Maria L. Quintana
Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.
This class will lead students in a set of historical research projects that will address race and gender in U.S. labor history. Throughout the course, we will discuss the conceptual and theoretical issues in the study of race, gender, and labor, the formation of labor movements, and the historical role of labor in the U.S. We will also focus on how U.S. hierarchies of labor have been maintained in the 20th century as products of a colonial labor system that has been characterized by a segmented labor market, discriminatory barriers to desirable jobs, a sexual division of labor, and disparate wage scales. We will especially be concerned with how these factors have shaped working class lives, informed class relations, and organized communities of solidarity. We will ask, in what ways, and to what extent, have historians and other scholars brought a concern with gender, race, class, citizenship, and empire into their studies of labor? Students will be asked to frame their own projects around one or more of these concerns.
Student learning goals
To be critical of how historians have understood the concepts of class, race, gender, and sexuality, and to apply these concepts in research and writing.
To demonstrate how citizenship, race, gender, and labor have been historically intertwined, by examining relations of power and coercion.
To learn how to place U.S. labor history within a transnational and borderlands context.
To write, research, and present an informed and critical research essay on a topic of their choosing.
General method of instruction
Willingness to read and engage with readings in a seminar environment; willingness to engage in primary source research and to write a major research paper.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly response papers; annotated bibliography; final research paper (12-15 pages); occasional progress reports.
Grades will be based on the sum total of the results of course writing assignments and participation in weekly discussions.