Los Desconocidos Sin Voces: Liminal Lives in the U.S.A. Open Access

Levinson, Susan Danielle (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/765371795?locale=en


This thesis will explore the ways in which the undocumented immigrants currently detained in facilities such as the Stewart Detention Center exist both metaphorically (with regards to their marginalized positions as non-citizens) and literally (physically) in a liminal space in American society. In this space, they are subjected to inhumane living conditions, deprived of their fundamental human rights, and robbed of their humanity. Figuratively, this inhumane, undemocratic - and arguably unconstitutional - system functions as a microcosm of the way our government sanctions the mistreatment and/or ignorance of the plights of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The literal situating of undocumented immigrants in remote areas all over the country (such as Lumpkin, GA) exemplifies how they are other-ed in our society; they are considered secondary or superfluous to a national identity that is ironically in a liminal state itself.

Table of Contents

PART I: The Rhetoric of "American" Identity and Belonging (15th-18th century)

The Stewart Detention Center
Thesis Overview
Chapter Summaries

CHAPTER 1: Identity and Agency in Colonial America
LETTER #1: In The Words of an Inmate at the Stewart Detention Center
CHAPTER 2: Early U.S. American and the Emergence of Americanism
LETTER #2: In The Words of an Inmate at the Stewart Detention Center

PART II: The Rhetoric of "American" Identity and Belonging (19th-21st century)

CHAPTER 3: A History of Immigration and Exclusion: The Changing Rhetoric of American Identity in the Face of Immigration
The "Open Doors" Era: From 1776-1882
The Era of Regulation: From 1882-1924
Immigration Policy in the Wake of the Civil Rights Movement: From 1965-1986

CHAPTER 4: The New Latinos of the 1980s: Modern Immigration Rhetoric: From 1986 - Present
LETTER #3: In The Words of an Inmate at the Stewart Detention Center
CHAPTER 5: Detention Centers As Liminal Spaces in Modern U.S. Society
The Rise of Private Prisons Since 9/11
Life Without Status in a U.S. Detention Center
Off the Radar In U.S. Society


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