How did 2,500 Japanese detainees come to work at Seabrook Farms, a frozen foods agribusiness located in South Jersey in the mid 1940s? The effects of World War II reached beyond the front lines; local communities were impacted by global events. Seabrook Farms’ history, the story of a company that relied on the government and its labor, immigration, and refugee policies to recruit workers, cannot be adequately narrated as local history. In this session, participants will explore how local New Jersey histories can be critically connected to larger national and global events and issues.
Andrew Urban, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Andrew Urban is an Associate Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. In his book Brokering Servitude (NYU Press, 2017), he examines how immigration policies shaped labor markets for domestic service. His current project explores the history of Seabrook Farms, a frozen foods agribusiness in southern New Jersey that recruited interned Japanese Americans, guestworkers from the British West Indies, and European refugees during the 1940s.
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