National Insecurities

The study by Deirdre Moloney is an integration of social and public policy history. Focuses on broader movements that include Progressive Era, New Deal, and the Red Scare. This study by Moloney also is interdisciplinary in its data pulling from political scientist and legal scholars to name a few.  She discusses the difference that lead to the opposition of immigration specifically deportation and exclusion and the difference between the two, whether initially entry in the beginning. Since Moloney is a social historian she then focuses on the US’s governmental policies and agencies that do the deportation. She then places her work Rodgers, Higham, and Gutmann’s work on the subject. Her works builds from Rodgers by adding trans-nationalism and global perspectives to it. She also alludes to non-American work by Rygiel and McKeown work on academic immigration thought. She also adds to the leading discussions on whiteness and its gendered aspects.

The Italian American Table

Simone Cinotto discusses how food played an important role in Italian-American immigrants through multiple different mediums. One big way food was important was the social aspect of familial ties and dependence. Since meals where eaten together, as seen in popular culture with The Godfather and The Sopranos, having food as a family allowed later generations to stay connected to their heritage without losing their ‘Americanness.’ Food in social structures in later generations connected them back to the ‘Old Neighborhoods,’ since many migrated out of the city when moving up in economic status. Italian food also helped women gain some independence since their job was the preparation of the food. Most women wanted this, because it gave them some power in a time and place that gave them little in those regards. Cinotto’s introduction, in the end discusses a view of immigrant that is interdisciplinary in its methodology and it is also focusing of new movements in the field with migration out of the city, a global diaspora, and a focus on women’s experiences of the time.

African American History and Virginia’s National Parks

Dr. Devlin gave an account of African American experiences in the nation’s parks. This is in collaboration of her research grant. She focused the talk on public history and an in-depth look at two worksites in Virginia. The national parks under the administration of Roosevelt were updated by a new deal program called the Civilian Conservation Corps. Devlin discussed how African Americans often did explementary work and were asked to stay on but were pushed out of the CCC, workers were only allowed to serve for a maximum of two years though the park service afterwards hired some. Devlin also discussed the type of work the African Americans did in the CCC. African Americans often did some of the more menial labor including moving and planting trees to create a scenic view. Some African Americans did do archeological work under the supervision of whites. African Americans were never supervisors except for the one mandated site in Pennsylvania, and then only to other African Americans.  The black camps, where they were barracked, were usually specially placed by the leadership of the CCC near urban black populations to lessen the possible outcry from the resident populations. Devlin’s talk gave some insight into how African-Americans interacted with New Deal programs in the 1930’s and how the public saw large African Americans groups moving towards their homes.

History in the New Millennium

Dr. Popkin starts the chapter discussing how the internet has changes history in both a positive and negative way. With the internet and the world wide web information is easier to find, faster to share, and quicker to collect together. These each have a negative and positive feature. Whether the fear of plagiarizing to the ability to create new and easy to use databases the internet changed the field of study. Popkin then focuses on three new field of study in history: global history, deep history, and new biography. Global history we have seen before and Popkin discusses the idea of transnationalism and transnational migration which we have discussed profusely. Deep history is the study of humans as part of nature and how this begins not with words like most history but how our actions are part of greater study of life on Earth. New biography is the study of looking at particular people and using their life to illustrate larger themes that were happening. Mary Washington has a class that focuses on this called “Great Lives.” Popkin ends a section with the understanding that historians are not good at predicting the future but the future will be different in all primary functions of academic history.

Selling the East in the American South

Vivek Bald discusses how, where, and in what ways Bengali Muslims made a living in America. He wrote how they were mostly peddlers in the American south around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. These peddlers were selling ‘The East’ and the Orient to the middle and upper class to give them a means of conscious consumption. These peddlers were also often from an area of India that have a large port and thus could have been peddlers in India and when moving kept the same trade. Bald uses terms and methodology of migration discussing their movement within the US and how they were not always trying to become citizens, though some were that he identifies. The peddlers also use the port of New Orleans to travel in the Caribbean and South America to hawk there as well.

Nation of Migrants, Historians of Migration & A Part and Apart

Adam Goodman focuses on broadening immigration studies into migration studies. By increasing the scope of research, they can start the discussion on Native-Americans and African-Americans. Goodman also states that by focusing on migration you can better understand Eastern Europeans, Southern Europeans, and Mexican immigrants who often never planned to become US citizens. Migration studies would also allow better research into intra-national and trans-national movement in larger themes.

Erika Lee frames her article on the bases of her history in her profession and how she lived through the pains of growth immigration history made from 1998 to 2015. She relates the beginning with how in 1998 Vecoli and Sanchez held opposite views on the future of the field. Lee does explain that often the case and then rest of the panelist were in the middle. The field of studies in the coming years saw a shift closer to Sanchez and his idea of interdisciplinary research under the leadership of Gabaccia. Lee then explains how Asian migration, her expertise, a good example of the movement immigration history has made in a decade: free and indentured migration, colonial migrations, transnational movements and networks, circular migration, undocumented migration, secondary migration, and return migration.

More Trans-, Less ‘National’ & Globalizing Migration Histories?

Matthew Jacobson discusses how academic studies in history are changing and how they did so from the 60’s to nowadays. He discusses how JFK’s book on immigration is symbolic of how the immigrants made America and how they are idealistic and romantic representations of migration. He then brings in the fact that recent studies show that migration is part of a larger theme of globalization. Corporations change migration patterns often as much as countries. Jacobson finds three new fields of study that are: restoring emigration to immigration, replacing the nation with continent as a unit of organization, and recovering the corporation as a significant force in the lives of individuals, ethnic groups, regions, and nations. The first is to understand there are often more push than pull factors that can cause a diaspora of immigrants throughout a continent. Replacing the nation with continent as a unit of organization is to allow for studies in broader topics, a focus on overarching issues and not to minimize the locus of research based on countries. The last to show that MNCs or multinational corporations have an impact that is not explored enough in todays research.

Ramirez chooses to discuss how globalization became an apart of academic history. Ramirez uses two case studies of Canada and Italy to illustrate this. The Italian case starts with how builders can be seen all over Asia. After this many historians from a whole host of countries came together to write about the diaspora of Italian immigrants in their respective country. The Canadian case discusses how Canadians, both French and English origin, made a diaspora in America. Canadians often migrated between the two countries multiple times and often between the same two places. The field of study is small because of the lack of integration between French and English Canadian historical research.

The Invention of Ethnicity in the United States & Race, Nation, Culture in Recent Immigration Studies

The Invention of Ethnicity article brings up a new definition of ethnicity to the field of immigration history. They discuss the two previous and dominant definition of ethnicity. Two Anthropologist wrote that ethnicity was a “basic group identity.” They thought that even later generations fall under it because of genes. The other definition was Glazer and Moynihan thought of it as an interest group. This was created to show how different immigrant groups came together to do something, like the ways of politics. They defined ethnicity as not something placed upon you but something you choose to believe yourself as. This definition was created so the authors could explain the changing actors on the stage of American immigration effects. The groups stayed together if the people kept thinking they were together, an active thought process.

George Sanchez wrote a study of how Asian and Mexican Americans faced particular problems in the 20th Century. Sanchez believes that by better understanding that ideas we think are hard and true facts are often ideas that change over time like the idea of a nation. By deciding that a citizen of the US must be ‘white’ Asian Americans could not become naturalized and thus only their children by being born here are citizens. Sanchez ends the piece by thinking to advance immigration history to connect different waves of immigration through races and wars that took place and created hotly contested immigration.

Immigrant Women: Nowhere at Home & Women’s Place in the History of the Irish Diaspora

Donna Gabaccia discusses in her chapter discusses how two different studies relate and differ, how their methodology affected this, and how they could be coming closer together as time passes. The two studies are Women’s studies/Women’s History and Immigration History/Ethnic studies. By dividing immigrant women into two different fields the women get more marginalized because in Immigrant history the focus is on males usually and in Women’s History the focus is often on important lives often of women who have been in America for generations. I find myself asking what is the difference between Women’s studies and Women’s History or Immigration History and Ethnic studies? How do these definitions change the field and change how more immigrant women lose more spotlight?

Janet Nolan discusses how the studies of Irish women has moved forward and how it still has a way to go before it catches up with just Irish-American history. Nolan discusses six areas that show the need expansion which include the number of women coming, women’s wages to bring others, women faced similar economic hardships as compared to men, women played a pivotal role in the economy of both Ireland and America, women’s input on infrastructure in America including religious projects, and finally women’s role in Irish politics in Ireland in the twentieth century.

October Quotation of the Month

“The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see: and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings: fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid.” ― Livy