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“Central America, the United States, and the Long Labor Struggles Shaping Migration Today” ~ The Bernard Kleiman Lecture

Saturday, July 28, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Lara Putnam is professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh.

“What drives Central Americans thousands of miles to seek asylum at the US border? How can tracing the entangled past that connects El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala to the United States help us understand the dilemmas and pressures of the present? And what does the long history of labor struggle across these varied nations teach us about the possibilities—and challenges—of solidarity?”

Lara Putnam writes about approaches to transnational history, and the impact of source digitization and web-based search on historical research. Her own research centers on migration, kinship, and gender in the Greater Caribbean.



Professor Putnam has published three books and co-edited two others:

Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age. Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 2013. [Given special mention in the 2013-2014 Elsa Goveia
Book Prize competition by the Association of Caribbean Historians.]

The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica,  1870-1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Género, poder y migración en el Caribe Costarricense, 1870-1960. San José, Costa Rica: INAMU, 2014. (Translation of The Company They Kept.)

Co-edited books:
Caribbean Military Encounters: A Multidisciplinary Anthology from the Humanities. Shalini Puri and Lara Putnam, eds. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Honor, Status, and Law in Modern Latin America. Sueann Caulfield, Sarah Chambers, and Lara Putnam, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

Recent honors include the Andrés Ramos Mattei-Neville Hall Article Prize of Association of Caribbean Historians and the 32nd Annual Elsa Goveia Memorial Lectureship at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica (2016). Putnam is President of the Conference on Latin American History and a member of the Board of Editors of the American Historical Review.


The Kleiman Lecture provides a forum for informed discourse on labor issues. Previous speakers included International Presidents, United Steelworkers, Lynne Williams and Leo Gerard; and the Associate Director of the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights, Barbara Briggs; and Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, who has served as general secretary of the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic. 


Saturday, July 28, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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The Battle of Homestead Foundation


The Historic Pump House
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