The Repeopling of America: Immigrants and Immigration as U.S. History

History 137AC

Spring 2018
Section: 
1
Instructor: 
Location: 
277 Cory
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-3:30
Class Number: 
39659
Units: 
4

Though there are many ways to imagine a nation (a land, a polity, an ethnic group, a culture), America has also been identified, since its inception, with the process and prospect of people arriving from elsewhere. This course surveys the history of the United States between 1790 and 2001 through the lens of immigration and from the perspective of immigrants. As we follow this tumultuous story, we will pursue three related inquiries:

  1. Who moved to the United States from beyond its jurisdiction, under what circumstances, and with what consequences for them and their children? (the social history of American immigration)
  2. What laws, court cases, and other uses of state power encouraged and constrained the arrival of newcomers from particular parts of the world? What attitudes toward citizenship and national borders shaped these developments? (the political history of American immigration policy)
  3. How have race, ethnicity, and national origin been constructed and defined over the course of this history, and how have attitudes toward those categories reflected and influenced the patterns and experiences of immigration? (the cultural history of racial and ethnic difference) Course requirements include two short writing assignments, two in-class exams, regular participation in discussion section, and a cumulative examination during finals week.