Barbara Bowen is Professor of English at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and is President of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC)/CUNY. A scholar of 17th-century English literature and African-American studies, Bowen has published numerous works in her field. Throughout her academic career, she also worked in progressive political movements and as a labor organizer. She began her union career when an assignment as a VISTA volunteer turned into an effort to organize 800 tobacco pickers in the Connecticut River Valley. In addition to her position as an AFT vice president, Bowen is a member of the NYSUT board of directors and the executive board of the New York City Central Labor Council.