Mia Michael

Mia Michael

Assistant Professor


 3101 Faculty/Administration Building



Mia Michael

The lives of working-class women of color and migrants in the United States lie at the heart of Mia's scholarly inquiry. Her research explores the prolonged struggle for dignity and legal rights they waged while employed as nannies, housecleaners, and caretakers during the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. 

Directing critical attention to the relatively obscure history of domestic worker organizing, Mia's scholarship joins others' that reconsiders what constituted work, who comprised organized labor, and how we characterize labor history. Often cast as a period of organized labor’s weakness, dormancy, and decline, domestic worker activists anchored community-based campaigns that also made the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries a time of hope and agitation, of rebirth and revival rather than repose.

Ultimately, Mia's research explains the emergence of a powerful and unexpected form of labor organizing--the new labor activism--that is community-based, multi-issue oriented, and propelled by working-class women of color and migrants.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Labor
  • Immigration
  • Gender & Race
  • Social Movements


  • Ph.D., History, Boston College, 2023
  • MA, History, Marquette University, 2015
  • BA, History, Pierre Laclede Honors College, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2013
  • AA, Southwestern Illinois College, 2011
  • G.E.D.

Awards and grants

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Prize, American Political History Institute, Boston University, 2023

  • Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship, Coordinating Council for Women in History, 2022

  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Boston College, 2022

  • Dean of Summer Session Teaching Fellowship, Boston College, 2021 & 2022

  • Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere, American Historical Association, 2020

  • John Higham Research Fellowship, Organization of American Historians, 2020

  • Donald J. White Excellence in Teaching Award, Boston College, 2020

  • Schlesinger Library Dissertation Grant, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2019

  • James P. Danky Fellowship, Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Historical Society, 2019

  • Irish Studies Fellowship, Department of History, Boston College, 2018

  • Prucha-Theoharis Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Marquette University, 2015

Selected publications

Committed to making history accessible and relevant to diverse audiences, Mia's research has contributed to "Putting History in Domestic Workers' Hands," an award-winning multilingual digital humanities project designed and produced from 2018-2021 by scholar-activists Jennifer Guglielmo, Michelle Joffroy, and Diana Sierra Becerra in collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)

Video: “Defining Their Sphere: Dr. Melnea Cass,” National Parks of Boston, National Park Service, September 2020 

Article: “‘A Home Away from Home’: The Women’s Service Club of Boston,” Boston African American National Historic Site, National Park Service, October 2020
Article: “Dr. Melnea Agnes Jones Cass,” Boston African American National Historic Site, National Park Service, July 2020 
Article: “New Bedford’s Infamous 1983 Rape Case: Defending the Portuguese-American Community.” Historical Journal of Massachusetts 46, no. 1 (Winter 2018): 79-114. 

Courses taught by Mia Michael

Winter Term 2024 (future)

Fall Term 2023 (current)