Josef Barton, Northwestern University | Newberry

Josef Barton, Northwestern University

Friday, September 21, 2012

3 pm to 5pm


Center for American History and Culture Programs
Labor History Seminar

“Edge of Endurance: Mexican Migrant Workers and the Making of a North American Working Class, 1880-1945”
Josef Barton, Northwestern University

Between 1880 and 1945, Mexican peasants plunged into a new world of big-scale agricultural development. In northern and west-central regions, they exploited their holdings, pushed their bodies and their household members, and spread their labor across a vast Mexican and United States agricultural terrain.  The outcome of this movement was a new, migratory working class.  I link the migrants’ remaking of their own world with the transformation of the American working class. Migratory workers not only made possible the emergence of big-scale agriculture in both Mexico and the United States, but also created a new social formation in American labor. 

Commentators: Deborah Kanter, Albion College and Juan Mora-Torres, DePaul University

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, e-mail the Scholl Center at  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.