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UNC ECL Critical Speaker Series: Stephanie DeGooyer Before Borders Panel Commentary
November 15, 2022 @ 4:30 pm
On Tuesday, November 15, at 4:30 PM in Donovan Lounge (Greenlaw 223), UNC ECL will host a launch event for Dr. Stephanie DeGooyer’s first book, Before Borders: A Legal and Literary History of Naturalization (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022). Dr. Charlotte Sussman (Duke) will moderate. Though the event is open to everyone in the department, Dr. DeGooyer has extended a special invitation to ECL grad students and has asked our own Meleena Gil and Chris Catanese to contribute to the launch.
From Johns Hopkins UP:
Has naturalization always meant assimilation and acculturation? In Before Borders, Stephanie DeGooyer returns to the long eighteenth century to recover a legal fiction that was originally designed to liberalize and expand national membership. In the early modern period, naturalization invented new bonds of belonging against a traditional understanding of allegiance as perpetual and sacrosanct. Today, the radical legacy of naturalization is that people without biological or territorial attachments to a nation still have a path to pursue citizenship. But naturalization also conceptualized national belonging as a privilege that could be stripped and taken away, thus allowing for the rise of denaturalization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Remembering the Enlightenment-era history of naturalization, this book recasts both the foundations of immigration law and the link between literature and nationalism.