Becoming American: A Documentary Film & Discussion Series

  • Overview

    Our nation’s diverse history stems from millions of people gaining citizenship through immigration. Becoming American is a six-week documentary film and discussion series that explores the history and impact of immigration in the United States. The films, selected by preeminent film, immigration, and American history scholars, represent a selection of diverse immigration experiences drawn from the past and present. These films will cover European immigration of the 19th century, immigrants facing prejudice, the economic realities of immigration, how immigrants view and contribute to American pop culture, and more.

    Following the screenings, we’ll discuss themes and topics brought up during the films. Discussions will be led by the series scholar/moderator, Grand View history professor Kevin Gannon, Ph.D. – also known as @TheTattooedProf on Twitter. The series is free and open to the public. No registration is required, and you may come to any or all the programs. The series is made possible by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities. You can find more information about the series at This program is being provided in partnership with the Des Moines Film Society, ACLU Iowa, and Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors.