Justice in the Home: Domestic Work Past, Present, and Future

The National Domestic Workers Alliance is proud to join with the Barnard Center for Research on Women to sponsor the conference Justice in the Home: Domestic Work Past, Present, and Future.

Oct 16-17, 2014
Event Oval, The Diana Center, Barnard College



Speakers Include: Eileen Boris, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Eva Kittay, Andrea Cristina Mercado, Premilla Nadasen, Rhacel Parrenas, Ai-jen Poo, Mary Romero, Saskia Sassen, Peggie Smith, Nik Theodore, Martina Vandenberg, and more.

Research about domestic work, domestic workers, and domestic worker organizing is an abundant and growing field. The attention garnered by organizing efforts by and on behalf of domestic workers, both nationally and internationally, has served as a spur to scholars in a wide range of disciplines. Structured interchange between scholars and organizers has the potential to enrich the work of both groups, providing theoretical, historical, and empirical context to the work of organizers and providing scholars with an understanding of the priority issues that arise within the context of organizing.

Domestic work and domestic worker organizing have been subjects of discussion at a range of academic conferences, including conferences devoted to labor history, sociology, and gender studies. This research conference on domestic workers and domestic worker organizing will provide the setting for a more intensive and comprehensive look at key issues related to domestic work by bringing together scholars from diverse areas of interest and expertise. We will create the opportunity for frank assessments about the status of academic research about domestic work, workers and organizing: major scholarly accomplishments, critical areas of debate or contention, as well as un- or under-explored issues. Join us for this historic set of conversations.


Thursday, October 16

6:30 PM
Welcome & Opening Panel:
Domestic Work and Domestic Workers – Critical Advances in a Field of Inquiry

Eileen Boris, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Tera Hunter, Elizabeth Clark Lewis, Mary Romero

Friday, October 17

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Panel #2: Evolutions of Household Labor — Domestic Work and Inequalities of Class, Race, Gender and Citizenship
Eva Kittay, Jennifer Klein, Cecilia Rio, Peggie Smith, Nik Theodore (chair)

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM

11:15 AM – 12:45 PM
Panel #3: Labor Migration and the Transnational Demand for Domestic Labor
Rhacel Parrenas, Saskia Sassen, Martina Vandenberg, Tamara Mose Brown, Grace Chang (chair)

12:45 PM – 1:00 PM
Transition to Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Lunch with Breakout Groups

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM

2:45 PM – 4:15 PM
Panel #4: Domestic Worker Organizing: Historical Context and Current Strategies
Janice Fine, Fish Ip, Andrea Cristina Mercado, Premilla Nadasen, Claire Hobden (chair)

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Keynote Speaker Ai-jen Poo and Closing Remarks

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Saturday, October 18

Saturday’s session will be devoted to forging ongoing relationships between organizers and scholars. Participants will explore key research needs that arise in the context of organizing; translating research findings into materials that can be accessed and utilized by domestic workers and organizers; and sustaining dialogue about developments in the field. We encourage the participation of all who are interested in co-creating projects or methodologies to deepen the interchange between researchers and organizers whose focus is the domestic work industry. If you would like to stay and participate on Saturday, please RSVP to pphillips@barnard.edu.

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Welcome and Instructions to Working Groups

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Working Groups

Working groups meet simultaneously:

  1. The Future of Research in the Field
  2. Developing a Network of Scholars
  3. Developing Resources for Popular Education, Organizing, and Advocacy

12:00 PM – 12:15 PM

12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
Working Lunch – Report-backs and Closing Remarks


Sponsored by: National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Barnard Center for Research on Women, The Worker Institute at Cornell University, Labor Research Action Network, Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Santa Barbara Department of Feminist Studies, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and the Roosevelt Institute.