Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Barnard College
Website URL
feminism, working-class women, social policy, welfare, labor rights, care work, domestic work, women of color, poverty
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Premilla Nadasen is professor of history at Barnard College and president of the National Women’s Studies Association.  She has published extensively on the multiple meanings of feminism, alternative labor movements, and grass-roots community organizing and is most interested in visions of social change, and the ways in which poor and working-class women of color have fought for social justice.  She is the author of two award-winning books Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movement in the United States (Routledge 2005) and Household Workers Unite: The Untold Story of African American Women Who Built a Movement (Beacon 2015) and is currently writing a biography of South African singer and anti-apartheid activist Miriam Makeba. Nadasen has been engaged with community and campus activism for many years, bridging academic and activist work by making her scholarly work accessible to people outside of the university. She has worked with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, and the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative. She writes for both academic and non-academic outlets and speaks widely on issues of social justice, feminism, public policy and anti-racist organizing.

Recent Publications

Household Workers Unite:  The Untold Story of African American Women Who Built a Movement (Boston: Beacon Press, 2015).

Washington Post, “How did Feminism Come to Include Everything from Environmentalism to Palestinian Rights” February 1, 2019

“Mississippi Semester: New Social Justice Approach to Teaching, Learning, and Community Engagement” Numeracy January 2019 with Fatima Koli, Alisa Rod, David Weiman,

In These Times, “Black Feminism Will Save Us All” November 11, 2018

“Extreme Poverty Returns to America” Washington Post, December 21, 2017.

“Interrogating the Master Narrative of ‘My Family’s Slave’” Black Perspectives, a publication of the African American Intellectual History Society, June 2, 2017

“Rethinking Care: Arlie Hochschild and the Global Care Chain” Women’s Studies Quarterly, Fall 2017

“Domestic Worker Organizing: Storytelling, History and Contemporary Resonances” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, Spring 2016


Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Economic History, Family, Gender, Labor, Pedagogy, Race, Women