The Repeopling of America

History 137AC

Fall 2014
Sarah Keyes
B5 Hearst Annex
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-3:30PM
  • This course satisfies the American Cultures Requirement.
  • The monuments of Plymouth Rock, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty embody our collective historical memory of immigration in the United States. But these icons obscure as much as they reveal. Immigration history is much more than a story of the search for religious freedom, the welcoming of European immigrants to the Eastern seaboard, and the supposed magnetic pull of a nation founded on the ideals of freedom and liberty. Immigrants have been treated differently because of their race, ethnicity, and nationality. Politicians and ordinary United States citizens have supported policies that denied people of certain races and nationalities entry and/or citizenship. Exclusion is as much of a theme of U.S. immigration history as inclusion. Over the course of the semester we will explore the following central questions: Who is an immigrant?, In what ways have ideas of immigration changed over time?, How have categories of race, ethnicity, nationality and citizenship shaped and been shaped by immigration debates?, What did the transformation of the United States from a handful of struggling British colonies to a global superpower spanning a continent have to do with immigration? By the end of this course, students will gain a greater understanding of both immigration history and America's national narrative.

    Course Requirements: 4 short (3 page) papers, quizzes and mini-assignments, and a final paper (10-15 pages). Attendance and participation is mandatory. This course combines lecture with extensive class and group discussion.

    Course Books

    Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora by Andrew Lam Heyday. ISBN: 978-1597140201 Required
    Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America by Mae Ngai Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691124292 Required
    Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945 by George Sanchez Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0195096484 Required
    Migration and the Origins of the English Atlantic World by Alison Games Harvard. ISBN: 978-0674007024 Required