Fall 2023 History BC3505 section 001

Building Worker Power: Migrant Work and


Call Number 00189
Day & Time
W 4:10pm-6:00pm
308 Diana Center
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required Instructor
Instructor Premilla Nadasen
Course Description

This Barnard Engages course will partner with the Damayan Migrant Workers Association, a worker-run Filipino organization based in New York City. Damayan has been at the forefront of building power among low-wage workers and assisting labor trafficking survivors. Founded over twenty years ago, it has fought for legal status for trafficked workers, built alliances with other domestic worker rights groups, and developed an integrated analysis of neocolonialism, racial and gender exploitation, and worker self advocacy. Through this work, students will develop an understanding of the history of Filipino immigration, labor trafficking, labor rights, gender inequality, anti-imperialism, and grassroots and worker organizing and resistance.

The class will collectively produce a timeline of Damayan’s organizing over the past twenty years. We will draw on their organizational archives, published video and written sources, and interviews with members. At the end of the semester, we will hold a joint public launch of our final project. The work for this course will be collaborative. Students will work in teams to produce the timeline and organize the launch event. In addition to the scheduled class times, students are expected to meet outside of class to discuss their ongoing tasks, research, and the overall project. 

This class is part of an ongoing partnership between Damayan and Barnard College. In a previous semester Barnard College students helped produce a report of Damayan’s organizing during the pandemic. Because this is a community-directed project, we will be working closely with Damayan. Their needs and goals may shift during the semester so students should be prepared for changes to the syllabus and end product. Many of our class meetings will take place in lower Manhattan. Students should arrange their schedules accordingly. 


Web Site Vergil
Department History @Barnard
Enrollment 10 students (10 max) as of 6:07PM Friday, July 12, 2024
Status Full
Subject History
Number BC3505
Section 001
Division Barnard College
Note Instructor Permission Required. Enrollment Limited.
Section key 20233HIST3505X001