Skip to main content

unCOMMON @ the Research Commons: A Salon Series: Home

Unionizing the Impossible: Ernesto Galarza and La Alianza de Braceros de México en los Estados Unidos, 1942-1964

Mireya Loza: Unionizing the Impossible: Ernesto Galarza and La Alianza de Braceros de México en los Estados Unidos, 1942-1964

Soon after the first Mexican guest workers started arriving to the US through the Bracero Program, they challenged policy restrictions that prohibited them from organizing unions. As one of the first organizations created to represent these men, “La Alianza de Braceros,” sought to improve the conditions of braceros in both the US and Mexico. This talk explores Alianza’s transnational strategies and the organization’s relationship with the prominent labor activist, Ernesto Galarza. Galarza worked with Alianza to incorporate guest workers into his American unionizing efforts. However, after he grew frustrated with the Mexican government’s repressive treatment of Alianza, he changed his tactics from unionizing braceros to working to end the Bracero Program itself. The subsequent demise of Alianza solidified the growing divide between Mexican and American labor in US agricultural fields.

Mireya Loza is an Assistant Professor of Food Studies in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies.Her areas of research include Latinx History, Social Movements, Labor History and Food Studies. Her book, Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual and Political Freedom (UNC Press), examines the Bracero Program and how guest workers negotiated the intricacies of indigeneity, intimacy, and transnational organizing. 

Thursday, February 21st at 6:00 PM 

Bobst Library | 7th Floor, Avery Fisher Center, Room 745

Open to the Public | Light Refreshments will be served




This Salon is sponsored by the Bobst Library Reference Departments (Business & Government Documents, Coles Science Center, and Social Sciences & Humanities Reference Center)


What is a Salon?

salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" ("aut delectare aut prodesse est"). Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until quite recently in urban settings.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (

Publication that premiered at a Salon!

Michelle Greenwald presented at an April 4, 2013 Salon entitled, "Optimizing and Inspiring Innovation to Create New Products and Services."  Catalyzing Innovation: 60 Lines of Thinking to Drive Innovation, her new book which grew out of her presentation, is now available at the iTunes Store.  In her own words, Michelle describes the book as, "different from anything written on innovation before.  It's an extremely visual tool (over 500 categorized examples), and it links to strategically building product and services.  Companies, entrepreneurs & designers can use the framework to innovate in a more methodical, complete & creative way.  Several international business schools have inquired about using it to teach innovation." 

Glad you were able to give us a preview Michelle!

History of Salons at NYU Libraries

NYU Libraries first started hosting salons in 2007.  The Coles Science Salons were a speaker series created and organized by the Coles Science Center, the science reference department at Bobst Library.  The early Salons had a Science focus and proved to be quite popular with the NYU community.  The Business and Government Documents Center, drawn by the success of the Science salons, also began hosting business focused salons in 2012.  Not to be left out, the Social Sciences & Humanities Reference were also planning to host their own salon series.  But, rather than all the reference centers hosting competing salons, it was decided to join forces to create the unCOMMON Salons.  These Salons are a reflection of the interdisciplinary research being conducted at NYU, and are now co-sponsored by Business and Government Documents, Coles Science Center, and the Social Sciences & Humanities Reference Center.  

The unCOMMON Salons are scheduled to be held 2-3 times per semester as a space for NYU scholars to share their work. The purpose of the salons is to foster interdisciplinary dialogue,  encourage networking across disciplines, and provide a vibrant place in the library for students, faculty, and library staff to informally socialize with each another.

If you would like to present at an unCOMMON Salon, please contact us:

Brynne Campbell -

Hadeer Elsabi -

Laurie Murphy -

Cindy Pena -