NEH Summer Institute for High School Teachers
The Company Town at Seabrook Farms, New Jersey: Internment, Migration, and Resettlement in the WWII Era
Dates: July 16 – 27, 2018 (two weeks)
Location: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Application Deadline: March 1, 2018
Founded in the early twentieth century, Seabrook Farms was a frozen-foods and canning agribusiness located in southern New Jersey. During its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, the company employed more than 6,000 laborers at peak production, and produced roughly two-thirds of all the frozen food consumed in the United States. Seabrook Farms was transformed during World War II, when it recruited and received 2,500 Japanese Americans paroled from incarceration in internment camps. At Seabrook Farms, Japanese Americans worked alongside migrants from the U.S. South and immigrant guestworkers from the British West Indies. Following World War II, Seabrook added to its ranks of laborers Eastern European refugees sponsored from camps in occupied Germany, and Japanese Peruvians facing extradition to Japan after being detained by the United States during the war.
Using Seabrook Farms as a case study, institute participants will be encouraged to workshop curricular activities and ideas that they hope to implement in their own classrooms on subjects related to refugee resettlement, internment, and immigration. Participants will also engage in dialogues about internment and the constitution, immigration policy, and the employment of migrant agricultural laborers today.