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Beatrice McKenzie

PhD, University of Oregon, 2006.  United States History.

MA, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1988.  U.S. Foreign Policy, International Economics.

BA, Blackburn College, 1982.  Social Sciences. 

As a historian, I am particularly interested in the ways legal structures have shaped categories of American citizens over time.  Before I joined the history faculty at Beloit College in 2006, I studied at the University of Oregon under Peggy Pascoe. My studies were informed by my earlier careers as a U.S. diplomat in embassies in Cape Verde, Uganda, and Hong Kong, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso. I enjoy teaching classes on the history of U.S. immigration and citizenship and I find the students at Beloit particularly open-minded and eager to learn.      
I'm currently writing a book on U.S. birthright citizenship law, "American at Birth:  U.S. Citizenship in Nation and Empire, 1868-1934." Birthright citizenship has two components:  children are citizens at birth if born on U.S. soil or if born to a U.S. citizen overseas.  My book examines the ways in which U.S. birthright citizenship law, thought exceptionally liberal and universal, has been used throughout U.S. history to create distinct categories of citizens based on the child or parent's race and/or gender.       

My husband, two children and I live in Madison, Wisconsin.