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Stanley Kwok Lau and Dora Wong Lau Distinguished Guest Lecture featuring Mae Ngai (Columbia University)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
UCLA Northwest Campus Auditorium
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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Emma Lazarus called America the "mother of exiles" in her poem, "The New Colossus," which graces the Statue of Liberty. This lecture examines the enduring idea of America as a land of hope and refuge for the persecuted and oppressed. It goes beyond the familiar narratives of the Puritan settlers and the Statue of Liberty to think about how the idea of asylum has historically justified and obscured nation-building and racial agendas. It will compare the politics surrounding cold war refugees from Europe, China, Cuba, and Vietnam, and consider the contemporary recasting of Central American asylum seekers as undocumented migrants.

Mae Ngai is Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History at Columbia University, whose research and teaching focuses on the histories of migration, citizenship, race and ethnicity. She is author of the award-winning Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004), and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America (2010). She writes on immigration history and policy for the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, Dissent, and other venues. Ngai is now writing two books, The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics (forthcoming from WW Norton) and Nation of Immigrants: A Short History of an Idea (forthcoming from Princeton).

Moderated by ORL Dykstra Hall R.A.'s - Gaby Sarmiento, Manali Ghadiali, Evan Lowell

Faculty hosts: Karen Umemoto, Professor & Director, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and Keith Camacho, AAS Center & Department and Faculty in Residence, Dykstra Hall






Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American Studies Center, Asian American Studies Department , UCLA Office of Residential Life, Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Immigration Policy