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Making ‘immigrants’: immigration law and national citizenship

In histories of the twentieth century and beyond, the category 'immigrant' can seem like a natural one. But 'immigration' as we know it today only emerged in the nineteenth century. Not only did it require new technologies of border control and identification, but it relied on new understandings and bureaucracies of 'citizenship'. Looking at the United States of America and continental Europe, we will explore the invention of 'immigrants', and the conditions which prompted one nation to implement border controls on the movement of people.

 

Required Readings:

  • Amy Fairchild, 'The Rise and Fall of the Medical Gaze: The Political Economy of Immigrant Medical Inspection in Modern America', Science in Context v. 19. no. 3. 2006. p. 337. NB: if you struggle with the link, you can find this article on ProQuest SciTech Collection -- this is the last database listed on the Library catalogue entry for the electronic version of the journal, Science in Context. It's also quite an interesting database for interdisciplinary (science and technology studies) approaches to migraion, so do take a minute or two to explore it!
  • Leo Lucassen and Nancy Foner, 'Old and New Migrants in the Twentieth Century: A European Perspective [with Response]', Journal of American Ethnic History 21, no. 4 (2002): 85-119. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27501205.
  • Leo Lucassen, 'A Many-Headed Monster: The Evolution of the Passport System in the Netherlands and Germany in the Long Nineteenth Century', in Jane Caplan and John Torpey, eds, Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 235-255. COURSE EXTRACT (BEWARE: the pdf includes the bibliography/notes for the whole volume -- these are for reference, but you probably won't want to print out all 30-odd extra pages! So make sure you select only the chapter text pages if you print out...)
  • Useful timeline


Discussion questions:

  • What factors prompted the United States to limit entry and citizenship in the 19th century? What precedents and debates shaped the US response to mass immigration?
  • To what extent can the US trajectory towards immigration controls and national citizenship be taken as typical? (NB: we will return to this question in the next unit, too).

 

Background Readings:

Jane Caplan, '"This or That Particular Person": Protocols of Identification in Nineteenth Century Europe', in Jane Caplan and John Torpey, eds, Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 49-66.

Andreas Fahrmeir, 'Governments and Forgers: Passports in Nineteenth-Century Europe', in Jane Caplan and John Torpey, eds, Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 218-234.

Amy Fairchild, Science at the Borders, Introduction and Chapter 1; Hardcopies available in SHORT LOAN This is a brilliant reading, and would be required -- except that there's no e-book! Do definitely read this material if you are considering ANY US migration topic for your papers/dissertations.

Donna Gabaccia, “‘Is Everywhere No Where?’ Nomads, Nations, and the Immigrant Paradigm of American History,” Journal of American History, Vol. 86, No. 3 (December 1999): 1115-34.

Andrea Geselle, 'Domeneca Saba Takes to the Road: Origins and Development of a Modern Passport System in Lombardy-Veneto', in Jane Caplan and John Torpey, eds, Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001) 199-217.

Kevin Kenny, “Diaspora and Comparison: The Global Irish as a Case Study,” Journal of American History, Vol. 90, No. 1 (2003): 134-162 (VERY USEFUL FOR HISTORIOGRAPHY).

Mae M. Ngai, “The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law: A Reexamination of the Immigration Act of 1924,” Journal of American History, Vol. 86, No. 1 (1999): 67-92.

Gerard Noriel, 'The Identification of the Citizen: The Birth of Republican Civil Status in France', in Jane Caplan and John Torpey, eds, Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001) 28-48.