Migration and Mill Work

Portuguese Communities in Industrial New England

DECEMBER 3–6, 2017

A Multi-site Traveling Academic Conference
Lowell/New Bedford/North Dartmouth/Fall River
Free and open to the public

This unique academic conference incorporated museum exhibits, historical site visits, and thematic talks and tours in Lowell, New Bedford, Fall River, and North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, linking research themes to the living history of the communities under consideration.

International scholars and local experts examined the waves of migrant laborers in textile and manufacturing mills, and the settlement and development of early Portuguese communities in New England from the late nineteenth century onward. The conference also served as a working meeting for researchers organizing an edited volume on the theme for the project The Color of Labor: the Racialized Lives of Migrants, which is supported by a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant.

View Full Conference Program (pdf)

Conference Program

Sunday, December 3: Lowell, MA
10am–12pm: Guided tour
The Creation of Lowell through Millwork and the Immigrant Labor Force
US National Park Service Guides, UMass Lowell History Department Grad Students
Location: Lowell National Historic Park

2–3pm: Conference Welcome and Lowell Historical Keynote
The Mills Beckon: Immigrant Life in Lowell, 1880–1920
Robert Forrant, Distinguished University Professor of History, UMass, Lowell
Location: Events Center, Boott Mill

3–4:30pm: Oral History Panel
The Portuguese Immigrant Experience in Lowell since the 1960s
Location: Events Center, Boott Mill

4:30pm: Migration and Millwork Conference Opening Reception and Historical Exhibit From the Atlantic Islands to Lowell, Massachusetts: the Mill City’s Portuguese Community
Robert Forrant, Kady Phelps, Molly Mahoney and Frank Sousa, UMass Lowell
Location: Counting House, Boott Mill

Monday, December 4: Lowell, MA
9am–5pm: Migration and Millwork Conference Paper Presentations

View presentation details (pdf)
Location: Boott Mill #6

Tuesday, December 5: New Bedford and North Dartmouth, MA
10am–12pm: New Bedford’s Transition between Whaling and Millwork

NBWM Guides

Place Matters: The Portuguese Community in 1900, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Rose P. Rodrigues, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, Fairfield, University
Location: Energy & Enterprise Gallery, New Bedford Whaling Museum

Opportunities for research on Portuguese topics available at the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room and Archives, New Bedford Whaling Museum
Mark Procknik, Librarian
Location: Cape Verdean and Azorean Whaleman Galleries, New Bedford Whaling Museum

2:30–5:30: Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives presentations, North Dartmouth, MA
Historical Exhibit: Understanding the 1920s in the South Coast
Sonia Pacheco, Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archive

Remarks on the Strike of 28 Archive and Oral History Archives
Daniel Georgianna. UMass, Dartmouth

Racialism, Social Sciences and the Politics of Knowledge in the 1920s: the Case of Two Portuguese Communities in New England
Cristiana Bastos. ICS, Universidade de Lisboa

Wednesday, December 6, North Dartmouth & Fall River
10am–4pm: Migration and Mills published volume paper workshop

Location: UMass Dartmouth, Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture

7–9pm: Fall River Historical Keynote at Casa dos Açores da Nova Inglaterra
The Fall River Family Wage System During the Spindle City’s Textile Heyday
Philip Silvia, Dept. of History, Bridgewater State University

The Portuguese Immigrant Experience of Fall River

Closing Meal and Reception
Location: Casa dos Açores da Nova Inglaterra, Fall River


Jointly Sponsored By
The Color of Labor: the Racialized Lives of Migrants (ERC Advanced Grant Project) Institute of Social Sciences, Universidade de Lisboa

The Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives (FMPAA), University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, University of Massachusetts, Lowell 

Lowell National Historic Park, US National Park Service, Boott Cotton Mills Museum

New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Casa dos Açores da Nova Inglaterra, Fall River, MA

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