The Rise of the American Deportation State

Episode 371

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In recent decades, the US has come to deport hundreds of thousands of people every year. However, the roots of the laws and institutions that facilitate deportation are much deeper. In this episode, we focus on the period of the 1920s, the era during which the US began to deport thousands of people for the first time in its history. As our guest Emily Pope-Obeda explains, deportation involved the coordination of various levels of the state and reflected social anxieties about morality, poverty, sexuality, and race during a period of insularity and anti-immigrant sentiment in American history.

This episode is recorded in conjunction with our investigative series entitled Deporting Ottoman Americans.

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Contributor Bios

Emily Pope-Obeda received her PhD in History in 2016 from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She spent the 2016-2017 academic year as a Visiting Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University. She is currently a lecturer in the History and Literature program at Harvard University, where she working on a book manuscript on the American deportation system during the 1920s.
Chris Gratien is Assistant Professor of History at University of Virginia, where he teaches classes on global environmental history and the Middle East. He is currently preparing a monograph about the environmental history of the Cilicia region of the former Ottoman Empire from the 1850s until the 1950s.


Episode No. 371
Release Date: 17 August 2018
Recording Location: Harvard University
Audio editing by Chris Gratien
Music: Kirishima Noboru - Akagi Blues
Bibliography courtesy of Emily Pope-Obeda

Select Bibliography

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