Serendipity Talk: You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers

We think of our citizenship as immutable—as much a part of our identity as our height or eye color. But as law professor Amanda Frost has discovered, the US government regularly revoked citizenship to suppress dissent and deny civil rights to all considered “un-American.” Women who married noncitizens, persecuted racial groups, labor leaders, and political activists were all stripped of their citizenship, and sometimes deported, by a government who denied their membership in “We the People.” Drawing on the narratives of those who lost their citizenship and fought to get it back, Frost will describe a hidden history of discrimination and xenophobia that continues to this day.

Amanda Frost is the Bronfman Distinguished Professor Law and Government at American University, where she writes and teaches in the fields of constitutional, immigration, and citizenship law. Her recently-published book You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers was listed by the New York Times book review as a “New & Noteworthy” book. (The book is available for purchase here). In addition to her academic writing, she frequently publishes in mainstream publications such as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate, and The American Prospect. She is a regular columnist for SCOTUSblog, the leading blog covering the U.S. Supreme Court. 

No registration is required. The Zoom link will be e-mailed to all those subscribed to the OLLI newsletter the morning of the talk. If you do not receive the newsletter and would like to attend, please e-mail olli@american.edu that morning.