Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Unsettling Labor: The Transpacific Anti-Japanese Movement and the New Migrant Worker, 1900-1909, Roneva Keel (Labor Studies Workshare Series, 3/5/2019)

Posted: 2/22/2019 (Local Events)

ABSTRACT: This paper situates the recruitment of Filipinos to work in the cane fields of Hawai‘i in the early twentieth century within a broader transpacific anti-Japanese movement. The 1909 strike on Oahu’s sugar plantations was a catalyst for Filipino labor recruitment, but Japanese worker resistance extended to the western United States, where Japanese labor had been integral to the expansion of California’s agricultural industry. In their challenges to the distinct yet interrelated labor regimes of haole planter society and West Coast agriculture, Japanese workers disrupted U.S. imperial expansion, exposing the contradictions of ongoing colonial development dependent on migrant labor.

Roneva Keel is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Washington. Her dissertation, “Mobilizing Empire: Race Sugar and U.S. Colonialism across the Pacific, 1898-1934,” brings together the histories of colonization in California, Hawai‘i, and the Philippines to explore the historical development of race and capitalism in the formation of the U.S. empire. Her research focuses on race, labor, and colonialism in the formation of the modern U.S. state, with an emphasis on the mobilization of workers across borders and oceans.

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Date: 03/05/2019

Time: 12:30-2:00 PM

Location: Gowen Hall, Room 1A (Olson Room)