The United States prides itself on being "a nation of immigrants," but in reality its history of immigration is a story in constant flux: we have welcomed some immigrants, from some countries, during some time periods, while systematically closing the doors to others.
In this course we will examine the history of immigration in America, beginning with the arrival of Europeans in Massachusetts and Virginia. We'll look at the way American ideas about religious liberty were challenged by Irish Catholics, and how the labor movement was influenced by Italian-Americans, Eastern European Jews, and other early 20th century immigrants. We'll also study the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 and Japanese internment during World War II, and ask what consequences those histories have for modern-day Latino and Muslim immigrants.
This class is arranged like a college seminar, with 3-4 hours of outside work each week. We will read the novels Farewell to Manzanar and The House on Mango Street + watch one movie every week. There will also be additional readings and video content.
Writing assignments are optional, but participants who complete them can consider this the equivalent of one semester of high school English and one semester of American history.
Suggested age range: 13+
When & where: Fridays at Voyagers in Acton from 12:30-2:00, beginning Jan. 29, 2016
Fee: $200 for the semester + a Netflix subscription. (Please read our media policy.) $10 discount for Voyagers members. Payment plans available. Fees waived for families with financial need. (Waivers and payment plan information.)
Photo credit: Hermann Fokkena