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Andy Urban is a historian of migration, labor, consumerism, and empire. His forthcoming book, Brokering Servitude: Migration and the Politics of Domestic Labor during the Long Nineteenth Century (NYU Press, 2018), examines the cultural and political debates that surrounded the commodification of domestic labor in the United States, and attempts to regulate markets for the hire of household servants.
As a teacher and practitioner of the digital and public humanities, Andy has been involved in a number of curatorial projects at Rutgers. His exhibit, Chinese Exclusion in New Jersey: Immigration Law in the Past and Present, curated with Rutgers undergraduates in an immigration history course, uses original records from the National Archives to examine how restrictive policies had an impact on Chinese communities in New Jersey. Andy also led an American Studies class that completed a community-engaged, collaborative project with the George Street Playhouse titled Mapping New Brunswick Memories, which uses oral histories to digitally map the cultural geography of New Brunswick and how the local landscape has changed over time.
Most recently, Andy worked with the Rutgers Libraries and the New Jersey Digital Highway to curate the digital exhibition: “Invisible Restraints: Life and Labor at Seabrook Farms,” which was completed as part of the States of Incarceration project organized by the Humanities Action Lab. Focusing on Seabrook Farms, a frozen foods agribusiness in southern New Jersey, the exhibit examines the complicated relationship between captive labor and capitalism that defined the company's employment practices in the period surrounding the Second World War and its immediate aftermath, and its recruitment of interned Japanese Americans, guestworkers from the British West Indies, and European Displaced Persons. Andy’s work on Seabrook Farms was recently the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute grant, which will enable Rutgers to host 30 high school teachers from across the country in a series of workshops and seminars that examine Seabrook Farms as a case study into different histories of internment, relocation, and resettlement during the World War II era. Peer-reviewed articles Andy has written have appeared in the Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of American Ethnic History, Journal of Policy History, Gender and History, and American Studies, and can be found on his website: andyturban.org.
American Studies 101, Fall 2010 Monument Blog: http://amstmonuments.wordpress.com/