Katherine Benton-Cohen, professor of history at Georgetown University and author of Inventing the Immigration Problem: The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy, will discuss Pennsylvania’s place in American immigration history, revealing Johnstown’s pivotal role in the largest and most important study of the nation’s immigrants—one that shaped more than four decades of U.S. policy.
This event is part of the College of the Liberal Arts’ new theme, Moments of Change: Immigration, Identity, and Citizenship. Through spring 2025, the college will examine mass migration and highlight the ongoing work of students, faculty, staff, and alumni in that regard. The new theme marks the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Johnson-Reed Act, a restrictive immigration law. The goal of the theme is to explore the parallels and differences between "then" (100 years ago) and "now"—both in the United States and around the world—exploring how the immigration experience and our responses to immigration have changed over the last century.