Forside / Arrangementer / A Nation of Immigrants
10. desember 2022

A Nation of Immigrants

Narratives on Migration to the US – Past and Present.

Triple lecture, 27.03.2019
at D3, Dragvoll 14.15–16.15

The US is a nation of immigrants, consisting of people from every corner of the globe and brought to the country by a diverse variety of reasons; persecution, conquest, colonialism, slave trade, and voluntary migration. Unlike its European counterparts, Americans, David A. Gerber argues, are moved to love their country “not by language that speaks of membership in an ‘American family,’ but by the powerful rhetorical formulations of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence that establish the promise of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’”* Despite this, recent years have seen migrants cast as a threat to American security, with dire consequences for the many migrants who are forced to traverse unhospitable and dangerous terrain to arrive in the US. How are we to understand the historical, cultural, and religious origins of American pluralism? How do we understand the recent development towards a more restrictive immigration policy? And how does it impact the continuous forging of American identity?

* Gerber, David A. American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction. (OUP, 2011).

The lecture is organized by the research network Human Rights and Dignity in the Global Refugee Crisis: Policies and technologies transforming the human rights discourse on refugees (HumDig) at NTNU, the Department of Historical Studies, in conjunction with the Falstad Centre. 


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Dr. Penne Restad is Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Texas, Austin. 

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Professor Robert H. Abzug is Former Director for Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies and holds the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Regents Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, where he is professor of History and American Studies.