Sharing this gorgeous contribution by Annie Fukushima from my new project 24 hour social studies! Visit at!


by Annie Isabel Fukushima

Here is a lecture I gave drawing upon Mae Ngai’s work, “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America” – “What is an American? Genocide, Relocation, Citizenship and Making of the ‘Illegal’“ (September 23, 2016) at the University of Utah. The class: 100 students, majority students of color with many who have migrant narratives in their own histories and/or their family histories. It was important that we had a conversation about the making of the term “illegal.” Ngai’s work has been seminal for understanding the legal construction of citizenship and the “illegal.“

During the election period, living in a conservative state, where migrant communities are an integral part of the Utah context, discussing migration is ever important.

Lessons learned:

1. The term “illegal” has so much history, that even when you trouble it for students, they may still find it challenging…

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