Racialization and the Racial Project of the American Immigration System

Taught: Winter 2022, Autumn 2022

This course examines how immigration law, changes in the American immigration system, and the notion of “illegality,” have shaped the racialization and “othering” of Asian and Latino immigrants in the United States. The course will begin by exploring the concepts of racialization and racial project, and then shift to examining the context of, and resulting racialization surrounding, major changes in U.S. immigration policy. Indeed, immigration law is shaped by the economic moment of the times and is often aligned with the long history of exploitation by American colonial and corporate capitalist interests. However, at the same time, immigration laws also serve to delineate the “worthiness” and “unworthiness” of different groups in the nation in question. We will study how this racialization has meaningful implications in the domains of migrant economic integration and cultural assimilation, the Census, as well as love and family.

The course will tackle the turbulent history of immigration in the U.S. through examining several moments of exclusion and inclusion, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Bracero program, Japanese internment, as well as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (which provided amnesty for thousands of undocumented immigrants), and DACA, as well as what racialization, illegality, and deportation look like today. By the end of the course, students will be able to think critically about the affects of immigration and nationality laws on individuals, how and why they have been constructed, and how laws can other.


BA Thesis Colloquium

Taught: Fall 2019

This course is designed to aid students in their thesis research and more broadly, how to write an original research paper. Students are exposed to different conceptual frameworks and research strategies. Each week will tackle a different segment of “how to’s” for writing an empirical BA thesis. At the end of the course, students produce a draft of their BA thesis.