How Migrants from Portugal Helped Make Falmouth a More Cosmopolitan, “Creole” and Cooperative Community

Watch video of the February 6th Conversation here.

Woods Hole Historical Museum Conversation
by Miguel Moniz
February 6, 2020, 12:30 PM
Woods Hole Public Library (lower level)
Free and open to the public (but donations accepted)

Portugese immigrantsThis talk will explore histories of conflict and cooperation in Falmouth after the arrival of 2,000 migrants mostly from the Azores and Cabo Verde in the early 1900s.

Research from three historical events in Falmouth history will be presented:

  1. Early 1900s debates in the town about Portuguese racial identities (including calls for migrants from Portugal to be placed in segregated schools.)
  2. The work of migrants from Portugal in Falmouth over the first half of the century as agricultural field workers, in domestic service, care-taking and other manual labor, in light of patronage, economic cooperation and definitions of Portuguese racial identities; and how this shaped their social mobilities over the next 50 years.
  3. Efforts in the 1950s to feature the Portuguese migrant community as part of a marketing campaign for tourism in Falmouth (which gave birth to the “Strawberry Festival”).

In the talk, Dr. Moniz will discuss if Falmouth, after a century of having worked out difference and belonging through overlapping cooperation in internationally oriented community organizations and institutions among generations of migrant and non-migrant residents, has made the town a more cosmopolitan, “creole” and cooperative place? As a result, does this help the community today to reach across conflicts of class, economic disparity, social identity and lack of legal rights to forge convivial local relations?

Anthropologist Miguel Moniz, FLAD/Brown Visiting Professor, Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Brown University and the Center for Research in Anthropology, ISCTE/IUL. A resident of Lisbon, Dr. Moniz grew up in Falmouth but has lived in Portugal (and been back and forth to New England) since the late 1980s.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.