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NEW UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOCUSES ON UNDERSTANDING IMMIGRANT HISTORY

UMD's ARHU prepares to launch the new Center for the History of the New America headed by professors Ira Berlin and Julie Greene.

By Ashley S. Westerman

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The College of Arts and Humanities will launch a new initiative in April that aims to make the University of Maryland the hub for understanding the United States' immigrant history.
 
The Center for the History of the New America, under the direction of Professor's Ira Berlin and Julie Greene, will examine immigration to the U.S. and how it interconnects with the underlying currents of global social change.
 
The launch of the center will be on Wednesday, April 13 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Maryland Room of Marie Mount Hall. The event will include information on the center as well as a forum to gather input and project suggestions from the university community.
 
Distinguished University Professor of History Ira Berlin says the idea for the center came about after discussions of the recent demographic changes in the U.S.

How the Center Came About:
Listen! But how will the new center define immigrant? 

Listen!  Berlin says the center has already drawn strong interest from other departments at the university.
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He also hopes the center attracts scholars, students and policymakers from the around the world.

In a press release, Professor Julie Green says that the center intends to have a reciprocal relationship with Prince George's County's immigrant community by preserving their cultural history via oral histories and other data that the center will collect.
History has always been a dialogue between the social sciences and humanities, says Green. But looking at how Americans relate to one another, and how society should function in a way that treats everyone with respect and dignity, is especially important today.

Berlin adds that the new center is already engaged in its first projects.
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They are also in the planning stages for a conference on birthright citizenship.
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Other projects underway for The Center for the History of the New America include the creation of an online database of oral history; the beginning steps to create a Minor or Certificate in Immigration Studies; and the creation of fellowships for graduate students interested in studying immigration.
 
For more on The Center for the History of the New America, visit their website.