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Andrew T. Urban
Assistant Professor, American Studies and History
My forthcoming book manuscript, The Empire of the Home: Migration, Race, and the Political Economy of Domestic Servitude in the United States, 1850-1920 (NYU Press, 2016), examines the recruitment and contract of Asian and European immigrants as domestic servants, and explores how policies, laws, and cultural attitudes concerning the freedom of mobility and labor, governed an occupation that was stigmatized in the minds of native-born, white Americans. I dedicate particular focus to how the commodification of household work created excitement, anxiety, and social subjectivities, all of which accompanied new opportunities to purchase the labor of migrants for use in the production of domesticity. Finally, I am interested in the ways in which immigration and occupational choice were viewed as regulatory fields by state and non-state actors seeking to accommodate consumers’ household and personal needs.
|Interests:||American History / Studies
Asian American History / Studies
Atlantic History / Studies
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies
Ethnic History / Studies
Immigration History / Studies
Labor History / Studies
Law and Legal History
Political History / Studies
Urban History / Studies
World History / Studies
Andy Urban is an Assistant Professor in the American Studies and History departments at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He received his PhD in History from the University of Minnesota in 2009, and previously worked as a postdoctoral fellow with the Transforming Community Project at Emory University, where he researched the institutional history of race relations. In October 2014, the Journal of Asian American Studies published an article from this research, “Yun Ch’i-ho’s Alienation By by Way of Inclusion: A Korean International Student and Christian Reform in the 'New' South, 1888–1893," which explores a Korean missionary student’s encounters with “Jim Crow” racism, interracial dating, and American imperialism while at Emory. Professor Urban joined Rutgers in the fall of 2010 as an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow, and became an assistant professor in the fall 2012. My forthcoming book manuscript, The Empire of the Home: Migration, Race, and the Political Economy of Domestic Servitude in the United States, 1850-1920 (NYU Press, 2016), examines intersections between the commodification of domestic labor and the development of federal immigration policies. Professor Urban co-edited with Professor Amy Tyson a special issue of the Radical History Review titled “Calling the Law into Question: Confronting the Illegal and Illicit in Public Arenas,” which looked at the potential for public humanities work to engage critical legal histories. The last three years, he has been a member of the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, a coalition of faculty and students at eleven universities engaged in the collaboratively curating a traveling museum exhibition that interprets and documents the layered histories of the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from its acquisition during the War of 1898, to its use as a detention center for Cuban and Haitian refugees seeking asylum in the United States, to its central role in the post-9/11 “War on Terror.” In addition, Urban has also curated the exhibitions “Chinese Exclusion in New Jersey: Immigration Law in the Past and Present,” “Living and Learning: Chinese Immigration, Restriction, and Community in Brooklyn, 1850 to Present,” and “Law and Order: The Career and Legacy of Minneapolis Mayor Charles Stenvig” (with Jeff Manuel), the last of which examined an independent candidate and former police officer elected on a “law and order” platform in 1969. Peer-reviewed articles he has written have appeared (or will appear shortly) in the Journal of American Ethnic History, Journal of Policy History, Gender and History, and American Studies.