This course interrogates "migrant cities" in the Americas, that is, cities that grew and developed in relationship to the movement of millions of peoples across regions, borders, and oceans. We will consider three broad migrations: 1) European migrations to Atlantic metropoles such as New York, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo between 1870 and 1930; 2) internal migrations of people (including of African and Indigenous descent) from the U.S. South to northern cities; from the Brazilian northeast to its southern industrial cities; and from peasant communities to cities such as Lima and Mexico City; 3) finally, we will study the South-North migration from Mexico and Central America to the U.S. between 1970 and the present. By comparing these migrations in the United States and Latin America, we will explore how the movement of people has shaped cities across the hemisphere and we will interrogate the commonalities and common histories of both regions. In the process, we will challenge several myths about the United States and Latin America: Is the U.S. "melting pot" truly exceptional or has the whole continent been impacted by migrations across regions and borders? Have cities represented spaces of opportunity and liberation for migrants or are they sites where inequality and oppression have simply adopted a different form? How does legal status, race/ethnicity, and economic conditions influence how migrants fare in their new cities? Is the presence of Latinos in U.S. cities a new phenomenon or and an old one? Does this presence represent a threat, an opportunity, or more of the same?
The Capacities | Historical Perspectives
The Capacities | Understanding Diversity