CONFERENCE: Labor Migration and the Sea (Abstracts)

Ilham Khuri-Makdisi

Northeastern University

My paper will explore the history and historiography of labor migration across the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean in the early modern and modern period (1750-1950). Much has been written on the Mediterranean as a connective space linking territories, regions, ideas and cultures, but in fact labor migration in the Mediterranean, and the various kinds of work and recruitment processes it entailed, has received relatively scant attention by historians. I propose to examine what has indeed been written, and to compare it to the larger historiography on labor migration in the Indian Ocean. Finally, my paper will also address the question of political activism and transnational solidarities among workers on the move, at sea and on land, from a historical perspective.