Immigration, race and the history of U.S.
citizenship are just a few of the topics that will be discussed during a
summer institute presented by the Center for African American Studies for
secondary school teachers from Aug. 7-10.
“Race and Membership: A History of United States Citizenship,” has
pre-registered more than 20 social studies teachers, most hailing from
Connecticut. The four-day institute is open to all secondary school
educators (grades six through 12), support staff, curriculum specialists and school
The institute aims to foster a sustained and in-depth discussion among the
participants about how to teach United States history, how to bring many
different racial groups into the historical narrative, and how to connect
historical issues to contemporary problems in Connecticut’s secondary school
curriculum. Last year, the institute focused on the Civil Rights Movement.
Participants will examine some of the most recent scholarship on the history
of several different racial groups, including Blacks, Native Americans,
Asian Americans and Hispanics. With its focus on the theme of citizenship,
the Institute will draw connections between historical debates about what it
means to be American, how membership in the nation has been regulated, and
contemporary debates about immigration and Native sovereignty rights.
"The summer institutes are so much fun for the Wesleyan faculty,” says Renee
Romano, associate professor of History, African American Studies and
American Studies and the institute’s director. “The teachers we work with
are so dedicated and engaged and they are just a joy to work with."
The following Wesleyan faculty members are participating in this summer’s
institute: Demetrius Eudell, associate professor of History and African
American Studies, Gayle Pemberton, professor of English, African American
Studies and American Studies, Melanye Price, assistant professor of
government, Kehaulani Kauanui, assistant professor of American Studies and
Anthropology and Romano.
Besides engaging in activities and discussion with scholars, participants
will also be split into four curriculum development groups to translate
content into usable classroom lesson plans.
"It's helpful to meet with teachers from
different school districts and to discuss what effective materials and
techniques are being used in their classroom," says institute participant
Doris Duggins, an eighth grade teacher of U.S. History at Silas Deane Middle
School in Wethersfield, Conn. "The institute affords me the opportunity to
absorb information in the hopes of continually improving myself as a
Romano says it is particularly important to
explore the history of U.S. citizenship laws and practices given the current
political debates about immigration, border control, and how the nation
should deal with illegal immigrants.
“This institute will ask what it means to be a full member of the state, how
the United States government has sought to control, which people can be
considered a member of the nation, and how groups that have been excluded
from membership or who have faced restrictions on full citizenship rights
have fought for inclusion," Romano says.
“Race and Membership: The History and Politics of United States
Citizenship” is funded by Humanities in the Schools, a program of the
Connecticut Humanities Council, the We The People initiative of the National
Endowment for the Humanities and Wesleyan University.
For more information about the Summer Institute, please contact Professor
Renee Romano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-685-3579.