"Mother of Exiles: Refugees in American History and Myth".
Speaker: Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History; Co-Director Center for Study of Race and Ethnicity, Department of History.
Emma Lazarus called America the “mother of exiles” in her poem, “The New Colossus,” which graces the Statue of Liberty. This lecture examines the enduring idea of America as a land of hope and refuge for the persecuted and oppressed. It goes beyond the familiar narratives of the Puritan settlers and the Statue of Liberty to think about how the idea of asylum has historically justified and obscured nation-building and racial agendas. It will compare the politics surrounding cold war refugees from Europe, China, Cuba and Vietnam, and consider the contemporary recasting of Central American asylum seekers as undocumented migrants.
Tuesday Talks are scheduled on the Morningside campus on alternate Tuesdays during the academic year. EPIC members, faculty, and invited guests speak on topics that range across the academic spectrum and also address issues of particular importance to the retired academic community. Lunch will be served. Guests are welcome.