From statehood until the 1970 census, Germans constituted Iowa’s largest immigrant group, and the same was true throughout much of the Midwest. “German Iowa and the Global Midwest” explored the story of German immigration, German American communities, and anti-German xenophobia in Iowa and the Midwest. Originally conceived to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entry to World War I and attendant actions against German Americans, the project was intended to spark discussion about immigration and anti-immigrant sentiment today. The xenophobia of the 2016 presidential campaign and the early stages of the Trump presidency made these discussions yet timelier—while also deepening the risks of a counter-narrative heroizing earlier generations of European immigrants as a foil to negative portrayals of more recent immigrants from other locations.

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