Author: Helena Ribeiro
Helena Ribeiro is a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and an adjunct professor in New York City. She is currently working on her dissertation, "On the Contrary: Edgar Allan Poe, H. L. Mencken, Ezra Pound and the Aesthetics of American Belligerence."

On September 17th, the day Occupy Wall Street commenced, I spent my morning in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, completing the last step of the naturalization process: the oath of citizenship. This oath is not especially poetic, but it is important. Immigrants are repeatedly told that they will not become Americans until they have collectively uttered the oath, which includes pledging to take up arms if asked to do so. (More…)