April 7: Inaugural Kay Johnson Lecture in Asian American Studies Examines History of Anti-Asian Violence in the U.S.

Princeton University history professor Beth Lew-Williams will deliver Hampshire College’s inaugural Kay Johnson Lecture in Asian American Studies on Wednesday, April 7 at 4:30 p.m. EST. The lecture will focus on the history of anti-Asian violence in the United States.

The American West erupted in anti-Chinese violence in 1885. Following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, more than 165 communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese migrants. Lew-Williams will discuss this unprecedented outbreak, place it within the broader history of anti-Asian violence, and reflect on the implications for the present day. As the country confronts a new surge of anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic, how should history help to inform our responses?

Lew-Williams is a historian of race and migration in the United States, specializing in Asian American history. Her book, The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America won the Ray Allen Billington Prize and the Ellis W. Halley Prize from the Organization of American Historians, the Sally and Ken Owens Prize from the Western History Association, the Vincent P. DeSantis Book Prize from the Society of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and the Caroline Bancroft History Prize.

This lecture is generously funded by the Kay Johnson Memorial Fund, which was established to honor and celebrate our late colleague Kay Johnson, an eminent scholar and teacher of Chinese studies. This virtual lecture is free and open to all.

Link to virtual lecture.

Article Tags