Event—Scholarly Seminars

Carolina Ortega, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Bryan Winston, Dartmouth College


Meatpacking, Mexican Immigration, and the Transformation of a Midwest City, Carolina Ortega, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Mexican migrants, particularly from Mexico’s central-west region, transformed the meatpacking industry in Green Bay, Wisconsin over the last two decades of the twentieth century. Places such as Green Bay experienced an industrial boom mainly in part due to the recruitment of Mexican workers, first by the city’s meatpacking industry and then by familial networks. This paper examines the transformation of a predominately white, small midwestern city, into a place where Mexican families put down roots and changed the city’s cultural, economic, and physical landscape.

Confinement, Dead Ends, and Racial Fissures: Racialization at the Periphery of Jim Crow, Juan Crow, and Mestizaje, Bryan Winston, Dartmouth College

This chapter explores the racial discrimination Mexican migrants faced in the Lower Midwest during the early twentieth century and their attempts to use the Mexican diplomatic corps to combat economic and social marginalization. White Americans established inconsistent racial boundaries that confined Mexican migrants to varying degrees in the region. Mexican migrants brought their own ideas of race and belonging, further complicating the racial landscape. By placing Mexican migrant strategies of belonging in the context of multiple racial regimes, this chapter recognizes the Midwest as a racial borderland and challenges the idea of the Midwest as a solely white space.

Respondent: Sergio González, Marquette University