Oct 8

“Mother of Exiles”: Refugees in American Myth and History

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Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor Barnard Hall
  • Add to Calendar 2019-10-08 18:00:00 2019-10-08 20:00:00 “Mother of Exiles”: Refugees in American Myth and History In her poem “The New Colossus,” Emma Lazarus called America the “mother of exiles.” In this lecture, historian Mae Ngai (Columbia University) examines the enduring idea of America as a land of hope and refuge for the persecuted and oppressed. Venturing beyond the familiar narratives of Puritan settlers and Lady Liberty, Ngai urges us to think about how the idea of asylum has historically justified and obscured nation-building and racial agendas. By looking at the politics surrounding Cold War refugees, she finds a useful lens for viewing the contemporary plight of Central American asylum seekers. Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor Barnard Hall Barnard College barnard-admin@digitalpulp.com America/New_York public

In her poem “The New Colossus,” Emma Lazarus called America the “mother of exiles.” In this lecture, historian Mae Ngai (Columbia University) examines the enduring idea of America as a land of hope and refuge for the persecuted and oppressed. Venturing beyond the familiar narratives of Puritan settlers and Lady Liberty, Ngai urges us to think about how the idea of asylum has historically justified and obscured nation-building and racial agendas. By looking at the politics surrounding Cold War refugees, she finds a useful lens for viewing the contemporary plight of Central American asylum seekers.