In today's world of constant identification checks, it's difficult to recall that there was ever a time when "proof of identity" was not a part of everyday life. And as anyone knows who has ever lost a passport, or let one expire on the eve of international travel, the passport has become an indispensable document. But how and why did this form of identification take on such a crucial role? In the first history of the passport in the United States, Craig Robertson offers an illuminating account of how this document, above all others, came to be considered a reliable answer to the question: who are you? Historically, the passport originated as an official letter of introduction addressed to foreign governments on behalf of American travelers, but as Robertson shows, it became entangled in contemporary negotiations over citizenship and other forms of identity documentation. Prior to World War I, passports were not required to cross American borders, and while some people struggled to understand how a passport could accurately identify a person, others took advantage of this new document to advance claims for citizenship. From the strategic use of passport applications by freed slaves and a campaign to allow married women to get passports in their maiden names, to the "passport nuisance" of the 1920s and the contested addition of photographs and other identification technologies on the passport, Robertson sheds new light on issues of individual and national identity in modern U.S. history. In this age of heightened security, especially at international borders, Robertson's The Passport in America provides anyone interested in questions of identification and surveillance with a richly detailed, and often surprising, history of this uniquely important document.
How Information and Technology Made the Modern World
Author: Jeremy Black
Publisher: Yale University Press
Information is power. For more than five hundred years the success or failure of nations has been determined by a country’s ability to acquire knowledge and technical skill and transform them into strength and prosperity. Leading historian Jeremy Black approaches global history from a distinctive perspective, focusing on the relationship between information and society and demonstrating how the understanding and use of information have been the primary factors in the development and character of the modern age. Black suggests that the West’s ascension was a direct result of its institutions and social practices for acquiring, employing, and retaining information and the technology that was ultimately produced. His cogent and well-reasoned analysis looks at cartography and the hardware of communication, armaments and sea power, mercantilism and imperialism, science and astronomy, as well as bureaucracy and the management of information, linking the history of technology with the history of global power while providing important indicators for the future of our world.
The Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 4, Number 3, September 2014 TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor's Note, William Blair Articles Felicity Turner Rights and the Ambiguities of Law: Infanticide in the Nineteenth-Century U.S. South Paul Quigley Civil War Conscription and the International Boundaries of Citizenship Jay Sexton William H. Seward in the World Review Essay Patick J. Kelly the European Revolutions of 1848 and the Transnational turn in Civil War History Book Reviews Books Received Notes on Contributors
This is Barthes’ seminal text reimagined in a contemporary context by contemporary academics. Through a revisiting of Mythologies, a key text in cultural and media studies, this volume explores the value these disciplines can add to an understanding of contemporary society and culture. Leading academics in media, English, education, and cultural studies here are tasked with identifying the "new mythologies" some fifty or so years on from Barthes’ original interventions. The contributions in this volume, then, are readings of contemporary culture, each engaging with a cultural event, practice, or text as mythological. These readings are then contextualized by an introduction which reflects on the ‘how’ of these engaging responses and an "essay at the back of the book" which replaces Myth Today with a reflection on the contemporary provenance of both Barthes and his most famous book. Thus the book is at least two things at once whichever way you look: a ‘new’ Mythologies and a book about Barthes’ legacy, an exploration of the place of theory in critical writing, and a book about contemporary culture.
At the heart of the model minority myth—often associated with Asian Americans—is the concept of civility. In this groundbreaking book, Picturing Model Citizens, Thy Phu exposes the complex links between civility and citizenship, and argues that civility plays a crucial role in constructing Asian American citizenship. Featuring works by Arnold Genthe, Carl Iwasaki, Toyo Miyatake, Nick Ut, and others, Picturing Model Citizens traces the trope of civility from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Through an examination of photographs of Chinese immigrants, Japanese internment camps, the Hiroshima Maidens project, napalm victims, and the SARS epidemic, Phu explores civility's unexpected appearance in images that draw on discourses of intimacy, cultivation, apology, and hygiene. She reveals how Asian American visual culture illustrates not only cultural ideas of civility, but also contests the contradictions of state-defined citizenship.
Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921-1965
Author: Libby Garland
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In 1921 and 1924, the United States passed laws to sharply reduce the influx of immigrants into the country. By allocating only small quotas to the nations of southern and eastern Europe, and banning almost all immigration from Asia, the new laws were supposed to stem the tide of foreigners considered especially inferior and dangerous. However, immigrants continued to come, sailing into the port of New York with fake passports, or from Cuba to Florida, hidden in the holds of boats loaded with contraband liquor. Jews, one of the main targets of the quota laws, figured prominently in the new international underworld of illegal immigration. However, they ultimately managed to escape permanent association with the identity of the “illegal alien” in a way that other groups, such as Mexicans, thus far, have not. In After They Closed the Gates, Libby Garland tells the untold stories of the Jewish migrants and smugglers involved in that underworld, showing how such stories contributed to growing national anxieties about illegal immigration. Garland also helps us understand how Jews were linked to, and then unlinked from, the specter of illegal immigration. By tracing this complex history, Garland offers compelling insights into the contingent nature of citizenship, belonging, and Americanness.
While Gertrude Stein hosted the literati of the Left Bank, Mrs. Bates-Batcheller, an American socialite and concert singer in Paris, held sumptuous receptions for the Daughters of the American Revolution in her suburban villa. History may remember the American artists, writers, and musicians of the Left Bank best, but the reality is that there were many more American businessmen, socialites, manufacturers’ representatives, and lawyers living on the other side of the River Seine. Be they newly minted American countesses married to foreigners with impressive titles or American soldiers who had settled in France after World War I with their French wives, they provide a new view of the notion of expatriates. Nancy L. Green thus introduces us for the first time to a long-forgotten part of the American overseas population—predecessors to today’s expats—while exploring the politics of citizenship and the business relationships, love lives, and wealth (and poverty for some) of Americans who staked their claim to the City of Light. The Other Americans in Paris shows that elite migration is a part of migration tout court and that debates over “Americanization” have deep roots in the twentieth century.
Over the past decade, historical studies of photography have embraced a variety of cultural and disciplinary approaches to the medium, while shedding light on non-Western, vernacular, and "other" photographic practices outside the Euro-American canon. Photography, History, Difference brings together an international group of scholars to reflect on contemporary efforts to take a different approach to photography and its histories. What are the benefits and challenges of writing a consolidated, global history of photography? How do they compare with those of producing more circumscribed regional or thematic histories? In what ways does the recent emphasis on geographic and national specificity encourage or exclude attention to other forms of difference, such as race, class, gender, and sexuality? Do studies of "other" photographies ultimately necessitate the adoption of nontraditional methodologies, or are there contexts in which such differentiation can be intellectually unproductive and politically suspect? The contributors to the volume explore these and other questions through historical case studies; interpretive surveys of recent historiography, criticism, and museum practices; and creative proposals to rethink the connections between photography, history, and difference. A thought-provoking collection of essays that represents new ways of thinking about photography and its histories. It will appeal to a broad readership among those interested in art history, visual culture, media studies, and social history.