Welcome to the Spring 2015 semester!

The Center for the History of the New America aims to make the University of Maryland the hub for understanding the long immigration history of this country, from 1500 to the present, and its connections to world history.

The Center will provide a distinctive institutional home for interdisciplinary and trans-national research, for training faculty and students, and for distributing information about the history of the immigrant experience to a broad public.

If you are interested in the study, the teaching, and the politics of the long history of immigration from a global perspective and want to learn more about The Center for the History of the New America at the University of Maryland you are in the right place!

Announcements, News, and Upcoming Events

Have a Great Summer!

Brown-bag Discussion

On April 21, 2015 Prof. Christine White, from UMD's Department of Criminology, will be giving our brown-bag presentation of the Spring semester! Her presentation, entitled,"Slavery in the Twenty-First Century: Combatting Human Trafficking," will be held in Room 2120 (Merrill Room) of Francis Scott Key from 12:00pm to 1:00 pm.

UMD Courses on Immigration

Interested in taking a class about immigration or migration? See our newly updated Immigration and Migration Studies Courses page for a list of courses that include strong emphasis on the history and issues associated with immigration. This spring, the University of Maryland will be offering a cool new course- IMMR200: Introduction to Immigration and Migration Studies. Any questions about immigration classes in the spring? Let us know at

Upcoming Conference on Migration and Labor

The Center for the History of the New America will be organizing a conference entitled "Organizing for Power and Workers' Rights in the 21st Century" on March 5, 2015 with the University Libraries' Special Collections in Labor History and Workplace Studies and the Southern Labor Studies Association in the Juan Ramon Jimenez Room in Stamp Student Union. The conference will feature a keynote address by Elizabeth Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO! For more information, visit our conference page here. The conference has been canceled due to inclement weather. Please check back later for more details.

Archive of Immigrant Voices

We are excited to announce that the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM) has begun posting recordings and transcripts of immigrant oral histories online! The Center established the Archive of Immigrant Voices in 2012 to collect the stories and experience of migration and preserve them for history. To listen, click here. Do you have an oral history from an immigrant? Let us know at and we can add it to the archive!

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who came to our Health Across Borders conference! We had a lot of great presentations and a good turnout from students, faculty, and members of the public. We almost ran out of room at Dr. David Satcher’s keynote address there were so many people! To see the Diamondback’s article on the conference, click here.

Screening of I Learn America

One high school, one school year, five new Americans. Join critically acclaimed documentary filmmakers Jean-Michel Dissard and Gitte Peng at a screening of I Learn America. In the film, five newly arrived immigrant students struggle to adjust to their new lives in America at the International High School at Lafayette. Following the film there will be a discussion with the film producer, students, and faculty at UMD. The event is free and open to the public, and there will be free pizza and soda! The Center for the History of the New America and the College of Education will be showing I Learn America (2013) on Thursday, October 2 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm in 2102 Shoemaker Hall. For more on the film, click here.

Diaspora Tour at the University of Maryland

Join us for the University of Maryland installment of the Diaspora Tour. The tour, sponsored by the Department of State, the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance and USAID, will include remarks by Department of State Special Representative for Global Partnerships Andrew O’Brien and a panel discussion. This event is free and open to the public and will be held in the Prince George's Room of the Stamp Student Union on October 2, 2014 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. For more information on this event, including how to R.S.V.P., visit click here.

Border Crossing and Family Crisis

Dr. Leisy J. Abrego of UCLA will be giving a talk entitled, "Sacrificing Families: U.S. Policies and the Displacement of Salvadorans," which will dicuss her work on Central American immigration within the context of the recent border crisis on Monday, September 22, 2014 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Maryland Room, Marie Mount Hall. For more inforamtion, please contact Ana Patricia Rodriguez at 301-405-2020 or at

Upcoming Seminar

Beyond the Classroom Living-Learning Program presents a special seminar, as part of the Beyond Study Abroad series on cross-cultural engagement. A talk, entitled, "Addressing Legal, Social, and Language Obstacles Facing Low-Income Immigrants," will be given by Sarah Block, Program Initiatives Coordinator, Ayuda. This seminar will be held on Wednesday, September 24th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 1102 of the South Campus Commons Building at UMD. For more information email or see the attached flyer.

Brown-bag Discussion

On October 8, 2014 Dr. Christina Getrich, from UMD's Department of Anthropology, will be giving our first brown-bag presentation of the Fall semester! Her presentation, entitled,"'Too Bad I'm Not an Obvious Citizen': The Effects of Racialized U.S. Immigration Enforcement Practices on Second-Generation Mexican Youth," will be held in Room 2120 (Merrill Room) of Francis Scott Key from 12:00pm to 1:00 pm.

New Study

The College Park Research Team is conducting a study on the Latina/o college student experience. Headed up by Dr. Michelle Espino and Dr. Colleen O'Neal, the study aims to understand the supports and stresses that Latina/o students have in higher education. The study is looking for all Latino college students in Maryland to participate, undocumented or documented. For more information email the research team at or see the attached flyer.

Greater Washington Immigration Film Fest

From October 23-26 an annual event will be held showcasing award-winning films that entertain and connect viewers with the immigrant experience in the USA and beyond. For more information visit the film festival's website.

Upcoming Seminar

Beyond the Classroom Living-Learning Program presents a special seminar, as part of the Beyond Study Abroad series on cross-cultural engagement. A talk, entitled, "Language Bulidng Blocks for Engaging (Border) Children and Familes," will be given by Dr. Anita Pandey, Professor and Coordinator of Professional Development and Communication at Morgan State University. This seminar will be held on Wednesday, September 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 1104 of the South Campus Commons Building at UMD. For more information email or see the attached flyer.

Screening of Crossing Arizona

The Miller Center for Historical Studies at UMD will be showing the documentary film Crossing Arizona (2006) on Wednesday, April 23 from 12:30-2pm. The screening will take place in Room 2118 of Taliaferro Hall, featuring comments by Professor Chantel Rodriguez. For more information, visit the Miller Center's website.

Press Release

Center for the History of the New America and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities Awarded NEH Grant

Screening of "The Secret of the Grain"

The Department of French and Italian and the Hoff Theater are co-sponsoring the screening of this movie, originally titled "La Graine et le Mulet." It is in French with English subtitles, and follows Slimane, an aging migrant from the Maghreb whose ambition is to establish a successful restaurant in Sète, France but is met by a skeptical opposition from the French bureaucracy. The title of this French-Tunisian film refers to a "grain of couscous" and to mullet, a type of small fish, both popular in Tunisian cuisine. The screening is free and open to the public and will take place at the Hoff Theater on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 7:30pm.

Screening of Documentary

Aldo Bello, a member of our Leadership Council will be screening his documentary-in-progress Dream: An American Story here on campus on October 30 at 6pm. It will be held in the Special Events Room (6137) of McKeldin Library. We hope you will join us! If you need information about getting to the event, please see this page for directions to campus, this map of the campus (McKeldin Library is in section 5C), and this page about parking. There is a free shuttle from the College Park Metro, running about every ten minutes, that drops passengers off near the library (lot HH1).

Langley Park Panel Discussion

On Thursday, September 26 from 7 to 8:30pm there will be an exciting event regarding the challenges and opportunities of planning and design in Langley Park, Maryland, a diverse and largely immigrant community right next to the University. This panel - taking place in Room 1111 in the Architecture Building - gathers together academics, community organizations, and city officials working in Langley Park to address a range of issues including the proposed Purple Line, affordable housing, day labor sites, food vending, and immigrant businesses, among others. Please see this flyer for additional information.

Book Talk on Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawaii

The Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland will be hosting a talk on Tuesday, September 17th from 3:30 to 5:00pm in Room 2110 of Taliaferro Hall by Dr. Franklin Odo about his book, Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai'i. He will discuss how Japanese workers in Hawaii's plantations created their own versions of folksongs, in forms akin to haiku poetry. These songs describe the experiences of a migrant group caught in the global movements of capital, empire, and labor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Light refreshments will be provided; please RSVP to if you'd like to attend.

Gale Immigration Ebooks Collection

The University of Maryland Libraries have subscribed to the Gale Immigration Ebooks Collection. (You will need a UMD account to access it.) It contains full-text reference books on the subject of U.S. immigration.

Forum on Race, Immigration, and Representation

The University of Maryland's Asian American Studies Program hosted a forum on Thursday, May 9th from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the Juan Ramon Jimenez Room (Room 2208) in the Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland at College Park. It brought scholars from a range of disciplines together to discuss key questions related to race, migration, and representation today. Featured speakers included Jonathan Inda (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Latino Studies), Christine So (Georgetown University, English and American Studies) and Erin Chung (John Hopkins University, Political Science) (invited). Andrew Mayton (English and Asian American Studies Undergraduate) provided comments.

Migration Stories

On April 25th from 3:30 to 5:30pm, students in the "Creating Museums of the Immigrant Experience" course at the University of Maryland hosted a program called "Immigrants Share their Experiences: A Conversation." Through videos that students created, immigrants living in Prince George's County shared their life histories. The event took place at the CASA de Maryland Multicultural Center, 8151 15th Avenue, Hyatsville, MD 20783.

Forum on Race, Immigration, and Action

The University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program hosted a forum on race, immigration, and action on Thursday, March 7th from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Jimenez Room in Stamp Hall (Room 2208).

Center for the History of the New America, Department of History, University of Maryland

2155 Taliaferro Hall, College Park, MD 20742  •  phone: (301) 405-4305  •  fax: (301) 314-9399  •

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