Authors Meet Critics: Book Panel for Culling the Masses and How Race is Made in America
David FitzGerald, Associate Professor of Sociology, UCSD – Culling the Masses
Natalia Molina, Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies, UCSD – How Race is Made in America
Nayan Shah, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and History. USC – Discussant
Monday, February 23, 12:00pm
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
*Lunch will be provided
Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas questions the widely held view that in the long run democracy and racism cannot coexist. David Scott FitzGerald and David Cook-Martín show that democracies were the first countries in the Americas to select immigrants by race, and undemocratic states the first to outlaw discrimination. Through analysis of legal records from twenty-two countries between 1790 and 2010, the authors present a history of the rise and fall of racial selection in the Western Hemisphere.
The conventional claim that racism and democracy are antithetical—because democracy depends on ideals of equality and fairness, which are incompatible with the notion of racial inferiority—cannot explain why liberal democracies were leaders in promoting racist policies and laggards in eliminating them. Ultimately, the authors argue, the changed racial geopolitics of World War II and the Cold War was necessary to convince North American countries to reform their immigration and citizenship laws.
How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts examines Mexican Americans—from 1924, when American law drastically reduced immigration into the United States, to 1965, when many quotas were abolished—to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed. These years shaped the emergence of what Natalia Molina describes as animmigration regime, which defined the racial categories that continue to influence perceptions in the United States about Mexican Americans, race, and ethnicity.
Prof. Molina introduces and explains her central theory, racial scripts, which highlights the ways in which the lives of racialized groups are linked across time and space and thereby affect one another. How Race Is Made in America also shows that these racial scripts are easily adopted and adapted to apply to different racial groups.
David Scott FitzGerald is the Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is co-author of Culling the Masses: The Democratic Roots of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2014); author of A Nation of Emigrants: How Mexico Manages its Migration (University of California Press, 2009), and co-editor of six books on Mexico-U.S. migration.
FitzGerald’s work on the politics of international migration, transnationalism, and research methodology has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Qualitative Sociology, New York University Law Review, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. His current project examines asylum policies in comparative perspective.
Natalia Associate is Professor of History and Urban Studies and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity at the University of California, San Diego. Her first book, Fit to be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939, explored the ways in which race is constructed relationally and regionally. In that work, which garnered the Noris and Carol Hundley book prize of the PCB-American Historical Association, she argues that race must be understood comparatively in order to see how the laws, practices, and attitudes directed at one racial group affected others. Fit to Be Citizens?demonstrates how both science and public health shaped the meaning of race in the early twentieth century.
Professor Molina previously served as the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and before that as the Director for University of California Education Abroad Program in Granada, Córdoba, and Cádiz, Spain.
Nayan Shah is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at University of Southern California. He previously worked as a professor of history at University of California, San Diego and State University of New York Binghamton. Prof. Shah’s research and teaching focuses on the struggles over state authority in relation to the politics of race and gender. His research is most well known for its reconceptualization of how racial meanings are constituted through the articulations of gender and sexuality in state politics and culture. Prof. Shah’s first book, Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown, examined the history of San Francisco Chinatown through the prism of public health and policy. It won the Association of Asian American Studies History Book Prize in 2002.
In Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and the Law in the North American West, Prof. Shah explored the contestations over the meanings of state power and citizenship through the social relationships that arose among South Asian migrants in northwestern United States and Canada in the twentieth century. He currently serves as editor for the GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.