Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Labor History Seminar
Friday, May 9, 2014

3 pm to 5 pm

“Sex and the ILO: Seafarers, Emigrants, and the Politics of Protection”
Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara

This paper considers debates over ILO conventions and recommendations related to the working conditions of seafarers, especially conditions in ports, as well as those addressing the transit of women and children as emigrants, during the first half of the 20th century. By comparing emigrant women and seafaring men, I offer an interpretation that recovers the idea of labor standards as worker protection against the vagaries of employment and thus views men as well as women subject to bodily safeguards-and disciplining. With input into the League of Nation’s Committee on the Traffic in Women and Children, ILO discussions of women and girls on ships and in transit mariners in port became occasions to debate sexual danger, embodiment, and conditions of work.

Commentators: Katherine Turk, University of Texas at Dallas and Emily LaBarbera Twarog, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cost and registration information: 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org.  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.