History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar “Ladies Aid” as Labor History: Working Class Formation in the Interwar Syrian American Mahjar 15 October 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Stacy Fahrenthold, University of California, Davis Ilham Khuri-Makdisi, Northeastern University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//wgs_banner.jpg

Founded in 1917, the Syrian Ladies Aid Society of Boston (SLAS) provided food, shelter, education, and employment to Syrian workers. Volunteers understood the SLAS as both a women’s organization and a proletarian movement led by Syrian women. Drawing from SLAS club records, private family papers, activist correspondence, and the Syrian press, this essay calls attention to the role women played in working class formation in the Arab American diaspora, and argues for a class-centered reassessment of “ladies aid” politics.


This series is co-sponsored by the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society & Culture.