This essay charts how the author’s interest in labor history and the history of care work were inspired by her own family history of migrations from Puerto Rico to the United States. It considers how her grandmother’s stories about being a child needle worker in Puerto Rico and a migrant domestic worker in New York led her to think critically about the connections and overlap between the home and workplace in the lives of Puerto Rican women. As a student, investigating her personal history led her to discover a rich tradition of Puerto Rican feminist labor history that raised questions about reproductive politics and caring labor that remain pressing in our contemporary moment.
Caring for Labor History
EMMA AMADOR is an assistant professor of history and Latina/o/x, Caribbean, and Latin American studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Her work focuses on Puerto Rican and US Latina/o/x history with an emphasis on women, gender, and race. She is currently completing a book manuscript that explores the history of care work, welfare, and struggles for social rights in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora.
Emma Amador; Caring for Labor History. Labor 1 December 2020; 17 (4): 65–69. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-8643496
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