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The Indigenous as Alien

November 1, 2013 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Constitutional Roundtable
Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies &
Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism


Leti Volpp
UC Berkeley School of Law

The Indigenous as Alien

Immigration law, as it is taught, studied, and researched in the United States, imagines away the fact of preexisting indigenous populations.  To show how this takes place, this Essay examines the way immigration law narrates space, time, and membership.  But despite this disappearance from the field, Indians have figured in U.S. immigration law, and thus, the Essay describes the neglected legal history of the treatment of American Indians under U.S. immigration and citizenship law.  The paper then returns to explain why Indians have disappeared from U.S. immigration law through an investigation of the relationship between We the People, the “settler contract,” and the “nation of immigrants.”

Leti Volpp is the Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law in Access to Justice at the UC Berkeley School of Law, where she teaches courses on immigration and citizenship.  Her most recent publications include “Imaginings of Space in Immigration Law,” in Law, Culture and the Humanities (2012), the edited symposium issue “Denaturalizing Citizenship: A Symposium on Linda Bosniak’s The Citizen and the Alien and Ayelet Shachar’s The Birthright Lottery,” in Issues in Legal Scholarship (2011), and “Framing Cultural Difference: Immigrant Women and Discourses of Tradition,” in Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies(2011). Forthcoming work includes “Civility and the Alien,” in Civility, Legality and the Limits of Justice (Austin Sarat, ed., Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

Event date: Friday, November 01, 2013, from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: Room 108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place


November 1, 2013
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm