 victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire.

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Nurses, auto strikes may be signs of awakening US unions

Associated Press  print


Mary Anne Trasciatti, director of the labor studies program and an associate professor of rhetoric and public advocacy, was featured in an Associated Press article about how recent strikes among auto workers and nurses may be a sign that unions are regaining strength. The story was carried in many outlets including The Washington Post and ABCNews.com.

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Research Focus (4)

Topics of interest include:

radical rhetoric, public space and public expression, historical commemoration, women's studies, and public protest.

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

Working on a book about the free speech work of labor organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn that illuminates how early twentieth-century radicals created and used public space to advocate for economic justice.

Superstorm Sandy

An oral history project that preserves and represents stories about Superstorm Sandy as narrated by residents of the barrier island coastal community of Long Beach, NY

Triangle Factory Fire

Heading a campaign to remember the 146 victims (mostly young Italian and Jewish immigrant women and girls) of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City and the resulting movement for workers’ rights and safety with a permanent public art memorial.

Articles (4)

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the Sacco–Vanzetti Case, and the Rise and Fall of the Liberal–Radical Alliance, 1920–1940

American Communist History


On 14 February 1926, a crowd of 300 people gathered for a lively event at the Yorkville Casino on East 86th Street in Manhattan...This particular dinner party was noteworthy because it brought together liberals and radicals of various persuasions to fete one of the brightest lights of the U.S. labor movement, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn...

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Kairos, Free Speech, and the Material Conditions of State Power in the United States: The Case of World War I

Advances in the History of Rhetoric


This article considers versions of kairos within the context of World War I and the 1917 Espionage Act, a U.S. law that significantly narrowed parameters for free speech to protect the national interest. Many political activists and pacifists who perceived the war as an opportune moment for a critique of state power and corporate interests suffered material consequences for making such a critique—or remained silent for fear of consequences. While affirming the materiality of kairos and the centrality of body performance, I suggest an expanded version embodying the principle that freedom to respond to kairotic moments is always a product of struggle.

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Athens or Anarchy? Soapbox Oratory and the Early Twentieth-Century American City

Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum

Spring 2013 Soapbox oratory was an integral part of early twentieth-century American city life. A type of outdoor impromptu speaking, it was named for the makeshift platforms that orators devised from sturdy wooden crates in which soap was delivered to stores, although curbs, ladders, stairways, the backs of trucks (known as “cart-tails”) and anything else that made a speaker more visible to the audience were also used. Soapbox orators provided political education and entertainment for people of limited means, recruited members for labor, suffrage, antiracist, and other movements, and attempted religious conversions. They constituted a dynamic element of the city’s physical environment...

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Framing the Sacco-Vanzetti executions in the Italian American press

Critical Studies in Media Communication


The trial and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti comprised one of the most controversial episodes of the early 20th century. For Italian Americans, the case symbolized their community's marginal status even as it offered them an unprecedented opportunity to challenge institutionalized forms of discrimination. To assess the role of the Italian American press in mediating social change, this essay offers a comparative analysis of how bourgeois, anarchist and communist Italian American newspapers framed their coverage of the Sacco-Vanzetti executions...

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