About Becoming American

Becoming American  is a six-week series of public programs created by City Lore in partnership with the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Major funding for the project has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Programs feature documentary film screenings and moderated discussions and are designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our country’s immigration history. The series will engage the audience in exploring the history and impact of immigration in the United States. It will introduce topics for discussion on immigration by screening documentary films that represent a selection of diverse immigration experiences drawn from both the past and present. Each screening and discussion program is designed as a catalyst for additional learning, inquiry and community dialogue.

The project’s advisors and authors of the essays that accompany each of the six programs include pre-eminent scholars of American history and immigration studies: Vincent Cannato is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston with a specialization in immigration studies.  Hasia Diner is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at NYU and the past president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. Lilia Fernandez is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University. Donna Gabaccia is a Professor of History at the University of Toronto and the former director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. Rachel Lee Rubin is Professor (and Chair) of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  John Kuo Wei Tchen is the Clement A. Price Chair of Public History and Humanities, Rutgers – Newark.

Thirty-two sites nationwide (public and college libraries, museums, cultural centers and other nonprofit organizations) have been selected to host this program series which is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

The series is free and open to the public.  Information and materials on each of the six programs (e.g., scholar essays, filmographies, suggested readings, online resources, and humanities themes) are available on the Audience Resources page.

For schedule of Events in Little Rock, please go to the Events page.

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