The Center for the Study of American Exile & Expatriation (CSAEE) is an independent, unaffiliated, nonprofit, nonpartisan, scholarly research center dedicated to the study of Americans who throughout history have made their lives abroad. CSAEE provides focused research and support for scholars engaged in the study of Americans outside of the United States. CSAEE also serves as a global point of coordination for a network of universities and public-facing institutions.
From the settlements of Jamestown and Massachusetts to the writings of the founding fathers to the musings of Hector Saint Jean de Crèvecœur in his Letters from an American Farmer (1782), there emerged the idea of American identity separate from Great Britain and the European continent.Read More
In the aftermath of the American Civil War, some ten to fifteen thousand former Confederates and other southerners fled the United States. Most feared retribution by the United States government, while others resented American reconstructionist policies. Many desired to reestablish slaved-based plantation economies in parts of Mexico and Central and South America, namely in British Honduras (modern day Belize) and Brazil.Read More
The period from the outbreak of World War I (1914) through the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) to allied victories over Nazi Germany and imperial Japan in World War II (1945) is best understood as a single protracted global war.Read More
Against the backdrop of the competition between the United States, the Soviet Union, and to a somewhat lesser extent, the People’s Republic of China for the “soul of mankind,” Americans of various backgrounds sought either direct involvement, abstention, or refuge from its wake.Read More
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 ushered in an era of globalization and expansive systems of international manufacturing and trade. This phenomenon, coupled with the rise of the digital and information economy, led to unprecedented levels of migration from the United States as new generations of Americans, free from the confines of offices and national boundaries, sought their fortunes abroad.Read More
James Arthur Baldwin (1924 – 1987) arrived in Paris, France in 1948 and lived there until 1957.
The non-fiction essays of James Baldwin are enjoying renewed interest against the backdrop of our contentious and polarized times. Social movements of various stripes have found resonance and prescience in works such as The Fire Next Time (1963) and No Name in the Street (1972).
For our inaugural Spotlight History, we explore the idea of James Baldwin as a flâneur through the lens of his expatriate novel, Giovanni’s Room (1957).Read More
The term “expatriate” has been extended backward to refer to Edith Wharton in the early twentieth century and beyond World War II to James Baldwin and Richard Wright. Encompassing everyone from the Henrys—James and Miller—to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, from White Bostonians and New Yorkers to Black Harlemites, from those escaping sexual and social convention to those fleeing prejudice and discrimination, expatriate writers, artists, and musicians have become a romanticized icon, haunting Parisian cafés where Hemingway’s Moveable Feast can still be seen, clutched by earnest would-be Ernests. – Nancy L. Green, Expatriation, Expatriates, and Expats: The American Transformation of a Concept (2009)
The terms at the heart of CSAEE’s project – exile and expatriation – are elastic, inexact, and fortunately for our purposes, accommodating. Of the artists, writers, and scholars who have endeavored to take on the challenge of unpacking the nomenclature of American leave-taking, few have done so with as much devotion, care, and precision as our inaugural Featured Scholar, Professor Nancy L. Green.Read More