Maria Quintana

Independent Historian

Maria L. Quintana is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Washington, with primary fields in comparative colonialisms and twentieth-century U.S. history. She received a B.A. in Anthropology and History from the University of California, Davis and a M.A. in History from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.   Maria’s scholarly interests include critical race studies, social movements, and labor studies.  Her dissertation, titled “Be Our Guest-Worker:  Making Meaning Out of Race, Labor, and Empire during the U.S. Emergency Labor Programs, 1942-1964,” investigates the cultural meanings, symbolic practices, and narratives that U.S. state officials and growers, as well as migrant contract workers from Mexico and the Caribbean, constructed about “foreign” agricultural labor in the U.S.  The goal of her project is to demonstrate how concepts such as “soldiers in the field” and “guest-workers,” as well as a language of binational agreements, fair wages, and individual labor contracts, obscured the violently coercive nature of the programs, enabling a re-articulation of earlier forms of U.S. liberal imperial subjugation.