That America is a nation of immigrants is one of the most common place, yet truest of statements. In this course we will survey a vast range of the American immigrant experience: that of the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Mexicans. Immigration to America can be broadly understood as consisting of four major waves; the first one, that which consisted of Northwest Europeans who immigrated up to the mid-19th century; the second one, that which consisted of Southern and East Europeans at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th; the third one, the movement from the south to the north of Black Americans and Mexicans precipitated by the two world wars; and the fourth one, from 1965 on, is still ongoing in the present, of immigrants mostly from Latin America and Asia. At all times, our effort is to understand the immigrant past of these ethnic groups, both for what it tells us about the past as well as their present and possible future.
Course requirements: the written requirements for this course consist of two exams. Both the exams will be in-class tests, consisting of short answer questions that will draw from the lectures and our discussion of the readings. Each exam will be worth 50 percent.