Toward a New American Narrative on the Peopling of America

Lecture | December 11 | 5-8 p.m. | David Brower Center, Goldman Theater

 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

 John R. Weeks, San Diego State University; Hector Tobar, University of California, Ivine

 Irene Bloemraad, University of California, Berkeley

 Institute of European Studies, German Historical Institute Washingthon - Pacific Regional Office, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative

This event features two speakers: John R. Weeks, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography and Director of the International Population Center at San Diego State University, and Héctor Tobar, Author, Journalist, Associate Professor UC Irvine. The discussion after the lectures will be moderated by Irene Bloomberg, Chair of Canadian Studies & Director of the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative at UC Berkeley.

John R Weeks: The Future is a Foreign Country; We'll Do Things Differently There

Way back in 1967, the British novelist Leslie Poles Hartley taught us that “the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Population change and all that goes with it is an integral part of creating a present that seems foreign by comparison to the past, and it will create a future that will make today seem strange to those who look back on it a few decades from now. American society is intimately bound up in both the global and the local demographic changes that, in particular, shape the patterns of immigration to the United States, and shape the reaction to immigrants coming here. In this talk I will review how past demographic transitions in the world shaped who we are as a nation, and then I will discuss what the current demographic trends suggest the future will look like--how will the origins of migrants change, and what will that mean for the future of America?

Héctor Tobar: And Here We Stayed, and Here We Are: The Permanence of Latino Immigrant Emotionality in the U.S. Experience

The Latinization of large chunks of the United States has contributed to the reshaping of American political discourse (giving rise to a wave of xenophobia that’s now circled the globe), and has led to a profound change in the American ethos: We are becoming accustomed to the idea of castes, to the existence of the permanently undocumented, and to ever-greater disparities between rich and poor. But there are deeper changes that remain unseen by outsiders, and untold in U.S. media: the slow seeping of Latin American and Latinx stories (narratives of heroism, dysfunction, reinvention) into the collective American psyche, and the growing presence of brownness in the everyday flow of American life.

  RSVP online by December 10, 510-643-4558