Title“The path to national suicide”
NameMcNulty, Stephen (author), Carruthers, Susan (chair), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
Emigration and immigration law--United States--History--20th century,
Children of illegal aliens--United States--History--20th century,
DescriptionThis thesis is driven by a belief that the myriad discourses and mechanisms of control containing U.S. birthright citizenship are fundamentally underwritten by a logic that is constantly attentive to the future. Mindful of this, I will show in this project that a national legal, political, and cultural fixation on reproductivity and children, a mania only exaggerated when concerning migrants, figures citizenship as an educatory and exclusive process, constantly in flux and always precariously held. Futurity, then, serves not only as an analytic tool to explicate citizenship, but an element fundamental to its very contemporary and historical existence. I first seek to chart the rhetorical exploitation of ideologies of gender and childhood and their historical interactions with citizenship‘s cultural, political, and legal discourses that have emerged and re-emerged as successful vehicles to attack and racialize domestic and immigrant populations. Second, I will demonstrate why birthright citizenship, as a coherent linguistic and political container, seems now to hold so much salience as a cultural and political call to arms, productive to, and informed by, formations of gender, race, and nation. To explicate these claims I will trace the historical genealogies seminal to contemporary dominant modes of immigration discourse, and in doing so evince a lineage resulting in the linguistic codification of future-oriented migrant exclusion in the “birth tourist” and “anchor baby.” “Birth tourists” and “anchor babies,” however, do not merely represent benign nomenclatures, but active discursive productions informed by hegemonies of gendered anti-migrant sentiment and perpetuated as dynamic vehicles of continued exclusion. These anxious and precarious futures detailed herein have profound historical affects, producing identities, dividing communities, and shaping lives.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Stephen McNulty
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.