COURT RULES HINDU NOT A ‘WHITE PERSON’; Bars High Caste Native of India From Naturalization as an American Citizen.

NY Times, February 20, 1923
Photograph of Bhagat Singh Thind in his U.S. Army Uniform, from 1918. Thind enlisted in the U.S. Army, and trained at Camp Lewis, Washington.

The 1923 naturalization case, United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, has become a flashpoint for multiple analyses of South Asian racialization in the United States, at times positioned as evidence of Asian exclusion and eventual triumph and, at others, an attempt to “claim whiteness” and inclusion through leveraging racist and casteist ideologies. In One Century After Thind, a special issue of UC Press’s journal Ethnic Studies Review, a group of scholars led by Guest Editors Soniya Munshi and Linta Varghese revisit Thind and in doing so, take up broader questions regarding migration, citizenship, caste, racialization, and naturalization. This special issue is freely accessible for a limited time.

Table of Contents

One Century After Thind: An Introduction
Soniya Munshi, Linta Varghese

“Gilded Cages”: Race, Labor, Citizenship, and the Fabrication of the “Hindu” in the American West
Amrit Deol

The Afterlives of Thind: Denaturalizations and the Changing Legal Definitions of Whiteness
Janna E. Haider

Doctorji the Divorcé: Understanding Bhagat Singh Thind Through His Marriage to Inez Buelen
Philip Deslippe

US v. Thind and the Rhetorical Labors of “Where Are You From?”
Andrew Parayil Boge

Thind and Belonging across the Edges of Time
Stanley Thangaraj

Remembering Thind
Sherally Munshi

Caste-ing White Supremacy: Thind, Cisco, and the Politics of Belonging
Falu Bakrania

On Brown Blood: Race, Caste, and the Bhagat Singh Thind Case
Arjun Shankar

South Asian and Indigenous Experiences at the US–Mexico Border: From US v. Thind to the War on Terror
Soham Patel

You can purchase a print copy of this special issue by visiting the ESR purchase page, clicking on the shopcart link, and choosing the “VOL 46 ISS 1-2 (04/01/2023)” issue option at checkout.

Ethnic Studies Review–the official publication of the Association for Ethnic Studies–is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary forum on all aspects of ethnic studies, including social movements, migration, media and communication, as well as the variety of current issues important to our diverse communities. ESR publishes research articles, book reviews, and commentary, and also creative works by artists, educators, community leaders and organizations.

Editor: Natchee Barnd, Oregon State University