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The Racial and Gender Dynamics of Being "Foreign" in America

When Oct 09, 2006
from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library
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When: Oct 09, 2006 from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where: Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library

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Assistant Professor, Departments of Women's Studies and African and African American Studies, Penn State University

Cassandra Veney is an Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and African and African American Studies at Penn State University. Dr. Veney’s prime areas of research and expertise are in Comparative Politics, International Relations, Refugee Studies and Human Rights. Her recent publications include "The Ties That Bind: The Historic African Diaspora and Africa" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Internally Displaced Women in Liberia and Uganda." Dr. Veney is the co-author of two books, Leisure in Urban Africa and Women in African Studies: Scholarly Publishing. She has just completed a book entitled Forced Migration in Eastern Africa: Structural Adjustment, Democratization, and Refugees which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan Press. She holds a Master's degree in African Studies from Howard and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri—Columbia.

The Racial and Gender Dynamics of Being "Foreign" in America

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Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, domestic and foreign policy makers, the media, and the American public have been preoccupied with appending, rounding up, and detaining all of those who are deemed to be foreign, alien, and illegal in the quest to win the war on terrorism. September 11th is directly connected to the increased interest, frustration, and efforts to make our borders safe (read the Mexican border) from the hordes of "aliens" who sneak across or attempt to cross the border illegally on a daily basis. Illegal immigrants or "aliens" are constantly portrayed as Mexicans without taking into consideration not only are there other nationals who enter the country illegally, but thousands of Mexicans enter the country legally. Does anyone even consider the thousands of Canadians and Europeans who enter the country without proper documentation? And still, there are thousands of "Black" migrants from the Caribbean and Africa who somehow elude officials and enter the country illegally. The question of who is a migrant and who is not was raised again during Hurricane Katrina when African American citizens were called refugees by the media. If the media and the public confuse the difference between bona fide citizens and refugees, it makes an analysis, along gender and race lines, of the Black immigrants timely and useful if an ethical and fair immigration policy is to be crafted for all would-be immigrants.