On Sunday, June 25, Readex will host a special breakfast presentation titled, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” Except Them: A Nation of Immigrants and a History of Anti-Immigration.” An open discussion will follow the talk by Prof. Paul Finkelman, a leading authority on American legal history, race relations and religious freedom.
About the Presentation
Americans take pride in being a nation of immigrants and a “melting pot.” But as early as the 1640s, some leaders in the American colonies were complaining about the “wrong” kind of immigrants. This timely talk lends historical perspective to current controversies with refugees, walls and executive orders.
Finkelman will explore the long history of lamentable anti-immigration activity in the United States, including anti-Catholic political parties; “No Irish Need Apply” signs used by Boston businesses; murderous attacks on Irish, Chinese, Italian, German and Jewish immigrants; and more. Various restrictions and laws limiting citizenship—as well as court decisions enforcing them—will be covered. And Finkelman will reveal how primary source materials in Readex collections can be used to dive deep into immigration history—a boon to students and scholars in history, sociology, political science, anthropology, literature, journalism, and ethnic studies programs.