The Labor Studies class of 2018 is composed of numerous dedicated student scholars and activists. Linda Esquivel is among this year’s class, majoring in History with a minor in Labor Studies, she was one of two students speakers at the Labor Studies graduation ceremony this past Saturday. We recently sat down with Linda to learn more about her personal story and future plans.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Bakersfield, where I was raised by my mother. My mother and father migrated from Mexicali, Mexico in the 1990’s. Growing up, my mother cleaned houses to support our family. At 18, I moved away from home to attend San Francisco State University. Due to economic difficulties, I left SF State University after a semester and moved back home. The following year, I enrolled at my local community college, and then transferred to UCLA.
Were you involved in any activities on campus or within the community?
Yes, in my free time, I like to get involved in organizing and marches. I have been supporting work at the Dolores Huerta Organization for a few years.
Were you involved in research at UCLA?
I worked as a research assistant for Professor Kelly Lytle Hernández, a professor in the History Department and Labor Studies program that does research about incarceration and immigration. I assisted Professor Kelly Lytle Hernández with developing her new book. Through this experience, I learned how to research effectively and how to organize research.
What are your own research interests?
My own research focused on anarchist womxn under the mentorship of History and Labor Studies professor, Toby Higbie. My honors thesis was focused on anarchism at the border between Mexico and the United States in early 20th century. This work highlights how the intersection of liberal ideology, discussions of gender/sexuality and reproductive rights contributed to the construction of Maternidad Anarquista (Anarchist Motherhood) in the Mexican Liberal Party. My research was supported by the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, the Constance Coiner Scholarship For Labor and Feminist Issues, and the Bradford E. Burns Endowed Scholarship for History Students.