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Towards a Global History of Domestic and Caregiving Work

49th Linz Conference: 12 - 15 September 2013

Venue: Bildungshaus Jägermayrhof, Römerstraße 98, 4020 Linz, Austria

Organized by the International Conference of Labour and Social History and the Chamber of Labour of Upper Austria,
kindly supported by the Friedrich Ebert-Foundation, the Provincial Government of Upper Austria and the City of Linz

Preparatory Group
Background and Approaches

Some Remarks concerning the organization of the conference.


Simultaneous translation: English — German


Thursday, 12 September 2013

9.00 - 22.00
Registration of the participants at Jägermayrhof

13.00 - 15.00
Meeting of the Executive Committee and the International Scientific Committee of ITH

15.00 – 15.30 Break

15.30 – 17.30
General Assembly of ITH

17.30 Aperitif

Conference opening by the ITH President, Berthold Unfried, and others

18.15 – 18.45
Keynote by Shireen Ally (University of the Witwatersrand): Slavery, Servility, Service: the Cape of Good Hope, the Natal Colony, and the Witwatersrand, 1652-1914

18.45 – 19.15
Keynote by Dorothy Sue Cobble (Rutgers University): Farewell to the Factory Model: Explaining the Global Upsurge of Do-mestic Worker Organizing

Welcome Reception by the Mayor of Linz at Jägermayrhof


Friday, 13 September 2013

8.30 – 9.00
Introduction into the conference by Dirk Hoerder (Salzburg), Silke Neunsinger (Stockholm), Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk (Amsterdam)

SESSION I: Definitions and Concepts
Chair: Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk

9.00 – 10.15
Raffaella Sarti, Historians, Servants and Domestic Workers. Fifty Years of Research on Domestic and Care Work (Università di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’)

R. David Goodman, Reconstructing the Ambiguous Historical End of Domestic Slavery in Morocco (Pratt Institute New York)

Majda Hrzenjak, Slovenian Domestic Workers in Italy: Continuities and Discontinuities within Shifts of Symbolic, Political, Economic and Geographical Borders (Peace Institute – Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies, Ljubljana)

10.15 – 10.45 Coffee break

10.45 – 11.15
Elizabeth Quay Hutchison, Chileanización and La Chinita: Ethnicity, Maternity, and Domestic Service in Popular-Front Chile (University of New Mexico)

Marta Kindler & Anna Kordasiewicz, A Historical Perspective on Child Care-Workers in Polish Households (University of Warsaw & University of Computer Science and Economics in Olsztyn)

Magaly Rodriguez Garcia, The League of Nations and its Handling of the ‘mui-tsai’ System (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

11.15 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 – 14.00
Reception by the Provincial Governor of Upper Austria at Jägermayrhof

SESSION II: Changing Division of Labour
Chair: Yvonne Svanström (Stockholm University)

14.00 – 14.50
Lisa Krissoff Boehm, Leaving the Employer’s Kitchen for the Drive-Thru Window: African American Women’s Transition from Domestic Laborer to Low-Wage Corporate Em-ployee, 1960-1990, United States (Worcester State University)

Sabrina Marchetti, Migrant Domestic and Care Work through the Lenses of Postcolonial-ity. Narratives from Eritrean and Afro-Surinamese Women (RSCAS, European University Institute)

Christa Matthys, Nannies versus Mothers. Negotiating Perceptions of Motherhood and Childrearing in Aristocratic Households, 1700-1900 (Max Planck Institute for Demo-graphic Research, Rostock)

14.50 – 15.15 Coffee break

15.15 – 16.15
Lord Mawuko-Yevugah, Changing Composition of South Africa’s Domestic Workforce and the Reconstitution of ‘Otherness’ (University of the Witwatersrand)

Seemin Quayum & Raka Ray, Creating Class through Cultures of Servitude (University of California, Berkeley)

Marina de Regt, Mobile Women, Moving Lives? The Impact of Ethiopian Women’s Migra-tion on Gender Relations, Labour and Lifecycle (Free University Amsterdam)

Andrew Urban, Settler Colonialism and Colonial Labor Systems: Domestic Service and the Politics of Chinese Restriction in the ‘White Pacific’ (Rutgers University)

16.15 – 18.00 Discussion

Dinner at Jägermayrhof


Saturday, 14 September 2013

SESSION III: Working Conditions
Chair: Shireen Ally (University of the Witwatersrand)

9.00 – 10.05
Cecilia Allemandi, Towards an Insight into the Living and Working Conditions of Wet Nurses in the Late 1800s and Early 1900s in the City of Buenos Aires (University of San Andrés, Buenos Aires)

Dana Cooper, Unintended Imperial Consequences: A Comparative Historical Examination of Irish and Filipina Women’s Migration as Domestic Caregivers within the British and American Empires (Stephen F. Austin State University)

Walter Gam Ngkwi, House Boys, House Girls and Baby Sitters: The Mobility of Indentured Labour (Domestic Servants) in Cameroon, c.1920s-1990s (University of Buea)

10.05 – 10.30 Coffee Break

10.30 – 11.45
Victoria Haskins, ‘The matter of wages does not seem to be material’: State Intervention and Wage Regulation for Indigenous Domestic Workers Under the Outing System in United States, 1890s-1930s (University of New Castle)

Colleen O'Neill, The ‘Intermountain Girls’ and American Indian ‘Domestic Relocation’ in the Post-War Era (Utah State University)

Robyn Pariser, Designing Domesticity in Colonial Tanzania, 1919-1961 (Emory University)

Yukari Takai & Mary Gene de Guzman, Young and Experienced: Transnational Trajectories of Filipina Domestic and Care Workers in the late-Twentieth-Century Toronto (York University)

Ratna Saptari, Domestic Service and the Experience of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Class and Gender in Two Indonesian Cities (Leiden University)

11.45 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 – 14.00
Lunch at Jägermayrhof

Resistance – Mobilization – Organization
Chair: Lex Herma van Voss (Den Haag)

14.00 – 14.50
Traude Bollauf, Dienstmädchen-Emigration (Wien)

Eileen Boris & Jennifer Fish, Decent Work for Domestics: Feminist Organizing, Worker Empowerment, and the ILO (University of California, Santa Barbara & Old Dominion University)

Fae Dussart, Domestic Dialogues: Negotiations Over Servant Selfhood (University of Sussex)

14.50 – 15.40
Henrique Espada Lima, Wages of Intimacy: Domestic Workers Disputing Wages in Brazilian Higher Court in the XIXth Century (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina)

Amrita Pande, Clandestine ‘Unions’ and the Counter-Spaces of Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon (University of Cape Town)

Vilhelm Vilhelmson, ‘Lazy and disobedient’. The Everyday Resistance of Indentured Servants in 19th Century Iceland (University of Iceland)

15.40 – 16.10 Discussion

16.10 – 15.30 Coffee break

16.30 – 18.00
Silke Neunsinger & Yvonne Svanström, Summary and moderation of the
Concluding Discussion

Dinner at Jägermayrhof


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Departure of the participants after breakfast