Lucy Salyer is an associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, who specializes in the social and legal history of immigration and citizenship in the United States after the Civil War. She is the author of Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law (University of North Carolina Press, 1995).
At Radcliffe, Salyer will explore the complex history of American naturalization policy during a period in which the United States emerged as one of the world's leading economic powers, an imperial force with the acquisition of insular territories and the most popular destination of millions of diverse immigrants. Such massive changes prompted debate about the nature of American national identity and, more specifically, about who could become a member of the polity and what rights and responsibilities membership entailed. Salyer will analyze that debate from the perspective of diverse groups in an effort to understand the citizenship policies that developed in American law.
Salyer earned her doctorate from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. She serves on the board of directors of the American Society for Legal History and on the editorial board of Law and History Review. She has received numerous awards, including the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Prize from the Immigration History Society in 1995 for the best book on immigration history. She currently holds the Arthur K. Whitcomb Professorship at the University of New Hampshire and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for 2003–2004