The United States is commonly described as a nation of immigrants or as a melting pot of racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. In celebrating American pluralism, we rarely think about its origins or its contested history. This seminar will examine the origins of cultural pluralism in the early twentieth century and will consider the many contested meanings of pluralism at the dawn of the twentieth century. Our readings, primary sources dating from the 1880s to the 1910s, speak directly to the particular challenges of racial and ethnic pluralism during a period of heightened racism and nativism in the United States.
Seminar led by Daniel Greene, Newberry Library