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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Diaspora: An Introduction

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Walking Trail

Kevin Kenny
Professor of History, Boston College

Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Time: 12:00-1:15pm
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Rd

Abstract: The concept of diaspora is increasingly popular in academic, political, and cultural usage. But what does it mean? This talk examines the origins of diaspora as a concept, its changing meanings over time, its current popularity, and its strengths and limitations, with examples drawn from Jewish, African, Irish, and Asian history.


Kevin Kenny is Professor of History at Boston College, where he specializes in the history of migration. He teaches courses on American immigration history and on global migration and diaspora. He is author of Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn’s Holy Experiment (Oxford University Press, 2009), The American Irish: A History (Longman, 2000), and Making Sense of the Molly Maguires (Oxford University Press, 1998); and contributing editor of Ireland and the British Empire (Oxford University Press, 2004). Professor Kenny is currently working on Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2013).