December 06, 2017
At a time when immigration is a hot-button political issue in the U.S., it is important for us to remember that the Statue of Liberty is herself an immigrant, and that the majestic welcome she offers the world’s “huddled masses” symbolizes what is best about America. So says scholar Edward Berenson, who will explore immigration’s history in the United States in an upcoming lecture.
Berenson will present “The Statue of Liberty: Symbol of Global America” at the University of New England Center for Global Humanities on Monday December 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion on the UNE Portland Campus.
The lecture will tell the story of the statue’s creation by French admirers of American liberty, its early life as a monument to the abolition of slavery, and its evolution to become a symbol of the warm embrace the United States offers immigrants. Despite this rosy symbolism, as Berenson will explain, immigration has often been a controversial topic in the U.S., just as it is today.
A professor of history at New York University and director of NYU’s Institute of French Studies, Berenson also serves as a senior fellow at New York’s National September 11 Memorial and Museum. He is a cultural historian specializing in the history of modern France and its empire, with additional interests in the history of Britain, the British Empire, and the United States. He is the author or editor of seven books. In 1999, Berenson received the American Historical Association’s “Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award,” after earlier winning UCLA’s “Distinguished Teaching Award.” In 2006, French President Jacques Chirac decorated him as Knight in the Order of Merit.
This is the fifth lecture of the 2017-2018 series for the Center for Global Humanities. In total, nine scholars will visit this academic year, presenting lectures that are free, open to the public, and streamed live online.
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions