The Ellis Island Snow Globe

The Ellis Island Snow Globe

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In The Ellis Island Snow Globe, Erica Rand, author of the smart and entertaining book Barbiea€™s Queer Accessories, takes readers on an unconventional tour of Ellis Island, the migration station turned heritage museum, and its neighbor, the Statue of Liberty. By pausing to reflect on what is and is not on display at these two iconic national monuments, Rand focuses attention on whose heritage is honored and whose obscured. She also reveals the shifting connections between sex, money, material products, and ideas of the nation in everything from the ostensible father-mother-child configuration on an Ellis Island golf ball purchased at the gift shop to the multi-million dollar July 4, 1986 Liberty Weekend extravaganza celebrating the Statuea€™s centennial just days after the Supreme Courta€™s un-Libertylike decision upholding the antisodomy laws challenged in Bowers v. Hardwick. Rand notes that portrayals of the Statue of Liberty as a beacon for immigrants tend to suppress the Statuea€™s connections to people brought to this country by force. She examines what happened to migrants at Ellis Island whose bodies did not match the gender suggested by the clothing they wore. In light of contemporary ideas about safety and security, she examines the a€œDecide an Immigranta€™s Fatea€ program, which has visitors to Ellis Island act as a 1910 board of inspectors hearing the appeal of an immigrant about to be excluded from the country. Rand is a witty, insightful, and open-minded tour guide, able to synthesize numerous diverse ideasa€”about tourism, immigration history, sexuality, race, ethnicity, commodity culture, and global capitalisma€”and to candidly convey her delight in her Ellis Island snow globe. And pen. And lighter. And back scratcher. And golf ball. And glittery pink key chain.Although I do not record extensive interviews in this book, nake use of oral commentary. Isolated research ... (I sidestep here the question about how much one can learn about oneself this way.) My first visit to Ellis ... Just knowing in advance where to find the good bathrooms and how 1 it would cost to buy lunch set my days apart. I took many tours ... model of the administration building?); and go backanbsp;...

Title:The Ellis Island Snow Globe
Author:Erica Rand
Publisher:Duke University Press - 2005-08-17


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