Dr. Megan Morrisey recently received a grant to participate in summer research on Latin@ immigration and border crossing. Below, Dr. Morrissey describes her research and process:
Texas is often at the center of debates about immigration, especially as such conversations relate to Latin@ immigration and border crossing. In spite of the high profile that Texas has relative to Latin@ immigration, the only immigration museum located in Galveston Island, celebrates maritime immigration. This led me to wonder how Latin@ immigration was talked about and conceptualized in Texas and the ways in which Texas' unique history with Mexico and the U.S might inform this treatment. Specifically, I want to explore the ways that Texas remembers its immigration history and what the implications of such remembrances are, relative to race, ethnicity, and American identity.
To engage these questions, I am visiting three sites. First, I visited the Bullock History Museum in Austin to begin tracing the ways that Latin@s have been understood and represented in discourses of Texas/U.S. American identity. Next, in August, I plan to visit the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston and attend the Galveston Heritage Festival to see how Texas celebrates, remembers and names immigration, and finally, I will round this out with a trip to visit the traveling exhibit called "The Forgotten Gateway" which presents Galveston Island as a primary immigration port for U.S. Maritime immigration. I hope that visiting each of these three locations and exploring the language that is used to mark U.S. Citizenship (and the transitional categories of immigrants that may eventually transition into full recognition by the U.S. Government) will allow me to theorize the how national inclusions/exclusions are constructed, and what the implications of this are for contemporary immigration debates.
Congratulations, Dr. Morrissey!