Erika named 2017 Dean’s Medalist!

Erika was honored today by being named the College of Liberal Arts 2017 Dean’s Medalist, an honor given to faculty in recognition of their excellence in scholarship and creativity. Read her interview here.  

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Erika at Google

Googlers are reading The Making of Asian America and invited Erika out to the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA for a talk. Check out her Google Talk: “Stand Up/Speak Out: The Need for Asian American Activism Today” here.  

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Historian Erika Lee explains the importance of #ImmigrationSyllabus

Erika Lee — a University of Minnesota history professor and director of the University’s Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) — talks with the University of Minnesota Libraries about her latest project, the Immigration Syllabus, an online tool to help faculty, teachers, students, and the general public better understand the history of immigration in the United States. […]

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U of M’s Immigration History Research Center launches #ImmigrationSyllabus

Today, immigration historians from across the country launched #ImmigrationSyllabus, a website and educational resource to help the public understand the deep historical roots of today’s immigration debates. Created in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and made available through the University of Minnesota Libraries, […]

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2016-2017 Lectures and Appearances

September 15: “Before Trump, Brexit, and Europe: A History of the First Global Migration Crisis,” Asian American Studies and the Center for East Asian Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign September 23: Keynote Speech, Midwest World History Association Meeting, Metro State University, St. Paul, MN October 8: “The Making of Asian America,” Asian Students Union, University of Pittsburgh […]

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Erika to speak at the Oregon Humanities Council in April!

The Oregon Historical Society currently has on exhibit two wonderful shows about the Chinese American experience: “Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion” and “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns.” Erika will be in town on Thursday, April 14 to talk about the exhibits and The Making of Asian America. See the OHS website for more.

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Erika Lee and her critically acclaimed book “The Making of Asian America” is coming to the Chinese Historical Society on Saturday, March 26

Please join us in the Main Gallery as Erika Lee discusses her new book followed by a brief Q&A. Books will be sold, light refreshments will be served. This event is co-presented by Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department,  The Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and National Japanese American […]

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Erika to speak at the California Association for Bilingual Education, March 24, 2016

Erika will give a featured presentation titled “Asian American Communities: History and Contemporary Issues” at the annual meeting of the CA Association for Bilingual Education on Thursday, March 24, 2016 in San Francisco. For more information, see the conference website. Description: Asian Americans are now the fastest growing group in the U.S. and are helping to […]

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Erika headed to Iowa for the first Define American Film Festival, Jan. 22, 2016

Erika participated on a panel on immigration at the inaugural Define American Film Festival in Des Moines on Jan. 22. Ahead of Iowa’s Feb. 1st Caucuses, the Define American Film Festival provided voters and the media with diverse perspectives about immigration and the changing American identity. Through a selection of six feature-length narrative and documentary films, […]

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As Islamaphobia grows, Erika talked with the Intercept

“Like Muslims, Asian immigrants were characterized as a slowly creeping civilizational threat to the security and integrity of the United States, but today, with Muslims, there is also the additional allegation that they have a violent intent to overthrow the existing order.” See “Fearmongering Around Muslim Immigrants Echoes Anti-Asian Hysteria of Past,” Intercept, Jan. 14, 2016

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The Making of Asian America Awarded the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature!

Every year the Asian Pacific American Caucus of the American Library Association presents awards to books that promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage based on their literary and artistic merit. The Making of Asian America was awarded the 2015 -2016 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Adult Non-Fiction. This is what the committee had to say: “Dr. Erika […]

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Erika responds to Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration

In early December, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed an all-out ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. Erika talked with a number of reporters to give some historical perspective: “Muslims are to Trump as Chinese Were to President Arthur in 1882,” Washington Post, December 8, 2015 “Donald Trump’s Proposed Muslim-Entry Ban Has Precedent – And It’s […]

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Erika on the history of undocumented immigration to the US

I spoke with MinnPost’s Lorena Duarte on the history of undocumented immigration to the US. Here’s a quote: “Lee stresses that it is crucial to understand the past in order to tackle the present issues. ‘History demonstrates that as early as 1929 we have created amnesty for immigrants time and time again, mostly for Europeans, those who jumped […]

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Book Reading and Signing at the University of MN Bookstore, October 14, 2015

University of Minnesota Bookstore at Coffman Memorial Union 300 Washington Ave Se Minneapolis MN Wednesday, October 14, 4:00pm Author and University of Minnesota professor, Erika Lee will discuss her new book The Making of Asian America: A History  on Wednesday, October 14 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union, […]

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Review of ‘The Making of Asian America’ in the Economist

From the review: The history of Asian America is, ultimately, a story of opportunity seized; of America’s promise to newcomers fulfilled. Even so, if readers pick up Erika Lee’s book expecting to read nothing more than a proud chapter in the nation’s history they will quickly be corrected. Read the full review on economist.com.

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Review of ‘The Making of Asian America’ by The Oregonian

From Glenn C. Altschuler’s review: The portrayal of Asian Americans as the “model minority,” … masks differences among national groups — and the overrepresentation of Asian Americans at the bottom (as well as the top) of educational and socioeconomic privilege. And it ignores the fact that for centuries white Americans deemed Asian Americans unassimilable and racially inferior. Lee […]

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Erika to speak at the National Museum of American History, October 1

Erika will be a featured guest in a program titled “How Did the 1965 Immigration Act Change America?” at the National Museum of American History. Erika will be participating in a panel discussion along with historian Mae Ngai of Columbia University, Matt Garcia, director of the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, and CUNY […]

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Erika Speaking and Signing Books at the National Archives on October 2nd

Erika will give a lecture and read from The Making of Asian America at the National Archives as part of there Noon Lectures series. Friday, October 2, 2015 at 12:00 PM William McGowan Theater National Archives 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408 For more information visit the National Archives Facebook page.

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Erika Lee Interviewed on WYNC

Erika took calls and talked about immigration, the term “Asian American” and the model minority on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC. Listen to the interview and read the accompanying post and comments at www.wync.org.

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Erika Lee Interviewed on Access Minnesota

Erika talked to Access Minnesota host Jim du Bois about the definition of a “model minority” and how that stereotype came to be as well as other contemporary Asian American issues. Listen to the full episode at www.accessminnesotaonline.com.

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Erika Speaking at Cato Institute Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act, October 2, 2015

This special conference, commemorating the passage of this landmark law 50 years ago, will bring together leading researchers, journalists, and policymakers to examine the effects of the law’s legal reforms and how they can help guide Americans in reforming our immigration system today. Featuring Senator Ron Johnson (R- WI), Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and […]

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Wedding photograph of Wong Lan Fong and Yee Shew Ning

Erika Lee’s Interview on All Things Considered from 2012

Erika spoke with Tasnim Shamma about “Attachments,” an exhibit that was on view at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2012. In the interview Erika shares the story of discovering her grandmother Wong Lan Fong’s immigration file containing the long lost wedding photo of her grandmother and her grandfather Yee Shew Ning. The photo, […]

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‘The Making of Asian America’ Profiled on AsAmNews

“Immigration, racism and the struggle to become American, all part of Lee’s family history, are the commonalities that she says connects the 24 ethnic groups defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as Asian American.” Read the full review, “The People Who Played a Key Role in the ‘Making of Asian America,” on asamnews.com.

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Erika Interviewed on Public Radio Dallas

Erika recently talked with host Krys Boyd about Asian immigration and Asian American assimilation and took calls from listeners. You can listen to the full interview on the KERA Public Radio website.

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Erika Lee interviewed on Public Radio Tulsa

Yesterday host Rich Fisher interviewed Erika on “StudioTulsa” on Public Radio Tulsa. He asked her about what led her to write the book and about what we can learn from the history of Asian America that can be applied to current immigration debates. You can listen to the full interview on the Public Radio Tulsa website.

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National Book Festival Recap from NBC News

Great coverage of the National Book Festival, including the “Melting Pot US” panel w/ Ray Suarez, Tom Gjeltin, & yours truly by NBC News. “Immigration was just one of dozens of topics featured at this year’s gathering, which took up the entirety of the city’s convention center in downtown Washington — two enormous buildings the […]

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Tom Gjelten, Erika Lee, and Ray Suarez

“Melting Pot America” Panel at the National Book Festival

Erika sat down with the amazing journalists Ray Suarez and Tom Gjeltin to talk immigration past, present, and today. Check out Suarez’s Latino Americans: The 500 Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation and Tom Gjeltin’s new book A Nation of Nations: A Great Immigration Story.    

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Chinese immigrant family

Review of ‘The Making of Asian America’ in the New York Times

Oliver Wang’s review of The Making of Asian America was published in the New York Times today, calling the book “sweeping” and “fascinating.” In his review Oliver writes “Lee’s comprehensive history traces the experiences of myriad Asian-American communities, from Chinese laborers in 1850s California to Hmong refugees in 1980s Minnesota…. ‘The Making of Asian America’ shares strong similarities with other […]

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Erika Lee on CSPAN Book TV.

Erika Interviewed on CSPAN Book TV

          Erika was interviewed and took some calls yesterday on CSPAN’s Book TV as a part of their coverage of the 15th annual National Book Festival in Washington, DC. You can watch the full video on the CSPAN website.

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Erika to give a Keynote Address at the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Conference, Sept. 19, 2015

NAPABA is the national association for Asian Pacific American legal professionals, representing the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 68 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. The Central Regional Conference (CRC) is a unique opportunity for Midwest legal professionals to obtain CLE credit while building regional connections through networking. The Central Regional is […]

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The Making of Asian America is available as an audiobook!

Audiobook lovers rejoice! Don’t want to read all 528 pages of The Making of Asian America? Now you can let award-winning narrator Emily Zoo Weller read it for you – 15 hours and 51 minutes! Think how much better your freeway commutes will be! Buy here at Audible. For more on Emily Zoo Weller, click here.

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Erika’s Interview with Huffington Post Books

Recently, I sat down with Huffington Post writer Hilal Isler last week to talk about why I wrote The Making of Asian America and what it means to be Asian American today. Our great conversation ranged from how I first became interested in Asian American history, what I learn from my students, and why I […]

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Erika talks immigration politics on KPCC (LA), August 26, 2015

“How Immigration Has Shaped the Presidential Debate, From Reagan to Trump” With immigration tripping up presidential candidates, Erika talks immigration politics with Manuel Pastor, co-director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC and A. Martinez, host of “Take Two” on KPCC in Los Angeles. (August 26, 2015). Listen to the discussion, […]

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The Making of Asian America Book Tour Announced!

Erika will be traveling around the country this fall talking about her new book as well as the historic 50th anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act. September 5: Washington, DC: the National Book Festival, DC Convention Center September 19: Minneapolis: Keynote Address at the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Conference October 1: Washington, DC: National […]

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Next up: The National Book Festival! ‪

150 authors, illustrators and poets, including 7 authors who will launch new books at the festival: Thomas Mallon’s Finale, David Maraniss’ Once in a Great City, Jay Winik’s 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History, Tom Gjelten’s A Nation of Nations, Erika Lee’s The Making of Asian America, Casey Schwartz’s In the Mind Fields: […]

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Heading to the National Book Festival in DC!

I’m so excited about participating in the National Book Festival where The Making of Asian America will be launched! If you’re in the Washington, DC area on Saturday, September 5, come check out the dozens of author readings!

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Early reviews are in!

The Making of Asian America called “A powerful, timely story told with method and dignity” in a starred review from the Kirkus Reviews!

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