Category Archives: Summer Institutes

The National History Center, with generous funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, brings 25 two- and four-year college teachers to Washington, DC to participate in a four-week long institute held at the Library of Congress.

American Immigration Revisited Institute Participants Announced

Twenty-five participants have been selected from a national pool of over seventy-five applicants to attend the NEH Summer Institute “American Immigration Revisited.” The twenty-five participants selected represent a wide variety of scholarship, college teaching experience, and backgrounds. The institute, organized by the National History Center, is one of 19 summer study opportunities supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency that each summer supports seminars and institutes at colleges and universities so that teachers can work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines. The program is also co-sponsored by the American Historical Association, the history department at American University, the Community College Humanities Association, the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, and the National Portrait Gallery.

 Directed by Maureen Murphy Nutting, Professor of History at North Seattle Community College, and Alan Kraut, Professor of History at American University, the month-long program will bring together 25 two- and four-year college professors and immigration experts for four weeks at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The participants and the institute leaders will also take a three-day research trip to New York City to explore the immigrant experience of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and the Downtown Tenement Museum.

The participants will explore four basic areas during the summer institute: American immigration part of a global phenomenon; migrations between cultures; changes in immigration law, policy, and practice; and approaches and resources for teaching immigration history. Those who complete the institute will take what they learn back to their communities, enrich their U.S. history courses and other courses that deal with immigration, and improve teaching and learning. Those who complete the institute will take what they learn back to their communities, enrich their U.S. history courses, and improve teaching and learning.

The 2009 participants are:

Jamal A. Adam (Minneapolis Community and Technical College)

Jamie R. Aguila (Arizona State University)

 Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp (Sonoma State University)

Katherine Benton-Cohen (Georgetown University)

Peter Catapano (New York City College of Technology)

Fiona Deans Halloran (Eastern Kentucky University)

Mary E. Dillard (Sarah Lawrence College)

Marilyn R. Fischer (University of Dayton)

Natalie J. Friedman (Vassar College)

James V. Gatewood (Antioch University Los Angeles)

Torrie R. Hester (Roanoke College)

Ely M. Janis (Gonzaga University)

Alison M. Kibler (Franklin and Marshall College)

Patrick J. McGarrity (Southwestern Illinois College)

Steven P. O’Hara (Xavier University)

Michael Ornelas (San Diego Mesa College)

Lisa L. Ossian (Des Moines Area Community College)

Lori A. Pierce (DePaul University)

Steve J. Potts (Hibbing Community College)

Gary W. Shanafelt (McMurry University)

Tiffany A. Trimmer (Bowling Green State University)

Martin Valadez (Columbia Basin College)

FlorenceMae Waldron (Franklin and Marshall College)

Cadence A. Wynter (Columbia College Chicago)

Solveig P. Zempel, (St. Olaf College)

American Immigration Revisited Application Process

Thank you for your interest in American Immigration Revisited, our four-week summer institute funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This program runs from July 6-July 31, 2009, which has also received special NEH designation as a “We the People Initiative”, and is a National History Center project that has the support of the American Historical Association (AHA), Community College Humanities Association (CCHA), Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS), the National Portrait Gallery, and our summer host, the Library of Congress. Most of our sessions will be held in the Library of Congress, but we will also be taking advantage of the many other museums, sites, archives, and centers in the D.C. area. In addition, we will be spending three days of our session in New York City, touring Ellis and Liberty Islands, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, “little Italy” in the Bronx, and other ethnic neighborhoods.

We plan to give you many opportunities to conduct research on your own. Our distinguished directors and faculty of teacher-scholars, all experts in immigration history, ethnic studies, women’s studies, and global studies are ready to assist you.

Why this Institute?
About the Institute
Who are we looking for as Institute Participants?
Institute Location: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. and Three-day trip to New York City
Content and Implementation of the Project
Institute Directors
Institute Faculty
The Application Process
Selection Process

Why this Institute?

Immigrant groups and immigration patterns have changed along with the challenges immigrant groups face. Immigration laws and policies are part of our daily debates and media reports. With millions immigrating to the United States in recent years; with hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their children enrolling in our schools; and with national, regional, and local debates raging over immigration law and policy, we think it is time to revisit American immigration. With this institute, we want to investigate how changing laws, regulations, and policies that were enforced or ignored shaped migrations of new populations and later generations; created new national and transnational identities; affected communications, remittances, and worker policies; and transformed us as a people. We hope that you do too.

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About the Institute

Our four-week program involves lectures, panels, discussions, informal exchanges, site visits, and our optional “Tuesday Evening Immigration Film Festival.” All are designed to help you explore four basic areas: American immigration as part of a global phenomenon; migrations between cultures; changes in immigration law, policy, and practice; and approaches and resources for teaching immigration history.

In their presentations, our faculty experts will explore different approaches, sources, and perspectives in immigration studies that allow you to deepen your awareness of the connections and impact that America’s immigrants have made both locally and globally. We hope this helps you better understand how immigration transcends American borders and affects many aspects of global history, politics, economics, and culture. Special attention will be paid in assisting you to integrate what you have learned at the institute in your own work.

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Who are we looking for as institute participants?

We will be selecting 25 women and men who teach at two- and four-year colleges, or who work as librarians, archivists, or independent researchers and scholars. We are looking for representatives of many disciplines, with diverse interests, backgrounds, and approaches to teaching and learning. We particularly want to encourage applicants who teach survey classes and deal with immigration in their fields, and those who teach immigrant and refugee students.  We are looking for collaborative, hard-working people, who are eager to assemble learning resources, create new curricula, produce journal articles, or creative pieces of literature or art during and following our sessions.

Applicants can propose research projects that either take them into a new area of interest or allow them to further research they have already begun. While we hope that what they write gets published, we do not require that it does. In presenting their research plans, applicants should explain why and how their work could be used to improve understanding in the field, and strengthen or amend current curricula.

We anticipate the projects will cover a wide range, among them: building immigration courses or websites; designing interdisciplinary learning programs focusing on immigration; researching and writing on immigrant workers, artists, entertainers, or storytellers; developing annotated bibliographies on immigration topics; mapping immigrant communities; examining select immigration laws and regulations; studying particular immigrant women’s groups; or investigating the intergenerational differences, tensions, or cultural changes in particular immigrant communities. We welcome this diversity of effort.

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Institute Location: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. and Three-day trip to New York City

With the institute situated at the Library of Congress, you will have direct access to over 134 million books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, recordings, and other materials, many dealing with immigration. Resources in American immigration history are widely dispersed throughout LOC’s general, international, and special and genre collections, its research centers, reading rooms, and websites. Of particular use to our group is LOC’s American Memory, THOMAS, and other virtual collections, as well as monographs, photographs, journals, bills and laws, pamphlets, broadsides, and artifacts including maps of immigrant homelands and American resettlement communities. You will also find many teaching resources for specific immigration groups on LOC’s “Immigration: The Changing Face of America,” online learning pages. With direction and assistance from the Library’s specialists, you should be able to make excellent use of your research time there, at the Smithsonian’s museums, the National Archives, and at other local museums and galleries where resources abound. We will also visit the refugee and resettlement centers in the D.C. area that provide services to newly arrived refugee and immigrant populations.

At the Library of Congress you will be provided with the full privileges of a visiting scholar, including shelf space where you may store your materials. It is important to note that the LOC materials do not circulate outside the library, and that researchers may not browse the stacks. You will have access to other scholarly institutions in Washington together with introductions relevant staffers. We plan to make good use of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums, whose exhibits provide rich materials on American immigration.

There will be a three-day trip to New York City. We will have a guided tour of Ellis and Liberty Islands by one of the institute’s directors. We will tour the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and have hands-on workshops at the museum’s education center, learning about the experience of many immigrants whose first stop in America was New York. There will be a guided walking tour of “Little Italy” in the Bronx and other ethnic neighborhoods.

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Content and Implementation of the Project

The institute focuses on four major themes, each involving a week’s lectures, discussions, and workshops on a significant aspect of American immigration. The themes are: “Migration in the 19th and 20th Centuries: A Global Phenomenon”; “Migrations between Cultures: A Perennial Issue”; “Changes in American Immigration Policy and Law”; and “Doing American Immigration History: Approaches and Resources.” In advance of the institute, you will be required to read three general works. During the institute, you will be reading selections recommended by faculty presenters as background for their individual lectures.

We require each participant to develop a syllabus or at least one teaching unit or segment for a course that reflects what they have learned at the institute. Participants will present their findings to the group during the last week of the institute. We expect that all participants will share their findings with colleagues at their home institutions and that they will disseminate their conclusions as widely as possible.

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Institute Directors

Maureen Murphy Nutting, the daughter of immigrants, has taught at two- and four-year colleges and universities and worked as a public historian while following her husband’s Coast Guard career and raising four children. In recent years she has taught at North Seattle Community College and has led community college history teams in developing learning outcomes and assessment tools for history courses. She has served on the Council of the American Historical Association, the Task Force on Public History, and the AHA Professional Division and now continues to promote history and the humanities on the Board of the National History Center and in appointed leadership positions in the Organization of American Historians and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. Recognized for excellence in teaching at the University of Miami and in the Seattle Community College District, she was named the Community College Humanities Association’s Distinguished Humanities Educator in 2005. Nutting has participated in three NEH Summer Institutes, “South Asia” (1994), “Brazil at 200” (1998), and “The Maya World” (2002), and while in the first AHA/CCHA/LOC Research Institute, “Globalizing Regional Studies” (1999), she wrote on the transnational identity of Japanese Brazilians.

Alan M. Kraut is Professor of History at American University in Washington, D.C. where he has taught since 1974. A specialist in U.S. immigration and ethnic history and in the history of American medicine, he is the author or editor of eight books, including The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (1982; rev. 2001), American Refugee Policy and European Jewry, 1933-1945 (co-authored, 1987), and Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the “Immigrant Menace” (1994). The latter volume won the Theodore Saloutos Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. His 2003 biography of Dr. Joseph Goldberger, an immigrant physician and Public Health Service medical detective, Goldberger’s War, was awarded the Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Arthur J. Viseltear Prize from the American Public Health Association, and the Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. His 2007 volume (with Deborah A. Kraut), Covenant of Care: Newark Beth Israel and the Jewish Hospital in America focuses on the role of hospitals founded by religious and ethnic groups. Kraut has also co-edited two volumes of essays on immigration, American Immigration and Ethnicity: A Reader (2005) and From Arrival to Incorporation: Migrants to the U.S. in a Global Era (2008). Previous scholarly projects have been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Institutes of Health. He has been a member of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation’s History Advisory Committee since 1983, chaired it since 2003, and with institute faculty member Donna Gabaccia, was a scholar for the NEH Landmarks in American History and Culture workshop on “Ellis Island, Public Health, and Immigration, 1900-1924.” The former President of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, Alan serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of American Ethnic History, the Journal of Immigrant and Ethnic Studies, and Southern Jewish History. In 1999 he was named Scholar-Teacher of the Year, American University’s highest honor.

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Institute Faculty

Elliott Barkan is Professor Emeritus at California State University–San Bernardino. He received his BA in 1962 from Queens College, CUNY, MA and PhD from Harvard University (1963, 1969). His research focuses on immigration and naturalization, with particular interest in 20th century comparative ethnic studies. He is the author and editor of several publications, including A Nation of Peoples: A Sourcebook on America’s Multicultural Heritage (1999), and Immigration and Naturalization Laws and Issues: A Documentary History (with co-editor Michael LeMay, 1999). He served as President of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society from 2003-06 and is currently working on From All Points: America’s Immigrant West, 1870s-1952 and a second edition of And Still They Come. He is also editing a four voloume encyclopedia for ABC-Clio on U.S. immigration.

Ronald Bayer (PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1970) is a historian who specializes in urban, ethnic and immigration history. He is the founding editor of Journal of American Ethnic History and served as editor from 1981-2004. He is author of Neighbors in Conflict: The Irish, Germans, Jews, and Italians of New York City, 1929-1941 (Choice outstanding academic book for 1978); Fiorello LaGuardia: Ethnicity and Reform; and Race and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta (Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America ). He is also coauthor of Engineering the New South: Georgia Tech 1885-1985; editor of Neighborhoods in Urban America; co-editor of The New York Irish (James S. Donnelly, Sr. prize of the American Conference for Irish Studies for best book in history and social sciences), and editor of Race and Ethnicity in America: A Concise History and The Columbia Documentary History of Race and Ethnicity in America. He has been the recipient of Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Teacher Award and the Geoffrey G. Eichholz Faculty Teaching Award. He has also received the Immigration and Ethnic History Society’s Distinguished Service Award and the Association for Asian American Studies Lifetime Service Award. He is now serving as president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for a three year term (2006-2009).

Hasia Diner is the Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at New York University, with a joint appointment in the departments of history and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. She is the Director of the Goldstein Goren Center for American Jewish History. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin and her master’s at the University of Chicago in 1970. A specialist in immigration and ethnic history, American Jewish history and the history of American women, she is the author of numerous published books, including In the Almost Promised Land: American Jews and Blacks, 1915-1935 (1977, reissued, 1995); Erin’s Daughters in American: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century (1984), and A Time for Gathering: The Second Migration, 1820-1880, the second volume in the Johns Hopkins University Press series, “the Jewish People in America” appeared in 1992. Lower East Side Memories: The Jewish Place in America was published 2000 by Princeton University Press. I. She has several forthcoming works. Her book, Fitting Memorials: American Jews Confront the Holocaust, 1945-1962 will be published by New York University Press in the winter of 2008 and W.W. Norton Publishers commissioned her to prepare a new critical edition of the 1890 classic, How the Other Half Lives by reformer Jacob Riis. She is editing a multi-volume reference work on the history of American women. One of the co-editors of the Dictionary of American History, Professor Diner currently serves as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society.

Donna Gabaccia is a Professor of History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. She is author of many books and articles on immigrant life in the U.S. and Italian migration around the world, including From the Other Side: Women, Gender and Immigrant Life in the United States (Indiana University Press, 1994) and Italy’s Many Diasporas (London, 2000). She has also written about food, culture, and migration in We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and the Making of Americans (Harvard University Press, 1998). Recently she has edited the 2006 special issue, “Gender and Migration,” of International Migration Review and co-edited with Vicki Ruiz, American Dreaming, Global Realities: Rethinking U.S. Immigration History (University of Illinois Press, 2006). Her next book Foreign Relations: An International History of American Immigration will be published by Princeton University Press.

David A. Gerber is a University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor of History. His special interests as a historian have been the examination of personal and social identity in a number of different setting and among a number of different peoples in the American past. He is the author of two books in immigration history: The Making of an American Pluralism: Buffalo, New York, 1825-1860 (1989), and Authors of Their Lives: The Personal Correspondence of British Immigrants to North American in the Nineteenth Century (2006). He is also the editor of a number of collections and anthologies, and the author of numerous published essays. Currently Gerber is writing a book tentatively titled, The Two Narratives: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in the American Past for Oxford University Press.

David Gutierrez teaches Chicano history, comparative immigration and ethnic history, and politics in the twentieth-century United States. He was educated at the University of California, Santa Barbara and took the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. His published works included Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants and the Politics of Ethnicity (1995), Between Two Worlds: Mexican Immigrants in the United States (editor, 1996), The Columbia History of Latinos in the United States since 1960 (editor, 2004). Currently, he is researching immigration, citizenship, and non-citizenship in Twentieth-Century American history and the demographic Revolution from 1970 to the present.

Nancy Foner is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has studied Jamaicans in their home society as well as in New York and London, nursing home workers in New York, and has written extensively on immigration to New York City. She is particularly interested in the comparative study of immigration—comparing immigration today with earlier periods in the United States, the immigrant experience in various American gateway cities, and immigrant minorities in the United States and Europe. Foner is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration (NYU Press, 2005), From Ellis Island to JFK: New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration (Yale University Press 2000, winner of the Theodore Saloutos Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society) and (with George Fredrickson) Not Just Black and White: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States (Russell Sage Foundation, 2004). Her most recent book is an edited collection of original essays, Across Generations: Immigrant Families in America (NYU Press, 2009). Among her other activities, she recently served as chair of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association.

Madeline Y. Hsu is Director of the Center for Asian American Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. She wrote Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration Between the United States and South China, 1882-1943 (Stanford University Press, 2000) which received the 2002 Association for Asian American Studies History Book Award. She is editor of Transnational Politics and the Press in Chinese American History: Collected Essays of Him Mark Lai (University of Illinois University Press, forthcoming) and co-editor with Sucheng Chan of Chinese Americans and the Politics of Culture (Temple University Press, 2008) which includes her article “From Chop Suey to Mandarin Cuisine: Fine Dining and the Refashioning of Chinese Ethnicity during the Cold War Era.” She is currently researching Taiwanese migration to the United States to explore intersections between American cold war foreign policy goals, migration laws and practices, and racial ideology.

Violet Showers Johnson was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and raised in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, another West African country. She received her BA (Honors in History) from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone; her MA from the University of New Brunswick, Canada; and her Ph.D. from Boston College. She taught at Fourah Bay College before coming to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship. She is currently Professor of History and Interim Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia. A naturalized American, Violet’s international personal and educational background has shaped much of her work as a teacher and scholar. She teaches courses on race, ethnicity and immigration, African American history, African history, and the history of the African Diaspora. Her most recent publications include a book, The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, and a journal article, “What, then, is the African American? African and Afro-Caribbean Identities in Black America.” Currently, she is collaborating with Marilyn Halter on a book on West Africans in the United States.

Timothy Meagher is Associate Professor of History and Archivist and Museum Director of the Catholic University of America. Formerly a Program officer in Public Programs for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Tim held earlier positions as a Senior Fullbright Fellow in Taiwan, the Archivist for the Archdiocese of Boston, and Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. A Ph.D. in History from Brown University, he has authored A Guide to Irish American History (2005), Inventing Irish America: Generation, Class and Ethnicity in a New England City, 1880 to 1928, both awarded the Donnelly Prize for the Best Book in Irish or Irish American History by the American Conference for Irish Studies. His newest work, The Lord is Not Dead: ”A History of Irish Americans,” is forthcoming from Yale University Press. Tim also co-edited The New York Irish (1996) with Ron Bayor, American Urban Catholicism(1988), and From Paddy to Studs: Irish American Communities in the Turn of the Century Era (1986). He has published many articles and encyclopedia entries in Irish and Irish American history, the history of American Catholicism, and religious history in general.

Mae Ngai is Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History at 
Columbia University, is interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism in United States history. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1998 and taught at the University of Chicago before returning to Columbia in 2006. Ngai is author of the award winning book, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004). She has written on immigration history and policy matters for the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Nation, and the Boston Review. She is now working on two projects, a biography of Chinese American immigrant brokers and interpreters and a comparative study of Chinese gold miners in the nineteenth-century North American West, Australia, and South Africa.

Barbara M. Posadas is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University. The daughter of a Filipino father who came to the United States to attend Purdue University in 1926 and a Polish American mother, she was born and raised in Chicago. She holds a B.A. from DePaul University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in United States history from Northwestern University. She is married to Roland L. Guyotte, Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Morris, whom she met at Northwestern. She is the author of The Filipino Americans (1999) and numerous articles on Filipino American history, particularly in the Midwest. She has been a member of the editorial boards of Amerasia, the Journal of American Ethnic History, the Journal of Women’s History, and the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. She has served as president of the Illinois State Historical Society, as a director of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the Urban History Association, as chair of the Organization of American Historians’ (OAH) Committee on the Status of Minority History and Minority Historians, and as a member of the OAH 2002 Merle Curti American Social History Award Committee and the 2005 Association of Asian American Studies History Book Prize Committee. She is currently a member of the 2007-09 EBSCO-Host America: History and Life Award Committee of the OAH. She will begin a three-year term as President of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society in March 2009. Her most recent publications focus on Filipino naturalization in Chicago in 1946, and on gender, family, and post-1965 Filipino immigrants in Springfield, Illinois. Her book-length study of Filipino Chicagoans:1900-1965 is under advance contract with the University of Illinois Press.

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. Her research and writing focuses on globalization immigration, global cities (the new networked technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. Her publications include The Mobility of Labor and Capital (1988), The Global City (1991; 2nd ed 2002), and more recently,Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (2006), and A Sociology of Globalization (2007). Sassen also serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. Currently a Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, she has received many awards and prizes including a Doctor honoris causa from Delft University (Netherlands), the first Distinguished Graduate School Alumnus Award of the University of Notre Dame, and a University of Chicago Future Mentor Award.

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Week I: Migration in the 19th and 20th Centuries: A Global Phenomenon

With the exception of the millions of African slaves involuntarily transported to North America prior to the Civil War, migration to the United States has been a conscious choice by millions of individuals in response to poverty, political oppression or racial/religious persecution in their homelands, and opportunity abroad. During the first week and a half we will explore mass migration as a global phenomenon, but one that has had a very special place in American history. Director Alan Kraut’s opening lecture will trace these migration patterns with broad brushstrokes.

Dramatic agricultural changes and northern and western Europe’s industrial revolution created complex pushes and pulls that uprooted populations in the mid nineteenth century. Between 1840 and 1860, 4.5 million Europeans voluntarily arrived in the United States; most came from Ireland and Germany. Timothy Meagher will analyze how these 19th Century migrations affected the newcomers and economic developments in the United States.

Many have overlooked the voluntary African immigrants of the 19th and 20th Centuries, who played profound roles in the economies and politics of the Atlantic World in the late 19th Century, and even more so in the late 20th Century. Violet Showers Johnson will discuss the experiences of these other African Americans, the African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants to America and elsewhere in the Atlantic World.

Asian migrations accelerated with the California gold rush and continued as Chinese immigrants found work in mining camps, on farms, in canneries and lumber camps, and on construction gangs building cities and railroads in the American west. By 1900, the Japanese and the Chinese they were replacing became the targets of what historian John Higham called “nativism,” and subjected to racial discrimination, restriction, and exclusion, beginning with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, continuing with the “Gentleman’s Agreement” with Japan, and climaxing with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 that forced west coast Japanese Issei and Nisei civilians into War Relocation Authority-controlled camps, violating the citizenship rights of many. Madeline Y. Hsu will explore the legal barriers erected against Asian groups as well as the economic and social patterns of discrimination which characterized their post-migration experiences.

David Gutierrez will describe various Latin American migrations throughout the hemisphere, and the fluidity of movement and social engagement of those who took advantage of the geographical proximity of many of their originating countries to each other and to the United States. He will also explore the different national identities these migrants constructed and held onto as they moved.

Week II: A visit to Immigrant NYC and More Reflections on Migrants Between Cultures

Improvements in transportation, communication, and mass media made migrations a global phenomenon and communications between cultures cheaper, easier, and more viable starting with the period 1880 through the 1920s, when 23.5 million immigrants came to the United States while millions of others went to Australia, South Africa, and South America. Following our tours of Ellis and Liberty Islands and the Bronx’s “Little Italy,” and before our visit to the Downtown Tenement Museum, Hasia Diner will discuss this “new” European migration. She will pay special attention to the dynamics of food within two groups, Eastern European Jews and Southern Italians, who often had different goals, aspirations, and migration patterns. She suggests that many of America’s immigrants must be understood as creating social and cultural spaces, networks, and institutions that spanned and continue to span national borders.

Many scholars have written about how seasonal labor migrants who traveled back and forth between the Americas and the Southern provinces of Italy at the turn of the last century and lived, worked, and had equally important networks of social relationships in both places. Donna Gabaccia will focus on how—as industrial capitalism took hold and grew in the United States, the other Americas, and elsewhere in the world—growing numbers of laborers from Southern and Eastern Europe and Asia led bicultural lives.

Even when migrants did not commute between two societies regularly, their money and communications often did. Barbara Posadas will discuss how remittances sent home by Filipinos affected the economies of both host and donor countries between 1900 and 1960 and allowed these migrants to play significant roles in the lives of their relatives and communities in several countries at the same time. David Gerber will follow by discussing how 19th Century letters home sustained connections and loyalties in sometimes multi-national identities among British immigrants to North America.

Week III: Changes in Immigration Policy and Law

In America, immigration was a state and local matter before the Civil War, but afterwards the federal government played an increasing role in regulating immigration. This is most notably with the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act which imposed restrictions on a racial minority. By 1891, Congress decreed that the federal government should process the nation’s million of newcomers. And in the 1920s, Congress enacted legislation for a national origins quota system that severely restricted Southern and Eastern Europeans immigration; not until 1965 was this national origins quota system abandoned. Mae Ngai begins the week with a broad overview of 19th and 20th Century American immigration policy.

Following Ngai, Elliott Barkan will discuss immigrant laws and policies in western states as well as Angel Island’s role in the inspecting and processing of immigrants from Asia. Then Nancy Foner will discuss how late 19th and 20th Century immigration has been conceived and remembered, how distinctions between refugees and immigrants have been made, and also how immigration policies have shaped the economic opportunities to which newcomers have access. Participants will visit the Reynolds Gallery to investigate works of immigrant artists that reflect diverse identities and migration experiences. Participants will dedicate considerable time this week to work on their different projects.

Week IV: Doing Immigration History: Approaches and Resources

During the final week we will focus on doing immigration history. We will start with Ronald Bayor’s overview of trends in immigration and ethnic history. He will focus on recent scholarship that includes women’s and gender issues and the study of whiteness within particular ethnic groups, and patterns that emerged within these different groups at different times.

Saskia Sassen will wrap up our lectures by discussing how social science approaches—specifically sociological and economic—help us understand immigration. The last three days will include a curriculum workshop led by Maureen Nutting; research presentations by institute participants; a summary session led by the Directors, and a closing luncheon.

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These projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the seminar or institute. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide all of the information requested below to be considered eligible. Candidates for degrees are only eligible to apply if they are employed by an institution other than the one at which they are degree candidates and if their participation is intended to enhance their teaching of American undergraduates. Degree candidates can never use their participation in an NEH seminar or institute to meet a degree requirement, including work on masters’ theses or doctoral dissertations. An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify. Adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply. Individuals may not apply to study with a director of a seminar or institute who is a current colleague or a family member. Individuals must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom they have previously studied. Institute selection committees are advised that only under the most compelling and exceptional circumstances may an individual participate in an institute with a director or a lead faculty member who has previously guided that individual’s research or in whose previous institute or seminar he or she has participated. An individual may apply to no more than two projects in any one year.

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The application:
Applications must be submitted to the National History Center no later than March 2, 2009. Applicants must submit three copies of the NEH cover sheet (available online only), a statement of no more than four double-spaced pages on why she or he wants to participate in the institute, and why its theme is vital to his or her scholarly development and teaching effectiveness. Each will propose a research project and a curriculum development initiative related to one of the eras or topics under study. All proposals will be reviewed by the Institute Directors, the National History Center’s administrator Miriam Hauss, and by Professor David Berry of the Community College Humanities Association.

What to include in the application:

All application materials must be sent to the project director at the National History Center. Application materials sent to the Endowment will not be reviewed.


A completed application consists of three copies of the following collated items:
– the completed application cover sheet

– a detailed résumé

– an application essay

– two letters of recommendation

The application cover sheet
The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address: <> Please fill it out online as directed by the prompts. When you are finished, be sure to click on the “submit” button. Print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. At this point you will be asked if you want to apply to another project. If you do, follow the prompts and select another project and then print out the cover sheet for that project. Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as applying, so there is no penalty for changing your mind and filling out cover sheets for several projects. A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to a project director.

Please include a detailed résumé (not to exceed five pages).

The Application Essay
The application essay should be no more than four double spaced pages. This essay should include any relevant personal and academic information. It should address reasons for applying; the applicant’s interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip the applicant to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to the applicant’s professional responsibilities. Applicants to seminars should be sure to discuss any independent study project that is proposed beyond the common work of the seminar. Applicants to institutes may need to elaborate on the relationship between institute activities and their responsibilities for teaching and curricular development.

Reference Letters

The two referees should be chosen carefully. They should be familiar with the applicant’s professional accomplishments or promise, interests, and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the seminar or institute. They should specifically address these issues in their recommendations. Letters from colleagues who know the applicant’s teaching and from those outside the applicant’s institution who know his or her scholarship can be particularly useful. Referees should be provided with the director’s description of the seminar or institute and the applicant’s essay. If an applicant has previously participated in an NEH summer seminar or institute, a recommendation from the director or lead scholar of that program would be useful. Letters of recommendation can be sent electronically to Miriam Hauss. If sending the letters by regular post, please ask each of your referees to sign their name across the seal on the back of the envelope containing their letter, and enclose the letters with your application. The mailing address to the National History Center is 400 A Street, SE Washington, DC 20003.

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Selection Process
Applicants will be submit three copies of the application to the National History Center, postmarked no later than March 2, 2009. Applications will include a personal a statement explaining how the Institute will move the applicant forward as a scholar and better teacher of college-level students. Each applicant will be required to submit proposals for two individual activities, one a research project focusing on an institute topic and the other, a plan for integrating institute work into the work they do at their home institutions. This can take many forms, including annotated bibliographies, new course outlines, websites, syllabi, teaching units, and assignments that will improve teaching and learning about immigrants and immigration history in their home institutions, curriculum revisions, professional development workshops for faculty at their home institutions and other similar institutions and workshops for K–12 teachers in their local communities. You will also be required to provide two letters of reference.

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Each Participant will receive a stipend of $3,200 from the NEH. The cost of housing will be deducted from the stipend, should the participant choose the dormitory housing the National History Center arranges. Should you chose that option, you will receive the stipend in full. One-half less the housing of the stipend will be waiting for each participant upon arrival. The remaining stipend will be given out half-way through the institute.

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Washington, D.C. is an expensive city and in order to stretch the stipend as far as possible, the National History Center has arranged housing at a local university.

Participants are housed together in university dormitory suites. The suites will house two participants, each person having his or her own bedroom, and sharing a kitchen, living room, and bathroom with the suitemate. Participants may turn down the option of living on campus and find their own accommodations for the duration for the four-week institute.

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American Immigration Revisited: A NEH Summer Institute

The National History Center invites applications from two- and four-year college teachers for a four-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “American Immigration Revisited,” which as also been designated a “We the People” initiative of the NEH. Maureen Nutting and Alan Kraut will be directing this program from July 6th through 31st at the Library of Congress, with the support of the American Historical AssociationCommunity College Humanities Association, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, and the Library of Congress.

Click here for full details on institute and application process.

Twenty-five Participants will be involved in lectures, panels, discussions, informal exchanges, site visits. In the evening there will be an optional immigration film festival. All activities designed to help explore four basic areas: American immigration as part of a global phenomenon; migrations between cultures; changes in immigration law, policy, and practice; and approaches and resources for teaching immigration history. Participants will have the option of dormitory housing and each participant will receive a modest stipend to cover expenses during the institute’s four weeks.

This institute brings together college teachers with experts in various dimensions of immigration history for four weeks at the Library of Congress and other venues to explore new approaches to the peopling of the United States through migration. Lectures, panels, and site visits are designed to explore four topics: American immigration as a dimension of broader global patterns of human migration; cultural change through migration; shifts in immigration law, policy and practice; and fresh approaches and resources for the teaching of immigration history. In the evening there will be an optional immigration film festival. A three day excursion to New York City will include visits to Ellis Island, Liberty Island, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Bronx’s “Little Italy,” and other ethnic neighborhoods.

Applications are due to the National History Center by March 2, 2009.