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Nancy Foner

Distinguished Professor Emerita of Anthropology

Nancy Foner, a member of the anthropology faculty at Purchase College from 1973 to 2004, was honored with the SUNY-wide Distinguished Professor rank in 2003–04. Since 2004, she has been a Distinguished Professor of sociology at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Her current work focuses on the comparative study of immigration—comparing immigration today with earlier periods in the United States, the immigrant experience in various American gateway cities, and immigrant minorities in the United States and Europe. She has written extensively on immigration to New York City, past and present, as well as Jamaican migration to New York and London, especially on issues of race and ethnicity, gender, and family dynamics.

Foner is the author or editor of 18 books—among them, From Ellis Island to JFK: New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration (Yale University Press, 2000, winner of the 2000 Theodore Saloutos Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society); In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration (NYU Press, 2005, Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2006); Not Just Black and White: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States  (edited with George Fredrickson, Russell Sage Foundation, 2004, Honorable Mention, Thomas and Znaniecki Distinguished Book Award of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association); One Out of Three: Immigrant New York in the  Twenty-First Century (Columbia University Press, 2013); New York and Amsterdam: Immigration and the New Urban Landscape (edited with Jan Rath, Jan Willem Duyvendak, and Rogier van Reekum, NYU Press, 2014); and Islands in the City: West Indian Migration to New York (University of California Press, 2001).  

Her most recent books are Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe (co-authored with Richard Alba, Princeton University Press, 2015) and Fear, Anxiety, and National Identity: Immigration and Belonging in North America and Western Europe (edited with Patrick Simon, Russell Sage Foundation, 2015).  Foner is also the author of more than 100 articles and book chapters.

A former chair of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association, she is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Distinguished Career Award from the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association in 2010, and the inaugural Senior Scholar Award from the Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology in 2016. In 2011, she was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

To learn more about Nancy Foner, visit her website at Hunter College: