Roundtable on Supporting Undocumented Students as a Pathway to Democracy

Endorsed by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS)

Thursday, April 15, 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: Immigration and Internal Migration; LGBTQ History and Queer Studies; Race


This roundtable explores ways that U.S. colleges and universities can stand for democratic principles by supporting undocumented students. Historians and interdisciplinary scholars will consider past and current practices, strategies, and campaigns that have helped, or failed, to support undocumented students. They will propose ways to re-imagine colleges and universities so these institutions can become more inclusive for undocumented students. How might scholars and undocumented students draw from past knowledges and experiences to help undocumented students become full members of American society? Why is it important for U.S. colleges and universities to support undocumented students in relation to principles of American democracy?

Session Participants

Chair: José M. Alamillo, California State University Channel Islands
José M. Alamillo is professor of Chicana/o Studies at California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo and Chair of President's Council on Inclusive Excellence. He is the author of Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: Mexican American Labor and Leisure in a California Town (2006) and coauthor of Latinos in U.S. Sport: A History of Isolation, Cultural Identity, and Acceptance (2011) and more recently, Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora (Rutgers University Press, 2020).

Panelist: Rachel Ida Buff, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Rachel Ida Buff teaches history and comparative ethnic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her most recent book is A is for Asylum Seeker: Words for People on the Move/A de Asilo: Palabras para Personas en Movimiento (Fordham University Press, 2020).

Panelist: Julio Capó Jr., Florida International University
Professor Julio Capó is a transnational historian whose research and teaching interests include modern U.S. history, especially the United States’s relationship to the Caribbean and Latin America. He addresses how gender and sexuality have historically intersected with constructions of ethnicity, race, class, nation, age, and ability. His first book, Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (UNC Press, 2017), highlights how transnational forces—including (im)migration, trade, and tourism—to and from the Caribbean shaped Miami’s queer past. The book has received six awards and honors, including the Charles S. Sydnor Award from the Southern Historical Association for the best book written on Southern history. His work has appeared in the Journal of American History, Radical History Review, Diplomatic History, Journal of Urban History, Journal of American Ethnic History, Modern American History, GLQ, H-Net, American Studies, and several volumes.

Panelist: Alejandra Dubcovsky, University of California, Riverside
Alejandra Dubcovsky is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Riverside. She is also the inaugural fellow in the Program for the Advancement of the Humanities, a partnership of The Huntington and UC Riverside that aims to support the future of the humanities. She received her BA and PhD from UC Berkeley, and a Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State. Her first book, Informed Power: Communication in the Early American South (HUP 2016), won the 2016 Michael V. R. Thomason Book Award from the Gulf South Historical Association. Her works has been featured in Ethnohistory, Early America Studies, The Journal of Southern History, Native South, and the William and Mary Quarterly, among others. She has served in the editorial boards of the journals of Ethnohistory (2015-2018), NAISA (2017-2020), and Native South (2016-2021). In 2018, she was awarded a Mellon Advancing Intercultural Studies Grant and a UC Riverside-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) Faculty Exchange Grant. Her new project, At the Frontlines of a Forgotten War, Gender, Violence, and Conflict in La Florida examines several fronts of Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713) through the lives and experiences of women. It interrogates the role of women and gender in violent conflict, and reconsiders who narrates stories of war, loss, and victory.

Panelist: Erika Lee, University of Minnesota
Erika Lee is a Regents Professor of History and Asian American Studies and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. Recently awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and named Incoming Vice President of the Organization of American Historians, she is the author of three award-winning books as well as the just-published America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States, which is a finalist for the 2020 Minnesota Nonfiction Book Award.

Panelist: Amalia Pallares, University of Illinois Chicago
Amalia Pallares is Professor of Political Science and Latin American and Latino Studies and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program. She studies social movements, ethnicity and race in Latin America and the United States, focusing on the connections between political activism and identity formation among recently mobilized groups. Her first book "From Peasant Struggles to Indian Resistance: the Ecuadorian Andes in the late Twentieth Century" analyzed the social, economic and political conditions that inform contemporary indigenous activism and identity in Ecuador. More recently, she has focused on immigrant activism in Chicago. She coedited "Marcha: Latino Chicago and the National Immigrant Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2010) which explored the role played by institutions, collective organizing experiences, political coalitions and public policies in shaping immigrant activism and subjectivities. Her most recent book "Family Activism: Immigrant Struggles and the Politics of Non-Citizenship” (Rutgers University Press, 2014) focuses on the different ways in which family and the family separation issue is politicized in immigrant rights struggles. Her new research projects focus on civil disobedience acts and anti-deportation activism of undocumented immigrants. Prof. Pallares teaches courses on social movements, Latino Politics, identity politics, social movements, race, ethnicity and politics in the Americas, Latin American Politics, comparative Politics and state theory.