Current Series


'Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag' 


...tweeted Donald Trump as President-Elect; ‘if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship’. His administration has also suggested repealing the 14th amendment allowing birthright citizenship. Some even want to strip citizenship from US-born children of undocumented immigrants. Citizenship, and how it designed and regulated, is the critical issue in America today. This series seeks to engage the campus community with elements of the national conversation. We look to understand the nuances of contemporary US citizenship, the challenges it faces, and the strategies we might advocate in seeking to strengthen its promise. We aim also to excavate its heritage, from antiquity, through the founding, the Civil War, the women’s suffrage movement, and the Welfare State, to discover how earlier experiences have shaped the contours of what we see as “natural” today. The Changing Faces of U.S. Citizenship series will join faculty from the Departments of Political Science, History, Black Studies, Classics, and English, and the Carsey-Wolf Center in a collaborative program of undergraduate and graduate course offerings, panel discussions, a research colloquium, public lectures, film screenings, and workshops with local schools throughout the academic year 2017-18, and Fall 2018. 


Upcoming Events

Winter Quarter 2018


Thursday, March 8th from 7-9pm in Pollock Theater

Screening - 14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez

Director Anne Galisky will join Helen Morales for a post-screening discussion.

While the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizenship to those born or naturalized in the U.S., this Constitutional right has endured attacks since its passage in 1868, and it continues to be at risk today. 14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez (2014) traces these battles from their roots in the struggles against slavery prior to the Civil War, to the fight against the Chinese Exclusion Act in the late nineteenth century, to current anti-immigrant agitation. The documentary focuses on the stories of three families whose courage in challenging the status quo changed history: Dred and Harriet Scott, Wong Kim Ark, and Rosario and Vanessa Lopez.

Tickets are free, but we recommend reservation:


Spring Quarter 2018

Monday, April 9th time TBD, at the Multicultural Center

Lecture by Julie Chavez Rodriguez

The current state Director for California, Chavez Rodriguez, granddaughter of civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, developed and organized support for President Obama's immigration reform efforts and DACA when she served as Principal Deputy Director of Public Engagement, Senior Policy Advisor and Special Assistant to President Obama.


Monday, April 23rd, time and place TBD

Citzenship's Insular Cases: From Greece and Rome to Puerto Rico

by Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta

Professor of Classics at Princeton University, Immigrant Rights Clinic at Washington and Lee School of Law

Author of Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League.

The title for this lecture references a series of court opinions in 1901 that marked a decisive turn in the United States' practice of what has since become known as 'differentiated citizenship.' Working backwards from this historical conjecture, Dan-el Padilla Peralta examines the appearance of systems of differentiated citizenship in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean and comments on their reception in several modern colonial (and postcolonial) contexts.


Thursday, April 26th

Conference at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center


Friday, May 11th, time and place TBD

Professor Johanna Hanink - Workshop on the civics test for US citizenship

Brown University, and volunteer civics teacher


Fall Quarter 2018

Events planned include lectures by Professor Bonnie Honig (Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media, and Political Science at Brown University) and Professor Simon Goldhill (Director of the Cambridge University Center for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities).

Highlighted Events

Screening - 14: Dredd Scott, Won Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez

With Director Anne Galisky

Thursday, March 8th @7-9pm in Pollock Theater



Courses Offerings

Winter 2018

HIST 17B - The American People

Professor Giuliana Perrone