Entangling Migration History

Entangling Migration History: Borderlands and Transnationalism in the United States and Canada

I am the co-editor of this book with Alexander Freund. It was published by the University Press of Florida in 2015.  A Connection Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded a twenty-five-person workshop in October 2012 that gave the thrust to this volume.

This edited book explores how people and ideas transcended the political boundaries of the United States and Canada. It situates the history of migration to the two countries in broader transnational, borderland, and comparative contexts. With a focus on local, regional, national, and transnational scales, the eight chapters in this volume illustrate that the state and the nation were not contained social, cultural, and political systems in modern North American history. The chapters challenge the persistent historiographic interest in examining international migration from a single location in a country of origin to a single country of destination. As the chapters demonstrate, the United States and Canada constituted a fluid space, as much connected as divided by borders and policies. As the border became more rigid in the twentieth century, the nature of policies and migration changed, but people’s lives continued to be shaped by local, national, and transnational factors.

This book argues that migrants, government officials, and other actors in the United States and Canada entangled their ideas and lived realities and thus the histories of these two countries. Following people rather than borders, the authors in this book investigate migrants’ transnational connections and governments’ international relationships. They study national politics and migration experiences in borderlands regions, and they compare migration patterns and policies between regions and countries.

To find out more about this project, click here.