Middlebury

MiddLab

States in Transition

Researchers have explored economic and social aspects of migration. However, legal considerations in migrant decision making and sending communities have been largely ignored. This thesis focuses on perceptions of U.S. immigration laws in Santa Rosa, Michoacán—a small community in central Mexico. I show how migration from Santa Rosa to the United States has been historically constructed as necessary and ethical. I also reveal that people in Santa Rosa expect and are waiting for another amnesty for undocumented workers in the United States. I highlight the role of the Bracero Program (1942-1964) and the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act in the construction of these beliefs, as policies that encouraged and then rewarded illegal entry to the United States. I then suggest that U.S. immigration policy has established a social contract, complete with benefits and obligations, between the people of Santa Rosa and the U.S. state.

People

Kate Bass ’11.5
Researcher

David Stoll
Professor of Anthropology & First ReaderMarcos Lopez
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Sociology & Second Reader

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This is a linguistic survey of the written language used by protesters in the 2011 demonstrations in Egypt. The hypothesis is that Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA), Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and English are all used for specific purposes in specific contexts. As such, the literal messages across these three categories may differ, as they are aimed at different audiences. In addition, the case will be made that the specific linguistic situation of Arabic (especially the factors of Diglossia and English dominance as a global language that are not paralleled in other linguistic communities undergoing demonstrations. Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, and online blogs of the protesters will be the major sources of material. The Nile Valley variants will be the primary focus.

People

Eric Bartolotti
Researcher

Nader Morkus
Sponsor & Visiting Assistant Professor

Samuel Liebhaber
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Arabic

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A MiddLab Project

The Raja of Sattara and British Power in 19th Century India

Learn more about History and South Asian Studies at Middlebury College.

One way of understanding British power in India is by looking at British policies in individual states. Beginning in 1818, the state of Sattara was ruled by an Indian prince called a Raja, who was directly put into power by the East India Company. Two decades later, the East India Company came into the possession of documents which questioned the Raja’s allegiance to the Company, British troops within India, and even Great Britain itself. Even with the knowledge that these documents were falsified, however, the British deposed the Raja of Sattara after an insufficient and politicized investigation into his supposed crimes. An examination of the fall of the Raja provides a glimpse into British power in India.

People

Samuel Hurt
Researcher

Ian Barrow
Sponsor and Professor of History

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