Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

Talk: "The New Asylum-Seekers," by María Cristina García, Cornell University (co-sponsorship with LLILAS Benson)

Fri, September 12, 2014 | GAR 1.102

12:00 PM - 1:30 AM

Latin American Speaker Series presents:

"The New Asylum-Seekers"

by María Cristina García
Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies
Professor, Department of History
Cornell University
Faculty web page:

María Cristina García (Ph.D., UT Austin, 1990) studies refugees, immigrants, exiles, and transnationals in the Americas. Her book Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959-1994 (University of California Press, 1996) examined the migration of Cubans to the United States after Fidel Castro took power in 1959. It investigated how these Cold war migrants--the beneficiaries of one of the most generous immigration policies and assistance programs in US immigration history--became a powerful economic and political presence in the United States, influencing foreign policy and electoral outcomes, reshaping the cultural landscape of the South, and ultimately reinterpreting what it means to assimilate in U.S. society.

In Seeking Refuge: Central American Immigration to Mexico, the United States, and Canada (University of California Press, 2006), Dr. García presents a study of the individuals, groups, and organizations that responded to the Central American refugee crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and helped shape refugee policies throughout North America.  Collectively these domestic and transnational advocacy networks collected testimonies, documented the abuses of states, re-framed national debates about immigration, pressured for changes in policy, and ultimately provided a voice for the displaced and the excluded.  

While Professor García considers herself primarily a historian of 20th century U.S. history, her interest in mobile populations has increasingly blurred the geographic borders of her work. She holds a joint appointment with the Latino Studies Program at Cornell, and has teaching affiliations with American Studies and Latin American Studies. She served on the Content Advisory Panel for the PBS series Latino-Americans.  She is currently completing a new book project, a study of refugee and asylum policy in the United States since the end of the Cold War.

Free and open to the public. No RSVP needed.

Sponsored by: LLILAS Benson; Department of History; Institute for Historical Studies

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