Recently in Immigration and Culture Category

Director Gabaccia's message for Fall 2011
A Heart Connects Us - Digitizing Immigrant Letters
Minnesota 2.0 - How immigrant and refugee youth write on Facebook
Sheeko - Oral histories with Somali youth
Supporting students and communities in heritage preservation
University courses for Fall 2011 - IHRC & Global REM List

What I'm Reading

By Beatriz Carrillo, MN 2.0 Project Team

In the Minnesota 2.0 project I have been cataloging Facebook groups that relate to a Mexican or Mexican American identity. I am interested in how the media is used by different groups of people and as a part of this project I have learned how youth use Facebook and how non-Mexicans view Mexico.

What I'm Reading

By Salma Hussein and Mustafa Jumale

The "Minnesota 2.0" project has allowed us to look at Facebook from a different standpoint, and analyze the complexity within it. We are able to see that young immigrant youth of Somali descent are actively engaging in sharing their stories via social networking sites such as Facebook.

What I'm Reading

By Andy Wilhide and Justin Schell

Work on the Minnesota 2.0 project is a very different example of "What I'm Reading." Begun in September of 2009, Minnesota 2.0 aims to ...

By Rachel Ida Buff, Associate Professor in History and Coordinator, Comparative Ethnic Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

When I speak to Jewish audiences about the contemporary politics of immigration, I often lean on the historical parallels between contemporary migrations and Jewish experience of diaspora, in which Jews have so often been the strangers.

By Nahid Khan, Ph.D candidate, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Accuracy, balance, completeness, and fairness are major values emphasized in news coverage; still, the field of journalism struggles with the ideas and ideals of diversity.

What I'm Reading

By Donna Gabaccia, Director, Immigration History Research Center

For me, summer reading means escape, largely through fiction that is as unrelated as possible to my scholarly work. Imagine my surprise then when I opened two new novels pulled randomly from the shelves of the Minneapolis Public Library. Both featured main characters who were very much "on the move."

Love Letters and Migration

By Sonia Cancian, University of Minnesota Visiting Scholar Spring 2008
The love letter, with its expressions of love, longing and desire written between confidants and lovers living apart, is a document that for centuries has been regarded as the ultimate form of the art of letter-writing.


What's in a name?

By David LaVigne, PhD candidate in History at the University of Minnesota, IHRC Affiliated Faculty

A popular idea often heard about the United States’ most famous port of immigration, Ellis Island, is that immigrants commonly had their family names changed there. This, however, is a myth: inspection agents at Ellis Island and other ports of entry rarely changed immigrants’ names. For immigrants to be admitted to the United States, they needed detailed documentation that proved their identity. These papers were filled out in the country of emigration—often by professional clerks—and adhered to the spelling patterns of the local language. Passenger ships used the travel documents to compile accurate passenger lists at European ports of debarkation. If all this were not enough, Ellis Island employed hundreds of interpreters who interrogated immigrants in their native languages. In short, immigrants were likely to begin their lives in the United States with their names spelt correctly. (American Names)

On Efficiency and Immigrant Labor

By Andy Urban, PhD candidate in History at the University of Minnesota. IHRC Affiliated Faculty

A recent article in the Economist [link] attempts to complicate the current debate surrounding immigration by reiterating the point that undocumented immigrants typically do not compete with native-born Americans for the same jobs. The article focuses on Jim Pederson, a Democratic candidate for senator from Arizona. Pederson has been touting a guest worker program as a “sensible? alternative to the impossible task of securing and closing-off the border with Mexico. In part, the Economist article draws from a scholarly report recently published in Foreign Affairs by Tamar Jacoby [link], a member of the conservative Manhattan Institute think-tank. Jacoby critiques the arguments of her conservative counterparts seeking to restrict immigration by asserting that, “The market mechanisms that connect U.S. demand with foreign supply, particularly from Latin America, are surprisingly efficient.? Essentially Jacoby promotes a free market approach to immigration, whereby a cheap labor supply from abroad will provide construction and service sectors with a labor supply that they cannot attract from the native-born American population.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Immigration and Culture category.

Immigration after 1965 is the previous category.

Immigration and Diversity is the next category.

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