All of the articles are an exploration in the current historiography of the field of migrant/ ethnic studies. Wrote by scholars in the field in all cases being asked to write how they very the current state of the field of where it is going. Contained within these articles is what is the hallmark of all historians, the simple message of “ it is more complicated”.
First the essay titled “Globalizing Migration Histories? Learning for two Case Studies” involved an erudite scholar commenting on his perspective on the state of the migrant studies. By using two case studies of Italian and Candian migrants and how that they are misrepresented or not spoke on enough has he believes. The article focus on the shift to a purely global perspective of migrations and the shift away from the Eurocentric view of the past on migrations. Using example like the traditional perspective on Italian immigration is much more complicated with varying migrants not just to the US. Also on the importance of Canadian immigration to the US also those who came to Candian at the same time as the US. With the being said I personally found the article dense and long-winded to an unnecessary extent while containing a French Candian and Italian biases.
Second, “Nation of Migrants, Historians of Migration” tries to counter popularly help beliefs by applying the scholars’ angle to what the author states as cliches within America. The most important being that “ America is a nation of immigrants” by spending large portions of the article discusses the lack of novelty of the migration stories of the US. The picking apart of that cliche with things like citing where it first came from and how the way of thinking effects scholars today. Even the point of what it seemed like that scholar’s goal is to prove that statement or “myth”, as the author puts it, false. I could not follower the logic applied in the article, it said both, America is not a nation of immigrants and that it is an area of study which involves complex ethic history where people of all backgrounds globally traveled to America. Which to me seems like trying to frame the discussion into scholar court even though meaning the same thing.
Lastly, “A Part and Apart: Asian American and Immigration History” discussed the importance of Asian Americans in the history of the US. Another survey of the field of study and also provides an interesting view of a heated argument between scholars. The bulk of the article seems to be a personal explanation of their career path and current any of the studies. The section that discussed the shift in their department in the methodological approach to migrant studies and the authors own studies and research into the Asian American experience in US migration history. The author also discusses the assimilation of culture and that affects a large ethnic community, along with how the field studies it. The article did seem strangely biographical in nature describing in an almost narrative like sense on the author’s careers and how they ended up where they are now, which I found odd.
“Globalizing Migration Histories? Learning for two Case Studies” was super confusing to me and I was eager to find a more clear understanding of it through others’ reflection in these blog posts so I’m gonna dive into that. I do agree it was dense and long-winded for sure, so much so I couldn’t follow the point easily (lol). You state you noticed French Canadian and Italian biases; however, he granted the Italian case study permits to count as globalization and the Canadian case study in general to not because the scale was too small as regionally-defined. So where is the bias you observed? I do recall the text to mention that the Anglo-Canadians especially did not qualify the history of migration here and back as significant in their narrative, but I didn’t really see how the French-Canadians did when their spatial migration was a like closer. Was the migration from Anglo-Candians less significant because they went back to their origins? Did the Anglo-Canadians consider the migration less significant because the historiographical process was limited to there then back? Was it less significant because their cultural values were more similar to Americans than the French-Canadians’ were?
In the “Nation of Migrants” article, I believe the author is trying to help the reader understand that although the idea that the US is a “nation of migrants” exists and seems harmless, or even seems like a phrase that is accepting to new immigrants, it also has its issues. Insinuating that the United States is a nation of migrants creates a very Eurocentric idea of our nation’s history, but the US has a much more extensive history, and saying that we all immigrated here is leaving out African Americans and Native Americans.
Hi! I loved that you talked about not only the prominence of European immigration, but included the more non-traditional (and correct) groups of people who immigrate to the U.S. I agree that the article about the Italian Case and the Canadian Case was a little bit long for what it had to say (I found the Italian Case to be more informative towards the broader themes of immigration). I also thought that the “Nation of Immigrants” article was a bit confusing for me as well, but more towards the questions that I asked after reading it. I definitely liked the “A Part and Apart” article because of the personal ties that the author had! I personally liked the sort of biographical nature of it because it gave you a more overall factual view in combination with experiences.