Settlers and Immigrants in the American Experience

Aziz Rana


This lecture explores how ideas of the United States as a "settler nation" and as an "immigrant nation" have been intertwined across American history. In the process, Prof. Rana detail the changes and continuities in U.S. approaches to the border, race, and membership. He will also highlight how migration policy today reinforces American hemispheric dominance in ways that project into the future key elements of a nineteenth century settler imperial imagination.


Aziz Rana




About the Speaker

Aziz Rana is the Richard and Lois Cole Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. His research and teaching center on American constitutional law and political development, with a particular focus on how shifting notions of race, citizenship, and empire have shaped legal and political identity since the founding. His book, The Two Faces of American Freedom (Harvard University Press), situates the American experience within the global history of colonialism, examining the intertwined relationship in American constitutional practice between internal accounts of freedom and external projects of power and expansion. He is currently finishing a book manuscript on modern rise of American constitutional veneration in the twentieth century – especially against the backdrop of growing American global authority He has written essays and op-eds for such venues as n+1, The Boston Review, New Labor Forum, Jacobin, The Guardian, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Nation, Jadaliyya, Salon, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He has published articles and chapter contributions with Yale University Press, The University of Chicago Law Review, California Law Review, and Texas Law Review, among others.