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Michael McCann's Retirement

Submitted by Natalie Mc Martinez on December 5, 2022 - 6:27am
Michael McCann's Retirement

In late October, about 75 faculty, students, and former students gathered in the Walker Ames Room of Kane Hall to celebrate Professor Michael McCann. Michael spent his entire illustrious career at the UW after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983.

The event, organized by Professor Rachel Cichowski, included several panels that recapped Michael’s remarkable scholarly and institutional contributions and had many former students reflecting on his deep impact and generosity.

Michael was the inaugural Gordon Hiribayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship. He has authored eight books. His most recent, Union By Law (with Professor George Lovell), examines the social and legal history of Filipino American workers’ rights-based struggles in West Coast agricultural and salmon canning industries starting in the early 20th century.

Michael served two terms as department chair and played central roles in establishing and growing the Law, Societies and Justice Program and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. He is a recipient of the University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award and the Marsha L. Landholt Distinguished Graduate Mentor award.

One of Michael’s award winning books, Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crises (with Puget Sound University Professor William Haltom), documented how tort reform advocates engaged in media campaigns to promote public perceptions of widespread frivolous lawsuits. One such case was the McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit. Because of the book’s careful research, Michael was invited explain the full story on the popular YouTube series Adam Ruins Everything. It’s worth a watch!