Historians to discuss hot-button issues at immigration panel

Immigration is one of the most emotional and divisive issues in contemporary politics. But what relationship does immigration have with the American West, and what can an improved knowledge of the complicated history behind immigration bring to current public discourse?

Event flyerTo shed some light onto these issues, the Public Lands History Center, a special unit of the CSU History Department, has organized a panel discussion on Tuesday, April 10, that brings together historians from various specialties, including Museum Studies, Environmental History, the History of Public Lands, and even Architectural History. Presenters will share their thoughts and experiences researching and interpreting immigration and other histories of human movement.

“Debates over immigration of all kinds have flared in recent years, raising controversy about national inclusivity; the rights and obligations of citizenship; security and justice; and federal and local authority,” said CSU Professor of History Ruth Alexander, moderator of the upcoming panel. “We hope in this panel to show that immigration must also be examined within its specific cultural, material, and environmental contexts.”

A timely topic

Recent events on CSU’s campus highlight just how intense and polarizing debates over immigration have become across the entire political spectrum. In early March, a white supremacist hate group posted fliers and racist anti-immigration messages on campus. In response, over 1,000 students and faculty headed into the snowy weather to call for campus unity at the CSUnite March on March 29.

This panel is a timely event that speaks to one of the foremost concerns on campus and in the Fort Collins community, and offers historical context and perspectives on immigration as a phenomenon that has been a constant force for change in the history of the American West. The panel will be held on April 10 in the Grey Rock Room at Lory Student Center from 4 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome to attend.