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Immigration, Race and Citizenship: Across the Disciplines

Immigration, Race, and Citizenship is an honors seminar with a study tour to New York City!

No phenomenon has helped to define our modern global era more than the migration of people across national borders.  And no nation-state has been more central to the realities and imaginations of the “immigrant experience” than the United States.

This multidisciplinary seminar explores the transnational and domestic dimensions of immigration – including the related themes of race and citizenship-- in U.S. and international history from the eighteenth century through today.  Though focused primarily on the U.S., this course is as globally oriented as the lives of the people we examine.  We will systematically interrogate course themes from a diversity of academic disciplines and non-academic vocations.  These include history, law, political science, literature, sociology, journalism, cinema, grass-roots activism, and tourism.  The course, then, has two intertwined goals:

1)      to gain an empirical and theoretical understanding of immigration, race, and citizenship, and

2)      to explore how knowledge is produced – and how we “consume” it -- through a variety of methodologies, both from within the academy and beyond it.  We will ask ourselves “what difference does one particular approach to our topic make versus another?  How might this apply even beyond our course themes?”

During the semester, we will explore immigration in Cincinnati through taking a German immigrant walking tour of Over the Rhine as well as visiting the Freedom Center.  At the end of the semester, we will travel to New York City, long a critically important global and national hub for the immigrant experience.  We will dive into a range of lively phenomena central to our course themes, including different culinary cultures; public policy; the arts; community mobilization; nongovernmental advocacy; religion; and the evolving landscapes of neighborhoods that successive waves of immigrants have shaped.

Tentative Itinerary (subject to change)
Travel Dates: Sunday, April 27th* - Friday, May 2nd

Day One: Hello New York! Students Arrive
Arrive at Broadway Hotel and Hostel
Historical Walking Tour by Prof. Porter (West Greenwich Village)
Dinner & Jazz (Arturo’s Pizzeria)

Day Two: Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy
Walking/Eating Tour (Lower E Side/China Town/Little Italy)
Tenement Museum
Museum at Eldridge Street
Group Dinner (Havana Alma De Cuba)

Day Three: Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty, African Burial Ground
Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty
Castle Clinton
Independent Cultural Visits
Optional Group Dinner

Day Four:
Free time to Explore NYC
Walking Tour (Harlem)
Group Dinner (Amy Ruth’s, soul food)
Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater

Day Five:
Group Projects (inc lunch)
Free Time to Explore NYC
Group Dinner (Meskel Ethiopian)

Day Six:
Return to Cincinnati

*While April 27th is after the closing date for campus housing, you can apply to stay in housing beyond the closing date (Sat., April 26).  There is an associated cost for staying beyond the closing date.

Course Details:

     •  Course number is HIST3096

     •  The class will meet on Tuesdays from 3:15pm - 6:20pm.

     •  Course Attributes: H

     •  BoK: DC, HP

     •  Credit hours: 3

     •  Honors Seminar

Course Expectations

Students are expected to meet the instructor's academic and behavioral expectations during the class time leading up to the travel component. Students who do not meet academic and/or behavioral expectations will not be permitted to travel. Students in this situation will not receive a refund.


Applications are currently closed.

Applicants will be contacted for an interview with the course professor, Dr. Steven Porter, at the beginning of fall semester.

UC undergraduates who are not in the University Honors Program are welcome and encouraged to apply to participate, provided the student has a cumulative university GPA of 3.4 or above. Graduate students are not eligible to enroll. Although priority is given to University Honors students, we are often able to offer spaces to other students as well.

A waiting list will be maintained.


Total expected cost to be paid to UC is $1100. The actual cost per person for UC is $1700, but this will be offset by a $600 grant from University Honors, making the actual total expected cost $1100. All participants will receive the grant from UHP.

Costs will include airfare, accommodations, group dinners, tours and guides, and entrance fees.

Costs do not include some lunches and dinners, tips, ground transportation, any additional tours that you choose to go on, and other personal expenses (such as souvenirs).


Not every health insurance covers you in every state.You are encouraged to talk with your health insurance provider to understand the type of coverage you have in New York.

Contact course instructor Dr. Steven Porter or André Durham of the University Honors Program.