Immigration and Transnationalism in the Modern Era

AHA Session 130
Friday, January 5, 2018: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Marriott Ballroom, Salon 3 (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)
Donna R. Gabaccia, University of Toronto
Migration and the Limits of Transnationalism
Nancy L. Green, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Transnational Dimensions of American Xenophobia
Erika Lee, University of Minnesota
Externalization and Its Limits: The Concentric Rings around the United States
David FitzGerald, University of California, San Diego
Transnational or Transcultural? Migrant Decision Making
Dirk Hoerder, University of Bremen

Session Abstract

In many ways immigration is the quintessential transnational act: it both moves individuals and communities across national boundaries and in the process defines and redefines the nation itself. At the same time, the transnational historiographical turn has prompted historians of immigration to consider new ways of conceptualizing this history, seeing immigration not just as a process of moving from one nation to another but part of a broader series of global patterns. This roundtable session will explore transnational approaches to the history of immigration in the modern era. The interventions will center around two primary themes. Those by professors Green and Hoerder will consider the challenge posed by transnational history to the migrant experience in general, exploring how individuals and communities cope with the challenges and dislocations of leaving one home behind to find a new one. In contrast, professors Lee and FitzGerald will concentrate on the reception (or non-reception) of immigrants to the United States in the modern era, focusing in particular on fears of immigration and the ways in which America has defined itself as a nation in opposition to the influx of peoples from abroad. As a whole, the roundtable will consider how historians can speak to an issue which contemporary global significance.
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