|Nations of Immigrants
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Third Floor, Levis Faculty Center
919 W. Illinois St.
Urbana (View Map)
Donna Gabaccia (More Information)
Director, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer
Even as it again debates immigration restriction, the United States is
almost alone worldwide in proclaiming itself a "nation of immigrants."
Many Americans wrongly assume that immigrants had a uniquely important
role in the making of America. In fact, many nations have depended on
migration to build their populations and workforces. And even the
United States did not embrace this label until quite recently. Why do
other nations not view themselves as "nations of immigrants?" And what
exactly is it that Americans celebrate with this assertion of
uniqueness? By acknowledging the global nature of international
migrations, we can not only answer such questions but begin to assess
the choices that create "nations of immigrants" and differentiate them
from other nations created from populations of mobile foreigners.
WILL-AM580 FOCUS interview with Donna Gabaccia