Wednesday, January 17, 2018

From the Bookshelves: The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Editor) (released (April 2018)

The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Editor) (released (April 2018)

January 17, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Questioning EU Citizenship: Judges and the Limits of Free Movement and Solidarity in the EU


Questioning EU Citizenship:  Judges and the Limits of Free Movement and Solidarity in the EU.  Editor, Daniel Thym

The question of supranational citizenship is one of the more controversial in EU law. It is politically contested, the object of prominent court rulings and the subject of intense academic debates.

This important new collection examines this vexed question, paying particular attention to the Court of Justice. Offering analytical readings of the key cases, it also examines those political, social and normative factors which influence the evolution of citizens' rights. This examination is not only timely but essential given the prominence of citizen rights in recent political debates, including in the Brexit referendum. All of these questions will be explored with a special emphasis on the interplay between immigration from third countries and rules on Union citizenship.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: The Judicial Deconstruction of Union Citizenship
    Daniel Thym
    2. Extending Citizenship Rights and Losing it All: Brexit and the Perils of 'Over-Constitutionalisation'
    Susanne K Schmidt
    3. The Citizenship of Personal Circumstances in Europe
    Dimitry Kochenov
    4. (De)constructing the Road to Brexit: Paving the Way to Further Limitations on Free Movement and Equal Treatment?
    Stephanie Reynolds
    5. Why Did the Citizenship Jurisprudence Change?
    Urška Šadl and Suvi Sankari
    6. The Evolution of Citizens' Rights in Light of the European Union's Constitutional Development
    Daniel Thym
    7. The Engine of 'Europeanness'? Free Movement, Social Transnationalism and European Identification
    Ettore Recchi
    8. European Citizenship and Transnational Rights: Chronicles of a Troubled Narrative
    Francesca Strumia

    9. Consolidating Union Citizenship: Residence and Solidarity Rights for Jobseekers and the Economically Inactive in the Post-Dano Era
    Ferdinand Wollenschläger
    10. Back to the Roots? No Access to Social Assistance for Union Citizens who are Economically Inactive
    Paul Minderhoud and Sandra Mantu
    11. Integrating Union Citizenship and the Charter of Fundamental Rights
    Niamh Nic Shuibhne

    12. The Constitutional Status of Foreigners and European Union Citizens: Loopholes and Interactions in the Scope of Application of Fundamental Rights
    Sara Iglesias Sánchez
    13. The Integration Exception: A New Limit to Social Rights of Third-Country Nationals in European Union Law?
    KM (Karin) de Vries
    14. Membership without Naturalisation? The Limits of European Court of Human Rights Case Law on Residence Security and Equal Treatment
    Clíodhna Murphy
    15. Conclusion: The Non-Simultaneous Evolution of Citizens' Rights
    Dora Kostakopoulou and Daniel Thym




January 9, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The best economics books on Immigration

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

From the Bookshelves: Noncitizenism: Recognising Noncitizen Capabilities in a World of Citizens by Tendayi Bloom


Noncitizenism:  Recognising Noncitizen Capabilities in a World of Citizens by Tendayi Bloom


Noncitizens have always been present in liberal political philosophy. Often hard to situate within traditional frameworks that prioritise citizenship, noncitizens can appear voiceless and rightsless, which has implications for efforts towards global justice and justice in migration. This book proposes an alternative.

Noncitizenism identifies an analytical category of noncitizenship. While maintaining the importance of citizenship, noncitizenship is another form of special individual-State relationship. It operates far from a State, at its borders, and within its territory, providing a tool for examining the continuity between sites of engagement and the literatures, questions, and conclusions relating to them. The book argues that an accurate liberal theoretical framework, and one which can address contemporary challenges, must acknowledge the political relationship of noncitizenship between individuals and States.

This book is for students and scholars of political philosophy and for those interested in noncitizenship and how it can inform the response of liberal theory, citizenship, global justice, migration studies, political theory and policy work.

Tendayi Bloom is Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at The Open University, UK.


December 20, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

From the Bookshelves: The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great by Leyla Moushabeck

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The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great by Leyla Moushabeck (released December 2015)

More than 42 million people living in the United States came here from other countries. Since its beginnings, America has been a haven for people seeking refuge from political or economic troubles, or simply those in search of adventure and prosperity in a land where opportunity is promised to all. These émigrés, from every corner of the world, helped make America great long before the 2016 election.

Along with their hopes and dreams, they brought valuable gifts: recipes from their homelands that transformed the way America eats. What would the Southwest be without its piquant green chili pepper sauces and stews, New York City without its iconic Jewish delis, Dearborn without its Arab eateries, or Louisiana without the Creole and Cajun flavors of its signature gumbos and jambalayas? Imagine an America without pizza or pad Thai, hummus or hot dogs, sushi or strudel for most people, it wouldn t taste much like America at all.

In these times of troubling anti-immigrant rhetoric, THE IMMIGRANT COOKBOOK: RECIPES THAT MAKE AMERICA GREAT offers a culinary celebration of the many ethnic groups that have contributed to America s vibrant food culture. This beautifully photographed cookbook features appetizers, entrees, and desserts some familiar favorites, some likely to be new encounters by renowned chefs from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe.

In reviewing the book, Noor Brara in Vogue writes:

"Moushabeck reached out to culinary talent across different realms, from celebrity chefs and owners of Michelin-star restaurants to beloved local neighborhood institutions, writers and experts of food history, hoping they would be willing to join forces. Seventy recipes later, The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great was born. Featuring appetizers, entrees, and desserts that feel both familiar and new, each contributor introduces their dish by discussing its significance in both America and their culture’s place of origin.

Among them, Ziggy Marley shares his Jamaican Dream Fish recipe, a gentle, coconutty favorite from his college days, while James Beard–winner and restaurateur April Bloomfield reveals her secret to the perfect banoffee pie. Nigerian chef Tunde Wey, who has become known for his series of pop-up dinners around the country, over which guests enjoy great food while discussing uncomfortable issues around immigration and race relations, presents his signature jollof rice, while Lauryn Chun, owner of Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi, demystifies the Korean staple that she calls “the backbone of the Korean community.” Cronut creator Dominique Ansel tells the story of his family’s five-minute madeleine, and food bloggers Nadia Hubbi and Deana Kabakibi share a Syrian cheese pastry, baked for an American millennial generation in, naturally, cupcake forms (using queso fresco, which is easier to find than traditional Syrian cheeses). Lina Fat looks to her Immigrant’s Beef to pay homage to the Chinese Californians of the Gold Rush era, while Ana Sofia Pelaez works with harina, a humble Cuban cornmeal—“what you had when you had nothing else”—rediscovering the ingredient with newfound meaning."


December 19, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, December 18, 2017

From the Bookshelves: Social Justice Holiday Reading Gift Guide: Understanding Immigration


Elizabeth Gibson, Staff Attorney, New York Legal Assistance Group and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow, offers some thoughts in the Huffington Post on a social justice education holiday gift -- "the gift of literary empathy."

When politics differ, and this year there has been a lot of differing, how do you push back and educate without the entire meal exploding? Surely, there is a healthier method than twisting your napkin in knots under the table?

This year, consider a sneak attack in the form of literature. Infiltrate the book shelves of your familial adversaries with holiday gifts that make the recipients think. Distract them with engaging plots while slipping in social justice morals.

Here are Gibson's suggested books:

1.       In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, by Diane Guerrero (Non-Fiction)

2.       Americanah  by Chimamanda, by Ngozi Adichie (Fiction)

3.        Outcasts United by Warren, St. John (Non-Fiction)

4.       Brooklyn: A Novel, by Colm Toibin (Fiction)

5.        Do They Hear You When You Cry, by Fauziya Kassindja and Layli Miller Bashir (Non-Fiction)


December 18, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

From the Bookshelves:   The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954 by S. Deborah Kang

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The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954 by S. Deborah Kang, Oxford University Press, 2017  

December 12, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 4, 2017


New book


Revealing the very real human impact of deportation policies Mass deportation is at the forefront of political discourse in the United States. The Shadow of the Wall shows in tangible ways the migration experiences of hundreds of people, including their encounters with U.S. Border Patrol, car-tels, detention facilities, and the deportation process. Deportees reveal in their heartwrenching stories the power of family separation and reunification and the cost of criminalization, and they call into question assumptions about hu-man rights and federal policies.

Thee authors analyze data from the Migrant Border Crossing Study (MBCS), a mixed-methods, binational research project that offers socially relevant, rig-orous social science about migration, immigration enforcement, and violence on the border. Using information gathered from more than 1,600 post-depor-tation surveys, this volume examines the different faces of violence and mi-gration along the Arizona-Sonora border and shows that deportees are highly connected to the United States and will stop at nothing to return to their fam-ilies. e Shadow of the Wall underscores the unintended social consequences of increased border enforcement, immigrant criminalization, and deportation along the U.S.-Mexico border.

JEREMY SLACK is an assistant professor of geography in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.

DANIEL E. MARTÍNEZ is an assistant professor in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

SCOTT WHITEFORD is the director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Mexico Initiative and a professor emeritus at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona.


December 4, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

From The Bookshelves: Somos como las nubes by Jorge Argueta

Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds is a book of poetry written by Jorge Argueta and illustrated by Alfonso Ruano. It's about the migration of children from Central America to the United States. It's geared towards younger readers but will be of interest to immprofs as well.


I was most moved by the poem "El barrio La Campanera," which I'm thinking about assigning in class this Spring.

La Campanera
no tiene campanas.
Tiene pintados.

Los pintados.

Los pintados
aparecen por las noches,
los pintados
aparecen por la tarde
y por las mañanas.

Los pintados
aparence a todas horas.
Los pintados
tienen los ojos duros.

En sus brazos, caras,
pechos y espaldas
viven, como culebras,
los tatujes.
A mí me da miedo que
esas culebras me vayan a picar.

*    *    *

La Campanera
has no bells.
It has painted me and women.

The painted ones.

The painted people
come out at night,
in the afternoon,
in the morning.

The painted people
come out at all hours.
They have hard eyes.

Their arms, faces,
chests and backs
are homes
to tattoos
like snakes.
I'm afraid of those snakes.
They might bite me.


December 2, 2017 in Books, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 1, 2017

From the Bookshelves:   The Cholo Tree by Daniel Chacón


The Cholo Tree by Daniel Chacón

Do you know what a stereotype you are?” Jessica asks her son. “You’re the existential Chicano.” Fourteen-year-old Victor has just been released from the hospital; his chest is wrapped in bandages and his arm is in a sling. He has barely survived being shot, and his mother accuses him of being a cholo, something he denies.

She’s not the only adult that thinks he’s a gangbanger. His sociology teacher once sent him to a teach-in on gang violence. Victor’s philosophy is that everyone is racist. “They see a brown kid, they see a banger.” Even other kids think he’s in a gang, maybe because of the clothes he wears. The truth is, he loves death (metal, that is), reading books, drawing, the cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and the Showtime series Weeds. He likes school and cooking. He knows what a double negative is!

But he can’t convince his mom that he’s not in a gang. And in spite of a genius girlfriend and an art teacher who mentors and encourages him to apply to art schools, Victor can’t seem to overcome society’s expectations for him.

In this compelling novel, renowned Chicano writer Daniel Chacón once again explores art, death, ethnicity and racism. Are Chicanos meant for meth houses instead of art schools? Are talented Chicanos never destined to study in Paris?

DANIEL CHACÓN is the author of Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms and Loops (Arte Público Press, 2013); Unending Rooms (Black Lawrence Press, 2008), winner of the Hudson Prize; and the shadows took him (Washington Square Press, 2005) and Chicano Chicanery (Arte Público Press, 2000). A professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, he is co-editor of The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Works of José Antonio Burciaga (University of Arizona Press, 2008).


December 1, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Economic Effects of Refugee Return and Policy Implications

This OCPA Policy Paper by Uri Dadush entitled "The Economic Effects of Refugee Return and Policy Implications," is abstracted as follows:
According to the European Union over a million asylum rejected asylum seekers have been ordered to return to their country of origin from Europe alone, or will be soon. To these could be added refugees that have been given temporary shelter but who could be asked to return once conditions in their home country improve. The debate on returning asylum seekers and refugees is nearly always cast in political, legal and humanitarian terms. This paper looks at the question of return strictly from the economic perspective in the advanced countries that receive refugees: is return intheir economic interest? Considering all the main economic dimensions – fiscal, economic growth and labor market impact – the answer, for most advanced countries is no.  The costs of hosting refugees are front-loaded, while the benefits of hosting them, which are considerable, only accrue over time.
    The paper also argues that – on economic grounds alone –mass voluntary return of refugees to their country of origin is highly unlikely even when conditions improve. Development agencies can help countries that are the largest source of refugees recover once conflicts abate and help prevent new refugee crises occurring in the future. However, the expectation that they will promote the return of refugees is unrealistic. Development agencies should not place refugee return as a central objective of their efforts.  

November 30, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 20, 2017

From the Bookshelves: In the Midst of Winter: A Novel by Isabel Allende



Interview with Isabel Allende

In the Midst of Winter: A Novel by Isabel Allende

Worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.

In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster—a 60-year-old human rights scholar—hits the car of Evelyn Ortega—a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala—in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz—a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile—for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia.

Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende’s landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of “humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics” (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page.


November 20, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Problem With Apu: Racial Stereotyping and The Simpsons



Comedian Hari Kondabolu, the creator and star of the feature-length documentary The Problem with Apu, confronts his long standing “nemesis” Apu Nahasapeemapetilon – better known as the Indian convenience store owner on The Simpsons. Through this comedic cultural exposé, Kondabolu questions how this controversial caricature was created, burrowed its way into the hearts and minds of Americans and continues to exist – intact – twenty-eight years later.

The Problem with Apu premieres on tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TruTV.

The Hollywood Review has a review of The Problem with Apu.  Here is a part of the review:

"If nothing else, truTV's new documentary The Problem with Apu, written by and starring comic Hari Kondabolu, has probably quashed any desire to bring up caveats in my hypothetical response. A brisk discourse on hegemony and representational inequality, The Problem with Apu lays out its thesis against the character's acceptability in 2017 (to say nothing of 1989) with such clarity it's hard to imagine it generating an adversarial response more cogent than that hoary classic "It's a joke, stop taking it so seriously," which is no response at all.

The problem with The Problem with Apu is that, at 49 minutes, it's half a film. Directed by Michael Melamedoff, The Problem with Apu makes its primary case, has a couple of talking heads including Kondabolu admit they aren't sure what can or should be done, and ends abruptly and frustratingly.

That case can be summed up simply: Although representation of South Asian actors and characters has increased and improved on television and in movies in recent years, it's still relatively minuscule and when The Simpsons premiered, South Asian characters were basically nonexistent. So for the one prominent South Asian character on TV to be a frequently deceitful convenience store proprietor with a cartoonish Indian accent voiced by a white guy? That's bad. It's bad for a generation of South Asian children growing up and seeing only that one representation of their culture and having fellow kids judge them based upon it. It's bad for the older generation that had their immigrant experience represented in only this one way on TV for millions or maybe even billions of viewers. It's just bad."


November 19, 2017 in Books, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

From the Bookshelves: IMMIGRATION AND THE LAW: Race, Citizenship, and Social Control by Sofia Espinoza Alvarez & Martin Guevara

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Immigration and the Law: Race, Citizenship, and Social Control by Sofía Espinoza Álvarez & Martin Guevara Urbina Editors  (University of Arizona Press, 2018)

 the era of globalization, shifting political landscapes, and transnational criminal organizations, discourse around immigration is reaching unprecedented levels. Immigration and the Law is a timely and significant volume of essays that addresses the social, political, and economic contexts of migration in the United States. The contributors analyze the historical and contemporary landscapes of immigration laws, their enforcement, and the discourse surrounding these events, as well as the mechanisms, beliefs, and ideologies that govern them.
In today’s highly charged atmosphere, Immigration and the Law gives readers a grounded and broad overview of American immigration law in a single book. With shifting demographics, a changing criminal justice system, and volatile political climate, the book is critically significant for academic, political, legal, and social arenas.
The contributors offer sound evidence to expose the historical legacy of violence, brutality, manipulation, oppression, marginalization, prejudice, discrimination, power, and control. Demystifying the ways that current ideas of ethnicity, race, gender, and class govern immigration and uphold the functioning and legitimacy of the criminal justice system, Immigration and the Law presents a variety of studies and perspectives that offer a pathway toward addressing long-neglected but vital topics in the discourse on immigration and the law.
Steven W. Bender
Leo R. Chávez
Arnoldo De León
Daniel Justino Delgado
Roxanne Lynn Doty
Brenda I. Gill
Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz
Peter Laufer
Lupe S. Salinas
Claudio G. Vera Sánchez
Mary Cay Sengstock


November 16, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 13, 2017

From the Bookshelves: Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by Julian Lim


Porous Borders

Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

By Julian Lim

With the railroad’s arrival in the late nineteenth century, immigrants of all colors rushed to the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, transforming the region into a booming international hub of economic and human activity. Following the stream of Mexican, Chinese, and African American migration, Julian Lim presents a fresh study of the multiracial intersections of the borderlands, where diverse peoples crossed multiple boundaries in search of new economic opportunities and social relations. However, as these migrants came together in ways that blurred and confounded elite expectations of racial order, both the United States and Mexico resorted to increasingly exclusionary immigration policies in order to make the multiracial populations of the borderlands less visible within the body politic, and to remove them from the boundaries of national identity altogether. 

Using a variety of English- and Spanish-language primary sources from both sides of the border, Lim reveals how a borderlands region that has traditionally been defined by Mexican-Anglo relations was in fact shaped by a diverse population that came together dynamically through work and play, in the streets and in homes, through war and marriage, and in the very act of crossing the border.


November 13, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

From The Bookshelves: Shy Mama's Halloween


Shy Mama's Halloween is a children's book, available on Amazon.

The Hilltown Families blog has a great summary:

In the story, an immigrant family prepares for Halloween – a holiday that they’ve never celebrated before because they’re new to the United States and, in their home country of Russia, Halloween wasn’t part of the culture. While Mama is willing to help her four children prepare their costumes, she’s equally wary of both going door to door in her new neighborhood and a holiday whose theme is centered around sinister characters. It is decided that the children’s father will bring them trick-or-treating, but when he comes home from work sick on the evening of Halloween, it is up to shy Mama to supervise the family’s Halloween outing.

The book's setting is historical, but its themes are universal. It's a story about new immigrants and unfamiliar cultural traditions. A great Halloween read!


October 31, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

John Grisham Prosecutes For-Profit Law Schools in ‘The Rooster Bar’

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Janet Maslin of the New York Times favorably reviews John Grisham's new book:  "Grisham’s newly reanimated storytelling skills are what make `The Rooster Bar' such a treat."

Here is the abstract of the book from

"Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.

     But maybe there's a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right?  Well, yes and no . . .

     Pull up a stool, grab a cold one, and get ready to spend some time at The Rooster Bar."

There is an immigration angle to The Rooster Bar, which is highligeted in the review by Jocelyn McClurg in USA Today:

"Grisham, who’s at his best when he brings his sardonic sense of humor to the sometimes questionable ethics of law and banking, also takes aim at the politics of immigration. Zola was born in the U.S. shortly after her undocumented parents and older brother arrived from Senegal 26 years earlier. After her family members are suddenly rounded up, placed in a detention center and then sent back to Africa, Zola worries for her own safety as well.

It’s clear where Grisham stands. `(Her parents) had worked like dogs in a country they were proud of, with the dream of one day belonging. How, exactly, would their removal benefit this great nation of immigrants? It made no sense and seemed unjustly cruel.'”

The protagonists in the book visit a detention facility -- comparing it to Auschwitz -- and Grisham provides much information about the modern immigrant detention machinery.  The immigration subplot is pretty extensive.

I am still early in the book.  So far, as is characteristic of a Grisham novel, it is engaging.  But do not think that Grisham will pull any punches as far as law schools go.



October 26, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

From the Bookshelves: The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship


The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship

Edited by Ayelet Shachar, Rainer Baubock, Irene Bloemraad, and Maarten Vink

  • Brings together the latest normative and empirical debates synthesized by leading experts in the field
  • Revisits classic questions of citizenship and lays out cutting-edge contemporary approaches
  • Analyzes citizenship from multiple disciplinary perspectives

Contrary to predictions that it would become increasingly redundant in a globalizing world, citizenship is back with a vengeance. The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship brings together leading experts in law, philosophy, political science, economics, sociology, and geography to provide a multidisciplinary, comparative discussion of different dimensions of citizenship: as legal status and political membership; as rights and obligations; as identity and belonging; as civic virtues and practices of engagement; and as a discourse of political and social equality or responsibility for a common good.


October 12, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

From the Bookshelves: Thi Bui, The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

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Thi Bui was only 3 years old when her family fled South Vietnam in the 1970s to start a new life in California. Bui’s illustrated memoir, The Best We Could Do:  An Illustrated Memoir, explores her parents’ lives: the sacrifices they made and the struggles they went through that took their children years to understand.  For a radio interview with Bui, author of “click here.

National bestseller
ABA Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2017 Selection
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection

An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui
This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.
In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.


October 7, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 25, 2017

From the Bookshelves: Sponsored Migration: The State and Puerto Rican Postwar Migration to the United States by Edgardo Melendez


Sponsored Migration: The State and Puerto Rican Postwar Migration to the United States by Edgardo Melendez

Puerto Rico is often left out of conversations on migration and transnationalism within the Latino context. Sponsored Migration: The State and Puerto Rican Postwar Migration to the United States by Edgardo Meléndez seeks to rectify this oversight, serving as a comprehensive study of the factors affecting Puerto Rican migration to the United States from the late 1940s to the 1960s. Examining the consequences of the perceived problem of Puerto Rican overpopulation as well as the cost of U.S. imperialism on the lives of Puerto Rican workers, Meléndez scrutinizes Puerto Rican migration in the postwar period as a microcosm of the political history of migration throughout Latin America.
Sponsored Migration places Puerto Rico’s migration policy in its historical context, examining the central role the Puerto Rican government played in encouraging and organizing migration during the postwar period. Meléndez sheds an important new light on the many ways in which the government intervened in the movement of its people: attempting to provide labor to U.S. agriculture, incorporating migrants into places like New York City, seeking to expand the island’s air transportation infrastructure, and even promoting migration in the public school system. One of the first scholars to explore this topic in depth, Meléndez illuminates how migration influenced U.S. and Puerto Rican relations from 1898 onward. 


September 25, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)