Immigration Reading Group
In Spring 2017, the Center launched an immigration reading group to promote an understanding of the multiple experiences of immigrants. This informal reading group will meet a few times during the semester to discuss novels featuring immigrant characters and the American immigrant experience. This past semester, the reading group was led by Dr. Robert Chiles of the UMD Department of History.
Please see below for our past books. We hope you will join us in the spring!
*Due to campus restrictions on in-person events, this event has been postponed until Fall 2020*
Behold the Dreamers: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue, April 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm, 2110 Taliaferro Hall
Behold the Dreamers details the experiences of two New York City families during the 2008 financial crisis: an immigrant family from Cameroon, the Jonga family, and their wealthy employers, the Edwards family. Mbue explores the precarity of the immigrant experience, and with compassion and wit examines the "American Dream."
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario, November 13, 2019 at 3:30pm, 2110 Taliaferro Hall
Enrique's Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers.
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, February 27, 2019 at 4:00pm, 2110 Taliaferro Hall
The Jungle follows the story of Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite, who have recently settled in Chicago from their home country of Lithuania. Now residing in Packington, the center of Lithuanian immigration and Chicago's meatpacking district, the couple struggle to thrive with the dangerous conditions, poor economic climate, and political corruption prevalent in the neighborhood. What continues to push them forward is their faith in the American Dream.
Christ in Concrete by Pietro di Donato, November 28, 5:00pm, 2110 Taliaferro Hall
With Special Guest Dr. David Sicilia!
Christ in Concrete is a 1939 novel about Italian-American construction workers. Inspired by the death of the author's father in a construction accident on Good Friday in 1923, the book tells the story of a bricklayer and his struggle to provide a home for his family.
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen, October 10, 4:00pm, 2110 Taliaferro Hall
In Fall 2018, we discussed The Refugees, this year's University of Maryland First Year Book. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, this collection of short stories about displacement and exile follows the hopes and expectations of people migrating from Vietnam to the United States.