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Brendan A. Shanahan

Brendan A. Shanahan

Brendan A. Shanahan

Interdisciplinary Immigration Workshop member

Postdoctoral Associate
History
Yale University

Bio: I am a scholar of the 19th and 20th centuries, my research centering on the socio-legal development of American immigration and citizenship policy. My dissertation, "Making Modern American Citizenship: Citizens, Aliens, and Rights, 1865-1965," examines how political and economic "rights of citizenship" grew in number and breadth (such as voting, blue-collar public employment, and access to professional licenses) as they were increasingly denied to noncitizens. It explores how policymakers contested the language of (exclusive) "citizenship rights" and how administrators and noncitizens alike learned - often on the fly - about matters of citizenship and how much citizenship could matter. It concludes with a case study of U.S.-born marital expatriates (women who lost citizenship upon marriage to noncitizen men) to understand how hundreds of thousands of women of diverse backgrounds experienced alienage differently and fought to reclaim their birthright. I filed my dissertation in June 2018 and I am currently revising my manuscript for publication. More broadly, my research interests include comparative 19th- and 20th-century immigration and citizenship history (both within the U.S. context and between the United States and Canada); U.S. legal, policy, and political history; and the history of women, gender, and sexuality in North America.

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