Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

What I Am Thinking About Now: Emma Amador

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA), Lippitt House
96 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02912

Please join us on Wednesday, February 28, at 12pm-1pm for a "What I Am Thinking About Now" presentation by Emma Amador, Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at CSREA, entitled "Organizing for Social Services: Labor Migration, Welfare Rights, and Women’s Activism in the Puerto Rican Diaspora after 1948."

This presentation explores histories of organizing for social services and welfare rights within Puerto Rican diasporic communities in the United States. Examining the role of Puerto Rican women social workers as architects of the “Migration Division” of the Puerto Rican government’s Department of Labor after 1948, the presentation reveals how within this state agency a generation of social workers challenged the racial and gender discrimination faced by Puerto Rican migrants seeking social services, housing, and care in the United States. It also shows how this agency fostered the emergence of a new generation of women activists who in the 1960s and 70s moved into new roles as community organizers, civil rights activists, and participants in the Welfare Rights movement. By focusing on Puerto Rican women’s role in shaping and challenging U.S. social welfare institutions to better address colonial citizens, this paper addresses the widespread omission of the colonial contours of social welfare policy in U.S. histories of the welfare state.


Emma Amador is a historian of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans in the United States, whose research focuses on women, gender, and sexuality. She is an Assistant Professor of History and Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs with a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, an MA from UConn, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Amador is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the history of welfare, territorial social citizenship, and welfare rights in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora. This project examines how the U.S. welfare state became a site where Puerto Ricans have struggled for social justice, labor reform, and decolonization.

RSVP: csrea@brown.edu

"What I Am Thinking About Now" is an on-going informal workshop/seminar series to which faculty and graduate students are invited to present and discuss recently published work and work in progress. All are invited to attend and participate.

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