Skip to Main Content

HONR.3300-315: Connected Histories: Portuguese Diasporas

girl in from of a mill machine with spindles ealry 1900's
Fourteen year old spinner in a Brazos Valley Cotton Mill at West Texas
Photo by Lewis Hine 1913    PD
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

This course will address a variety of diasporic communities in the world, including the Portuguese communities in the Americas -- New England, California, Ontario, Hawaii, Brazil, Guyana & Caribbean and others -- from the 19th century to our days.
The comparative historical framework will cover the situations of post-abolition recruitment of laborers for sugar plantations, the recruitment of a massive labor force for the New England industrial development, and the multiple flows of business- and labor-oriented migrations into the Americas; the approach will be complemented by the anthropological and sociological studies of the ethnically-identified communities thus formed, and by the study of literary and visual expressions of diasporic lives.

Throughout the weeks of the course we will explore the connected histories of the apparently different and disconnected situations that involve the indentured labor routes traveled by South Asian workers into Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean in the Atlantic, and Fiji in the Pacific; the contracts bringing workers from Japan, China and the Portuguese islands to Hawaii’s plantations; the sequential recruitments of English, Irish, Italian, Syrian, Polish, French Canadian and Portuguese workers to the mills of New England; and the struggles and successes of the communities thus formed.