Guest Lecture

The Great American Melting Pot?: Assimilation and Ethnic Identity in the United States

Event Information

  • Friday, December 4, 2020
  • Adam-Kuckhoff-Straße 35, Room 2.05
  • 06108 Halle (Saale)

The Great American Melting Pot?: Assimilation and Ethnic Identity in the United States

Dr. Christina A. Ziegler-McPherson (Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven)

The United States has long described itself as a “Melting Pot,” a nation created by the blending of many people from around the world. But few people are clear about what they mean when they use this term, and the phrase has often been controversial and rejected as being either inaccurate or culturally offensive and oppressive. What do we mean when we say, “America or the United States is a melting pot”? Where did this phrase come from and how has it changed over time? Is this term even accurate in describing American society and immigration history? Using examples from the German immigrant community in New York City in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, this talk argues that the U.S. has experienced a type of Melting Pot – for the descendants of white European immigrants, but ethno-racial and religious diversity have persisted.

Dr. Christina A. Ziegler-McPherson is an American historian of migration and museum curator now based in Bremen. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of four books and several articles, and held a Fulbright Senior Scholar fellowship at the University of Bremen in 2014-2015. She is currently a research scientist and the coordinator of the Leibniz Gemeinschaft project, ‘Eine Welt in Bewegung’ at the Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven.

This talk will take place online via MLUConf from 10:30am-noon. Everyone interested is welcome to attend. Please click here to access the online lecture.