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Emily Pope-Obeda portrait

Emily Pope-Obeda

Assistant Professor

Room 349 - Maginnes Hall

Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2016


B.A., History and American Studies, Brandeis University, 2009

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Additional Interests

  • Late 19th and 20th Century U.S. History
  • Migration History
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • U.S. and the World
  • Labor and Working-Class History

Research Statement

Emily Pope-Obeda’s research and teaching interests on immigration and immigration control, race and ethnicity, and labor and working-class history. She is currently working on her first book manuscript, which focuses on the global dimensions of American deportation practice in the interwar period. Pope-Obeda has published on transnational deportation policy, statelessness, the first Red Scare, and migration and affect. Her scholarship seeks to illuminate the relationship between deportation, the early 20th century state, domestic and global racial regimes, and transnational practices of social control. In her newest research, Pope-Obeda is exploring anti-Blackness in immigration enforcement throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries.


Emily Pope-Obeda is originally from Chicago. She arrived at Lehigh University in 2019. After receiving her PhD at the University of Illinois, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University and a lecturer in the History & Literature program at Harvard University.

“’Let Them Deport Me, I will Come Back to Him Again’: Romance, Affective Relations, and the U.S. Deportation Regime, 1919-1935” in Emotional Landscapes: Love, Gender, and Migration, eds. Marcelo Borges, Sonia Cancian, and Linda Reeder (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2021), pp. 112-130.

“The Second Exchange: Ottoman Greeks and the American Deportation State during the 1930s,” with Chris Gratien, Journal of Migration History Vol. 6, No. 1 (February 2020), pp. 104-128. 

“Expelling the Foreign-Born Menace: Immigrant Dissent, the Early Deportation State, and the First American Red Scare,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (January 2019), pp. 32-55.

“Ottoman Migrants, U.S. Deportation Law, and Statelessness during the Interwar Era,” with Chris Gratien, Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies (December 2018), pp. 105-139.

“National Expulsions in a Transnational World: The Global Dimensions of American Deportation Practice, 1920-1935,” Deportation in the Americas: Histories of Exclusion, Kenyon Zimmer and Christina Salinas, editors, Texas A&M Press (June 2018), pp. 18-49.


Since arriving at Lehigh, Emily Pope-Obeda has taught courses on the History of American Immigration, The United States since 1941, The U.S. and the World since 1898, Prisons and Policing in Modern American History, and America in the 1960s. 

HIST 442- Graduate Readings in 20th Century U.S. History
HIST 043- The United States Since 1941  
HIST 137- Coming to America: Global Migration and Multiethnic America 
HIST 090- Prisons and Policing in Modern American History                        
HIST 395- The U.S. and the World since 1898        
HIST 090- America in the 1960s