This digital teacher seminar centers around the history of immigration to the US through today.

Registration fee 10€

Return filled out form to bibliothek@amerikahaus.de

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Immigrants, Refugees and Racism in the U.S. (digital)

Digital Teacher Seminar / Registration free 10€ / Register at bibliothek@amerikahaus.de


This teacher seminar will take place digitally in Zoom.


Immigration to and refuge in the United States is strongly connected to hope, success, failure and racism. In the first years of the 20th century, the United States stopped Japanese immigration, as it had become “too dominant” for local businesses and unions. Waves of Italian immigrants changed urban landscapes around 1900. Although most of them were hard-working craftsmen and laborers who helped shape the city skylines, the crime networks of a minority influenced imaginaries and stereotypes. German immigrants and their businesses had enriched and shaped the US east and middle west since the 19th century, but were considered “enemy aliens” in World War II. Around 11.000 Germans were transported into internment camps, as were 120.000 Japanese and several thousand Italians. At the same time Mexican farmhands replaced those who were enlisted for the global War theater. Hollywood was “mexicanized”, while Texan schools segregated Mexican children for decades. The current detention centers at the US border for undocumented Central American migrants are the latest manifestation of inhuman calculation, who are the desirables and who are to be “criminalized”.

The envisioned time period of the seminar covers the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. At the basis of Japanese, German, Italian, Mexican and Central American immigration, the seminar discusses the ambiguity between promoting “promised land” and criminalizing immigrants in times of war and crisis. The introductory part, however, illustrates briefly at the example of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy that most immigration statistics about the United States are problematic or false. Different types of primary sources (in German and English) will be discussed, including letters, cartoons, pamphlets, statistics, songs, and literary texts.

09:00 Intro
9:20 The Dangers of Statistics: immigrants, ethnic groups, emigration states
09:40: The United States: A Nation of Immigrants
10:00 Japanese immigrants
10:30 Coffee Break
11:00 German and Italian immigrants and internment camps in WW II
12:00 Mexican and Central American immigration
13.10 Open Discussion
14.00 End

This teacher seminar will take place digitally in Zoom.

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Ursula Prutsch, LMU

Registration fee: € 10

Click here to register via our registration form.

Contact: Sarah Martin

Organizer:  Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations


(Photo: © CDC / unsplash.com)


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