Project Leaders


Gordon Chang


Professor of History, Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities; Director, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University

Gordon Chang’s research focuses on the history of America-East Asia relations and on Asian American history.  He is affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the American Studies Program, International Relations Program, and the Center for East Asian Studies.  He is particularly interested in the historical connections between race and ethnicity in America and foreign relations, and explores these interconnections in his teaching and scholarship.  He is a recipient of both Guggenheim and ACLS fellowships, and has been a three-time fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. 
Chang is the editor or author of a number of essays and books, including American Asian Art: A History, 1850 – 1970 (2008); Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present (2006); Asian Americans and Politics: An Exploration (2001); Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Wartime Writing, 1942-1945 (1997);  and Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972 (1990).  Chinese American Voices is a collaboration with two other historians and presents the words of Chinese Americans from the mid-19th century to the recent past.

Chang’s most recent work, American Asian Art, is the first comprehensive study of the lives and artistic production of American Asian artists active in the United States before 1970.  The books features essays by ten leading scholars, biographies of more than 150 artists and over 400 reproductions of artwork, ephemera and images of artists.  He is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Transnational American Studies.  He is currently completing a long history of America-China relations from Jamestown to the present and is studying Leland Stanford’s relationship to the Chinese in America.

Shelley Fisher Fishkinfishkin


Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, Professor of English, and Director of American Studies, Stanford University

Shelley Fisher Fishkin has taught at Stanford since 2003. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of over forty books, and has published over one hundred articles, essays and reviews, many of which have focused on issues of race and racism in America, and on recovering previously silenced voices from the past.  Her books have won two “Outstanding Academic Title” awards from Choice, an award from the the National Journalism Scholarship Society, and “Outstanding Reference Work” awards from Library Journal and the New York Public Library.   She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. Before coming to Stanford, she was chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2003, the challenge of doing transnational research in American Studies has been a central concern. Her publications on this topic include “Crossroads of Cultures: The Transnational Turn in American Studies—Presidential Address to the American Studies Association, November 12, 2004.” American Quarterly Vol. 57, No. 1 (March 2005); “Asian Crossroads/Transnational American Studies.” Japanese Journal of American Studies No. 17 (2006);  “American Literature in Transnational Perspective: The Case of Mark Twain,” in the Blackwell Companion to American Literary Studies, Ed. Caroline  F. Levander and Robert S.  Levine;   (2011); “A Brief for Digital Palimpsest Mapping Projects (DPMPs) or ‘Deep Maps.’” Journal of Transnational American Studies. 3:2 (2011);  “Mapping Transnational American Studies,” in Transnational American Studies, Ed. Udo J. Hebel , Universitätverlag Winter (2012); and “Mapping American Studies in the Twenty-First Century: Transnational Perspectives” in The Transnationalism of American Culture, Ed. Rocio Davis, New York: Routledge (2013).  She has keynoted American Studies conferences in Beijing, Calcutta, Cambridge,  Copenhagen, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kunming, Kyoto,  La Coruña, Lisbon,  Nanjing,  Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo, and her work has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Georgian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.   She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California, and serves on the international jury for the 2013 Francqui Prize. She is a Past President of the American Studies Association, past chair of the Nonfiction Prose Division of the Modern Language Association,  and a Founding Editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies. For further info please visit her biography on the English Department website.


Evelyn Hu-Dehart evelyn

Professor of History and Ethnic Studies, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University

Evelyn Hu-DeHart joined Brown from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she was Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and Director of the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America. She has also taught at the City University of New York system, New York University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Arizona and University of Michigan, as well as lectured at universities and research institutes in Mexico, Peru, Cuba, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. She often describes herself as a multicultural person who speaks several languages (including English, Chinese, French, and Spanish) and moves easily among several cultures. Her professional life has focused on what Cuban historian Juan Perez de la Riva calls “historia de la gente sin historia.”  In 2011-12, she was the Santander Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and lectured all over China, introducing Chinese audiences to the little known subject of Chinese migration to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Professor Hu-DeHart was born in China and immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was 12. As an undergraduate at Stanford University,  she studied in Brazil on an exchange program and returned after graduation with a Fulbright fellowship. She became fascinated with Latin America and that interest eventually led her to a Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Texas at Austin.  She is also the recipient of an Honorary Degree from the University of Notre Dame.   Prof. Hu-DeHart has written two books on the Yaqui Indians on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and has been engaged in an long term, ongoing research project on the Chinese diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  The goal of her diaspora project is to uncover and recover the history of Asian migration to Latin America and the Caribbean, and to document and analyze the contributions of these immigrants to the formation of Latin/Caribbean societies and cultures. It should also contribute towards theorizing diasporas and transnationalism. Hu-DeHart also hopes that her work will broaden the scope of Asian American studies as well as contribute to a subject not well covered within Latin American studies.

Prof. Hu-DeHart has published in English, Chinese, Spanish, and on five continents–North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.  Selected publications on the Chinese diaspora include these articles: “Huagong and Huashang: The Chinese as Laborers and Merchants in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Amerasia Journal 28:2 (2002); “Opium and Social Control: Coolies on the Plantations of Peru and Cuba,” Journal of Overseas Chinese, 1:2 (November 2005); “Latin America in Asia-Pacific Perspective,” in Rhacel Parreñas and Lok Siu (eds), Asian Diasporas.  Stanford 2007; “Indispensable Enemy or Convenient Scapegoat?  A Critical Examination of Sinophobia in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Journal of Chinese Overseas 5:1 (September 2009); “Chinatowns and Borderlands: Inter-Asian Encounters in the Diaspora,” Modern Asian Studies 46:2 (2012); “Integration and Exclusion: The Chinese in Multiracial Latin America and the Caribbean,” TAN Chee-Beng, ed., Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora, 2012.  She is also the editor of several anthologies and journal special issues:  Across the Pacific: Asian Americans and Globalization,  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999;  
Asians in the Americas: Transculturations and Power (co-editor with Lane Hirabayashi), special issue of Amerasia Journal 28:2 (2002)
; Voluntary Associations in the Chinese Diaspora (co-edited with Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce), Hong Kong U. Press, 2006; 

Asia and Latin America, special issue of REVIEW: Literature and Arts of the Americas 72 (Spring 2006); “Afro-Asia,” (Guest Editor with Kathleen López), special issue of Afro-Hispanic Review 27: 1 (Spring 2008). She is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Transnational American Studies.

Dongfang Shaodongfang_shao

Chief, Asian Division, Library of Congress, USA

Born in China, Dongfang Shao received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Beijing Normal University, and came to the United States in 1986 and earned his PhD in history from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with a fellowship from the East-West Center in Honolulu. Dr. Shao taught for nearly six years in the Chinese Studies Department of the National University of Singapore and also served for two years on the Advisory Panel for Singapore National Library Board’s Chinese Library Service before moving to Stanford University in 1999.  As a visiting professor in the Department of Asian Languages, Dr. Shao taught graduate level courses on Sinological research methods and topics in advanced Classical Chinese; and he also advised doctoral candidates on their dissertation research. Subsequently appointed research fellow in Stanford’s innovative Asian Religions & Cultures Initiative, he continued teaching and provided advanced reference and research assistance as well as bibliographic instruction to students in the university’s Departments of East Asian Cultures and Languages, History, and Religious Studies.  In May 2003, after one academic year teaching at Fo Guang University in Taiwan, Dr. Shao was appointed head of Stanford’s East Asia Library, the university’s primary East Asian-language collection in the social sciences and humanities for all historical periods. Dr. Dongfang Shao is a well-known and highly respected scholar of Chinese history, literature and culture on both sides of the Pacific. He has numerous publications to his credit, including five monographs, seven edited books, as well as many articles in academic journals, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and book reviews. The Bamboo Annals, one of the most important ancient Chinese texts, is a subject of particular interest and expertise to Dr. Shao. He co-authors with Professor David S. Nivison, A New Study and Translation of the Bamboo Annals, which will be published by the University of Washington Press. Dr. Shao is also an experienced translator of scholarly publications from English into Chinese and vice versa.  Dr. Shao has also provided ongoing research and academic consultation services to several higher education institutes in China, including Beijing Normal University, Beijing Jiaotong University and Xiangtan University. Dr. Shao began his new responsibilities as chief of Asian Division, Library of Congress in Washington, DC on April 23, 2012.  In this capacity, he serves as the Library of Congress’ primary expert in the provision of reference services related to material in all languages of Asia and the Pacific Islands, and has custodial responsibility for the largest Asian language collections outside of Asia. Dr. Shao was appointed by President John L. Hennessy as a member of Advisory Council of Stanford University Libraries in July 2012.

Hilton Obenzingerobenzinger

Associate Director, Chinese Railroad Workers Project; Lecturer, American Studies and English, Stanford University

Hilton Obenzinger writes cultural criticism, history, fiction and poetry. He is the author of American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania, a literary and historical study of America’s fascination with the Holy Land. He has published chapters in books and articles in scholarly journals on American travel writing, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and American cultural interactions with the Middle East, such as “Melville, Holy Lands, and Settler-Colonial Studies,” “Naturalizing Cultural Pluralism, Americanizing Zionism: The Settler Colonial Basis to Early-Twentieth-Century Progressive Thought,” “‘Wicked Books’: Melville and Religion,” “Melting-Pots and Promised Lands: Zionism, the Idea of America, and Israel Zangwill,” “Better Dreams: The Philippine-American War and Twain’s ‘Exploding’ Novel” and “Going to Tom’s Hell in Huckleberry Finn.” He is currently writing Melting Pots and Promised Lands: Early Zionism and the Idea of America, a study of entwined settler colonial narratives from the nineteenth century to 1948. He has most recently published an autobiographical novel Busy Dying. His other books include Cannibal Eliot and the Lost Histories of San Francisco, New York on Fire, Running through Fire: How I Survived the Holocaust by Zosia Goldberg, and This Passover Or The Next I Will Never Be In Jerusalem, which received the American Book Award. At Stanford University he teaches American studies and writing.


Denise Khordenise_khor

Director of Research, Chinese Railroad Workers Project

Denise Khor is Visiting Scholar at Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and her research interests include 20th century U.S. social and cultural history, comparative ethnic studies, Asian American history, and cinema studies. She held a postdoctoral position in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University and was a lecturer in the Department of History at Harvard University. Her first book manuscript, “Pacific Theater: Movie-going and Migration in Asian America, 1907 to 1950,” examines the circulation of films across the Pacific and the immigrant viewing publics that emerged in major hubs throughout the western regions of the United States and Hawai’i. It follows the historical experiences of Japanese and Japanese Americans as spectators, exhibitors, and producers of a transnational film culture that took shape in the early twentieth century. Chapters from the book have been published in Pacific Historical Review vol. 81 issue 3 (August 2012) and The Rising Tide of Color: Race, Radicalism, and Repression on the Pacific Coast and Beyond, ed. Moon-Ho Jung (Seattle: University of Washington Press, forthcoming).


Barbara VossBarbweb

Director of Archeology, Chinese Railroad Workers Project
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

Barbara Voss’s  research program is centered on two primary interests: historical archaeology and sexuality studies. Within historical archaeology, her research focuses on the dynamics and outcomes of transnational cultural encounters in the Americas. This research includes ongoing investigations of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, including (since 1992) field and laboratory research at the Presidio of San Francisco. In the past decade, she has expanded this work on cultural encounters into the archaeology of overseas Chinese communities in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In this capacity she serves as Principal Investigator of the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project, a community-based research program developed to study and interpret the history and archaeology of San Jose’s first Chinese community. The second focus of her research is sexuality studies in archaeology. She strives to generate a productive dialogue between queer studies and archaeology, and to develop rigorous methodologies that support the study of sexuality and gender through archaeological evidence. Most recently she has been exploring the relationship between queer theory and postcolonial theory in archaeology, the subject of her recent book The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects, co-edited with El Casella. Throughout she is  guided by a deep commitment to public archaeology and collaborative research.




Zhongping Chen

Associate Professor of History, University of Victoria

Zhongping Chen was born and grew up in China. He successively received his B.A. and M.A. from Nanjing University in 1982 and 1984, as well as his PhD from the University of Hawaii in 1998. In addition to his early teaching career at Nanjing Normal University, Chen has mainly taught courses and done research in the fields of Chinese history and the history of the global Chinese diaspora at McGill University, Trent University and the University of Victoria. His Chinese and English publications include three books and dozens of journal articles. His most recent publication is Modern China’s Network Revolution: Chambers of Commerce and Sociopolitical Change in the Early Twentieth Century (Stanford: CA: Stanford University Press, 2011). In the field of Chinese Canadian history, he published three academic articles that examine the Chinese experience in Peterborough (near Toronto) from cross-cultural, ethnic and diasporic perspectives. He is currently working on a new book entitled “Reform and Revolution in the Transpacific Chinese Diaspora, 1884-1918.”

Philip P. Choy

Independent Scholar

Philip Choy is a retired architect and renowned historian of Chinese American studies born in San Francisco on December 17, 1926. He grew up in San Francisco Chinatown and he was the fourth in family of five children with three older sisters and a younger brother. He is also the author of San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History & Architecture (2012), Canton Footprints: Sacramento’s Chinese Legacy (2007), and The Coming Man: 19th Century American Perceptions of the Chinese (1994).

During high school, Choy enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He attended San Francisco City College during World War II until he was called to active duty for basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi. There, in the south, he decided to become an activist after witnessing first-hand the influence of segregation.

After the war, he earned a degree in architecture from UC Berkeley and was involved in residential and commercial design for 50 years. During the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, Choy became president of the Chinese Historical Society of America and in 1969, he teamed up with historian Him Mark Lai to teach the first-ever Chinese American history course at San Francisco State University in 1969.

Even though he has retired from teaching, he is still an adjunct professor in San Francisco State’s Asian American Studies Department. He has served on the San Francisco Landmark Advisory Board, on the California State Historical Resources Commission from June 2001 to June 2005, five times as President of the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA), and currently as an emeritus CHSA board member. He is also a recipient of the prestigious San Francisco State University President’s Medal in 2005, the Silver SPUR Awards in 2009, and the Oscar Lewis Award for Western History in 2011. Choy has been a community activist known for landmark preservation in San Francisco.

Choy has devoted his career to researching, preserving, advocating, and disseminating Chinese American history. Choy was the first to make a video documentary series on Chinese American history for public broadcasting called the “Gum Saan Haak” (Travelers to Gold Mountain, 1971-1974). He also publicly berated the head of the Commission of the 1969 Transcontinental Railroad Centennial at a separate program the same day of the commemoration for not placing the Chinese Historical Society of America on the same program and not giving credit to the Chinese in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. He also advocated the preservation of the Angel Island Immigration Station and in 1993, and he wrote the case study to nominate it to the National Registry of Historic Place, because of its historical significance as a place where many Chinese immigrants were detained and because it also offers a close look at important history lessons about the early Chinese pioneers.

Yin Chuang

Senior lecturer emeritus, Department of East Asian Cultures and Languages, Stanford University

Yin Chuang created the beautiful calligraphy  in the logo for the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford that appears at the top of every page of this web site.

Sue Fawn Chung

Professor of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Sue Fawn Chung was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, her master’s from Harvard University, and her doctorate from UCB.  She has worked with the Nevada State Railroad Museum and Nevada State Museum, both in Carson City, on exhibits and media programs on Chinese railroad workers (one set available on Youtube) and with David Bain on his WGBH/PBS educational film on the building of the first transcontinental railroad (based on his book).

She co-edited Chinese American Death Rituals: Respecting the Ancestors (Altamire, 2005) with Priscilla Wegars and recently published In Pursuit of Gold:  Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West (Urbana, 2011), which won the 2013 Bancroft Honor Award. She is currently finishing a book manuscript on Chinese immigrants working in the timber industry, which was related not only to mining but also to railroad construction.


Pin–chia Feng

Distinguished Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Chiao Tung University

Pin–chia Feng is Distinguished Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Chiao Tung University, and Research Fellow of the Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica (joint appointment). She was NCTU’s Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of International Cooperation and Academic Exchange, Chairperson of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Director of NCTU Press, and Director of NCTU Film Studies Center. She was also President of the Comparative Literature Association of ROC (2005-2008), President of the Association of English and American Literature (2009-2011), and a recipient of the 2007 and 2010 Outstanding Research Award of Taiwan’s National Science Council.  Feng received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1994). She writes on issues of gender, race, and representation in films as well as in Asian American, African American and Afro-Caribbean literatures.


James Fichter

Associate Professor, Department of History, Lingnan University

James Fichter received his Ph.D., Harvard University, History, 2006
M.A., Harvard University, History, 2003
B.A., Brown University, History and International Relations, 2001. His areas of interest are Early American history, Atlantic history, British imperial history, global history, the US in the world, American studies, business history, economic history, environmental history, and the history of American-Chinese relations. He is the author of So Great a Proffit: How the East Indies Transformed Anglo-American Capitalism (Harvard University Press, 2010), which received the Thomas J. Wilson Prize, Harvard University Press (2009)
 Honorable Mention and the Ralph Gomory Prize from the Business History Conference (2011) His other book projects include Passage to India: The Suez Canal and the Anglo-French Empires in Asia, 1798-1885 and The Other Side: Chinese-American Relations from Origins to Present. His research interests also include Pacific labor traffic and Sino-American relations and he is interested in developing teaching materials on the Chinese railroad workers for use in courses on the history of Chinese-American relations.


Barre Fong

Independent Filmmaker and Graphic Designer

Barre Fong is a fourth generation, native San Franciscan. He was educated at the University of San Francisco and graduated in 1990. He has been married since 1997 and is the father of two young children.

Professionally, Barre has owned and operated a graphic design, photography and video production studio since 1991. Serving local and international clients, work has included advertising, corporate collateral and communication, commercial photography, video production, website design and website administration. In 2009, Barre began filmmaking in earnest – completing five short documentary films over the next three years. His film Detained at Liberty’s Door, produced with historian Connie Young Yu, is currently featured at the Angel Island Immigration Station.

Barre serves on the Board of Trustees of the Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco and is the President of the Board of Directors at the Chinese Historical Society of America.


Hsinya Huang

Professor of American and Comparative Literature and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan

Hsinya Huang was born in Taiwan and obtained her B.A. from National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, U.S., and has been on the National Sun Yat-sen University (Taiwan) faculty since 2006, where she is currently Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Professor of American and Comparative Literature.  She served as Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature from 2006 to 2009, as Director of Arts Center from 2009-2010, and Vice President for Students Affairs from 2010-2011.

Huang is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on contemporary literature and culture, indigenous literature, eco-criticism, comparative literature, post-colonial literature and ethnic minority literature, published in Taiwan and abroad, and has also published reviews and autobiographical works.  Her most recent book publications include (De)Colonizing the Body: Disease, Empire, and (Alter)Native Medicine in Contemporary Native American Women’s Writings (2004) and Huikan beimei yuanzhumin wenxue: duoyuan wenhua de shengsi (Native North American Literatures: Reflections on Multiculturalism) (2009), the first Chinese essay collection on Native North American literatures. She guest-edited a special forum on transnational Native American studies for The Journal of Transnational American Studies (U of California, eScholarship) with Philip J. Deloria, the 2008-2009 President of the American Studies Association, and a special issue on eco-criticism for Comparative Literature Studies (Penn State). She also edited the English translation of The History of Taiwanese Indigenous Literatures and is currently editing two essay volumes, Aspects of Transnational and Ocean and Ecology in the Trans-Pacific Context. She is Editor-in-Chief of Review of English and American Literature and Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities. She currently serves on the Advisory Board, The Center for Comparative Indigenous Studies, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitt Mainz, Germany; Advisory Committee for International Collaboration, National Science Council, Taiwan; Planning Committee, Translations of Indigenous Texts, The Council for Indigenous Peoples, Taiwan; and Advisory Editorial Board, The Journal of Transnational American Studies, JTAS, U.S. She was on International Committee of the American Studies Association, U.S., 2008-2011, and Program Committee of the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association. Her current research project focuses on Trans-Pacific indigenous literatures.


Wen Jin

Associate Professor in English, Fudan University

Wen Jin, Associate Professor in English, Fudan University, since February 2013, was Assistant Professor in English at Columbia University from 2006 to 2012. Her book, Pluralist Universalism: An Asian Americanist Critique of U.S. and Chinese Multiculturalisms (2012), is an extended comparison of U.S. and Chinese multiculturalisms during the post–Cold War era.  The book brings together American, Chinese, and Chinese American fiction to model a “double critique” framework for U.S.–Chinese comparative literary studies.  She has published essays on American and Asian American literature in various journals, including American Quarterly, Contemporary Literature, Critique, Journal of Transnational American Studies, Amerasia Journal, Dushu, and collected volumes.  She has recently undertaken a new comparative project on the relations among narrative genres, literary markets, and habits of reading in twentieth century China and America.  At Fudan, she is organizing an international seminar series on Cognitive Approaches to Literary Studies.


Corey Masao Johnson

Technical Advisor, Chinese Railroad Workers Project

Corey Masao Johnson is a PhD student in the Program in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University.  Originally from Hilo, Hawaii, he is researching the colonization of the Pacific in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from the vantage points of American Studies and Postcolonial Critique.


Beth Lew-Williams

ACLS New Faculty fellow appointed in History and Asian American Studies, Northwestern University

Beth Lew-Williams specializes in U.S. history, Asian American studies, the U.S. West, and the Pacific World. She earned her PhD in history at Stanford University in 2011 and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern University appointed in history and Asian American studies.   She is working on her first book (under contract with Harvard University Press), which examines Chinese immigration and anti-Chinese violence in the 19th-century West. This project explores how American’s first attempt to close its borders was deeply entangled with U.S. imperial ambitions in Asia. In support of this research, she has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the George P. Shultz Fund in Canadian Studies.  Before coming to Northwestern, Lew-Williams was a fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Sharon Luk

Lecturer, Stanford University

Sharon Luk completed her M.A. in Education at UCLA and Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. Her doctoral research, “The Life of Paper: A Poetics,” explores the role of letter correspondence in practices of social reproduction, specifically within histories of racism, mass incarceration, and social struggle in California and the West. Sharon received B.A. degrees in Comparative Literature and Ethnic Studies from Brown University. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has also worked in the fields of youth/community development and independent media.


Joseph Ng

Friends of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project

Joseph Ng was a graduate student at the History Department at Stanford under professors Lyman Van Slyke and Harold Kahn.  After a career in high tech finance in the Silicon Valley, Joseph is returning to the passion of his youth, history.  He is committed to support the Friends of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project.


David Palumbo-Liu

Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor and Director of Comparative Literature, Stanford University

David Palumbo-Liu’s fields of interest include social and cultural criticism, literary theory and criticism, East Asian and Asia Pacific American studies. His most recent book, The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global Age (Duke, 2012) addresses the role of contemporary humanistic literature with regard to the instruments and discourses of globalization, seeking to discover modes of affiliation and transnational ethical thinking; he is also co-editor with Bruce Robbins and Nirvana Tanoukhi of Immanuel Wallerstein and the Problem of the World: System, Scale, Culture (Duke, 2011). His other books include The Poetics of Appropriation: The Literary Theory and Practice of Huang Tingjian (1045-1105)The Ethnic Canon: Histories, Institutions, InterventionsStreams of Cultural Capital: Transnational Cultural StudiesAsian/American: Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier. Palumbo-Liu is most interested in issues regarding social theory, community, race and ethnicity, justice, globalization, and the specific role that literature and the humanities play in helping us address each of these areas.  He is the founding editor of Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (found on Arcade) and blogs for TruthOut and The Boston Review.

Please visit his website for more information, essays, blogs, events.


Jean Pfaelzer

Professor of American Studies, Asian Studies, English and Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware

Jean Pfaelzer is Professor of American Studies, Asian Studies, English and Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware.  During Spring, 2011, she was awarded the Senior Fulbright in American Culture at the University of Utrecht, NL.  She is the author of Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans, (Random House, Hardback & University of California Press, Paperback, 2007, 2008), the author of four other books including Parlor Radical: Rebecca Harding Davis and the Origins of American Social Realism and The Utopian Novel in America: The Politics of Form. Prof. Pfaelzer is working on her forthcoming book Of Human Bondage: Slavery in California and completing Muted Mutinies: Slave Revolts on Chinese Coolie Ships (both University of California Press). Driven Out was named one of the 100 notable books of the year by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Top Ten Books of the Year by Choice, and based on her research Pfaelzer was named Asian American Hero.  Jean is on the Scholars Council of the National Women’s History Museum and was a consultant on the “1882 Project” which passed the US Senate and House of Representative in spring 2012 to acknowledge the history of anti-Chinese legislation.  She writes for Huffington Post, History News Network, and The Globalist. Jean is currently on the team curating  I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story for the Smithsonian Museum of American History which will open in May 2013.  In 2013 she will hold the Bartlett Giamatti Fellowship, Beinecke Library, Yale Univ.

Jean Pfaelzer received her Ph.D. from University College, London, Graduate Certificate in Politics and Culture from Cambridge University (Dir. Raymond Williams) and BA and MA from Univ. California, Berkeley (Dir. Henry Nash Smith). She has served as Chair of the International Women’s Task Force of the American Studies Association, on the International Committee of ASA, and the Women’s Committee of ASA.  She has taught and delivered lectures at Xi’an International Studies University, China, and at the Universities of Granada, Malaga, Barcelona, Seville, in Spain; Universities of Utrecht, Leiden, Nijmegen , Netherlands; Univ. at Thessaloniki, GR; University of Norwich, UK, and University of Coimbra, Portugal, amongst other places. She has served as the Executive Director of the National Labor Law Center, and as Senior Legislative Analyst for Hon. Frank McCloskey, US House of Representatives, on issues of immigration, labor, and women. She speaks frequently on National Public Radio on issues of immigration and labor.


Qi Qiu

Interim Head/Bibliographer for Chinese/East Asian Collections, Stanford University

Qi Qiu is Interim Head of the Stanford East Asia Library (EAL). She is also the bibliographer for EAL’s Chinese and Western language collections on East Asia. Holding a doctoral degree in communication and a bachelor’s degree in English literature, she has interests in and writes about China’s media system, history of journalism and pro-social communication.


Yuan Shu

Associate Professor, Texas Tech University

Yuan Shu received his combined Ph. D in English and American Studies at Indiana University at Bloomington in 1999. At Texas Tech University, he teaches contemporary American literature with an emphasis on postmodern American fiction, Vietnam War literature, and Asian American studies. He has published articles in journals that vary from Cultural Critique to College Literature. He is completing his book manuscript “Empire and Cosmopolitics: Technology, Discourse, and Chinese American Literature.”


Chris Suh

Doctoral Candidate, History, Stanford University

Chris Suh is a PhD candidate in the department of history at Stanford University and an associate managing editor for special forums of the Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS). He has worked on various web projects including Perry in Japan: A Visual History, and most recently he cowrote with Greg Robinson, “Historical Consciousness and Transnational American Studies,” Journal of Transnational American Studies 4, no. 2 (2012).


Sun Yifeng

Professor of Translation Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Prof. Sun Yifeng is the author of several books, including Fragmentation and Dramatic Moments (2002) and Perspective, Interpretation and Culture: Literary Translation and Translation Theory (2004, 2nd ed. 2006), and co-editor of Translation, Globalisation and Localisation (2008) and editor of Anthology of 20th Century Chinese Literature: Novellas and Short Stories (forthcoming).


Jinhua (Selia) Tan

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Research Center for Overseas Chinese Hometown Culture in Guangdong Province, Wuyi University

Jinhua Tan was a researcher and director in the Kaiping Diaolou Research Department of the Kaiping Municipal Government from 2004 to 2008. She helped set up the Kaiping Diaolou Archives and the exhibitions for the heritage area in Kaiping. She also helped set up the Sun Yat-sen University Research Base in Kaiping. She was one of the key preparers for the application dossier and the management plan submitted to UNESCO for the World Heritage listing application in 2006. She researched the local history and culture of Sze Yip and Kaiping for a few years, although she was a conservationist by training. She is one of the key researchers of the Research Center for Overseas Chinese Hometown Culture of Guangdong Province, Wuyi University.

She received her Masters degree in the Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong.  Currently she is a PhD candidate at the same department.  She teaches part-time at the Department of Architecture, Wuyi University since 2009. She was invited to lecture in more than ten overseas institutions about the background history of overseas Chinese hometowns and the conservation practice of the World Heritage sites of Kaiping.


Cecilia Tsu

Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of California, Davis

A U.S. historian with research and teaching interests in Asian American history, race and ethnicity, immigration, California and the American West, Cecilia Tsu is currently completing a book titled Asian Migration and the Making of Race, Gender, and Agriculture in California’s Santa Clara Valley, 1880-1940, under contract with Oxford University Press.  As one of the first comparative historical studies of Asian immigrants in rural California, this book reclaims two important, intersecting histories that have been obscured in recent years by the emergence of “Silicon Valley”: the Santa Clara Valley’s rich agricultural past and the history of the Asian farmers and laborers who cultivated the land.  It argues that the arrival of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos in the Santa Clara Valley changed the ways in which residents conceptualized and practiced agriculture during the region’s peak decades of horticultural production.  Migrants from Asia contributed to the shaping of agriculture in the “Garden of the World,” as well as to residents’ understanding of race, gender, and what it meant to be an American family farmer.  This book is based on her Ph.D. dissertation, which won the W. Turrentine Jackson Dissertation Award from the American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, and the Gilbert C. Fite Dissertation Award from the Agricultural History Society.

Tsu is in the early stages of working on a new book project that will trace the process through which certain regions in the greater American West came to be known as “majority-Asian,” with enormous consequences for patterns of race relations and institutionalized policies affecting ethnic minorities.  This project will also examine how Hawaii came to represent the prototype of the ominous majority-Asian community in the early twentieth century and the role this U.S. territory played in the debates over Japanese immigration and exclusion on the mainland.


Xiao-huang Yin (尹晓煌)

Professor and Chair, American Studies Department and Special Adviser to the President on Chinese Initiatives, Occidental College; Changjiang Chair Professor, Nanjing University

Dr. Yin has served as the founding director of the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University and represented CIEE and IES to conduct program reviews in China. Specializing in transnational/transcultural studies of the Chinese American experience, U.S.-China relations, and modern China, Dr. Yin is the author of Chinese American Literature since the 1850s (Illinois, 2000) and co-editor of The Expanding Roles of Chinese Americans in U.S.-China Relations (M.E. Sharpe, 2002). He is also an advisory editor of and a contributor to New Americans: Immigration to the United States since the 1960s (Harvard, 2007) and a contributor to many other books, including The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History (Oxford, 2012), The Blackwell Companion to American Immigration (Blackwell, 2006), Chinese American Transnationalism (Temple, 2005), Diaspora Philanthropy and Equitable Development: Perspectives on China and India (Harvard, 2004), American Babel: Essays on Language, Immigration and Translation (Harvard, 2003), The Outlook of U.S.-China Relations (Hong Kong, 2001), and Multilingual America: Transnationalism, Ethnicity, and the Languages of American Literature (NYU, 1998) as well as journals/magazines such as American QuarterlyAmerican Studies, American PeriodicalsArizona QuarterlyJournal of American-East Asian Relations, Journal of Chinese Overseas, Atlantic Monthly, etc. In addition, he has published extensively in Chinese on the Chinese Diaspora, U.S.-China relations and transcultural studies, including An Anthology of Global and Transnational Studies (co-edited with He Changzhou).

Connie Young Yu

Independent Scholar

Connie Young Yu, independent historian, has documented Chinese American history in exhibits, videos, and writings largely based on oral history, artifacts and memorabilia of her family. Her maternal great-grandfather, Lee Wong Sang worked on the Transcontinental Railroad, and her paternal grandfather Young Soong Quong fled the Market Street Chinatown in San Jose, when it was burned by arson. Her father, John C. Young, was born and raised in Heinlenville Chinatown, San Jose, which is the subject of Yu’s book, CHINATOWN, SAN JOSE, published by History/San Jose. The exhibit at the Chinese Historical Society, “Detained at Liberty’s Door” is about Yu’s maternal grandmother held on Angel Island Immigration Station. Connie was one of the community activists that saved the immigration barracks on Angel Island in 1974. She was a consultant on the archaeological excavations of the Woolen Mills Chinatown (at route 87) and San Jose’s Corporation Yard in Japantown. With Leslie Masunaga, Yu curated the exhibit on the history and archaeology of Chinatown and early Japantown, “On Common Ground”, for the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.  She is co-authoring a book with Masunaga, ”Digging to Common Ground,” to be published by the California History Center. Yu is a board member emeritus, Chinese Historical Society of America and serves as president of the board of trustees of Hakone Foundation.


Yuan Ding (袁丁)

中山大学历史系教授 Professor and Director of South-East Asia Study Institute, Sun Yat-sen University; Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Guangdong Overseas Chinese History Project

Yuan Ding, born in 1957 in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, graduated from History Department of Sun Yat-sen University and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies with a master’s degree and obtained a doctorate degree in history from Jinan University in 1988. Yuan is professor and doctorate supervisor in the History Department, Sun Yat-sen University, and director of South-East Asia Study Institute of Sun Yat-sen University. Visiting scholar at Harvard University in 1997-1998. Executive Director of Guangdong Overseas Chinese Historical Society, Vice President of Guangdong Overseas Chinese Study Association, Executive Director of China Southeast Asian Studies Association. Expertise in the Modern History of Overseas Chinese and Southeast Asia regions. Dr. Yuan is associate editor-in-chief of the Guangdong Overseas Chinese History Project. The project, sponsored and funded by the Guangdong Provincial Government and led by Zhu Xiaodan, governor of Guangdong province, utilizes historical materials of Guangdong Chinese immigrants to conduct a systematic and comprehensive survey of social and economic development, assimilation and contribution of these immigrants to their migrated countries. Yuan’s main academic works include Overseas Chinese Affairs and Negotiations between China and Foreign Countries in Late Qing DynastyStudy on Modern Overseas Affairs Policy.


Rene Yung

Project Director and Artistic Director, Chinese Whispers

Rene Yung is an internationally exhibiting artist, designer, thinker, and writer. Combining the poetic and the incisive, her cross-disciplinary civic engagement works address social and cultural issues in the built environment by connecting people, history, and place to articulate the hidden and the overlooked. Her work has been exhibited at international venues including TransCulture, part of the 46th Venice Biennale, and she has created extensive public projects for national institutions including the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Seattle and consulted for the Maya Lin-designed Museum of Chinese in the Americas, New York. Yung is Project and Artistic Director of Chinese Whispers, a multi-site, multi-platform research and storytelling project about the Chinese who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad and the settlements of the American West. She is Artistic Director of “City Beneath the City,” an art installation featuring artifacts from the San Jose Market Street Chinatown excavation, in collaboration with the Stanford Archaeology Center, History San Jose, Chinese Historical Cultural Project, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. The installation was created for the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art as part of the Zero1 art and technology biennale “Seeking Silicon Valley,” and was also adapted for exhibition at the Stanford Archaeology Center. An alumna of Stanford University, Yung has received numerous grant awards, including from the San Francisco Foundation, the California Humanities Council, the Creative Work Fund, Creative Capital, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. A native of Hong Kong, Yung currently resides in San Francisco.


Zhang Guoxiong (张国雄)

五邑大学副校长 Vice-Chancellor, Wu Yi University

Zhang Guoxiong, born in 1955 in Chongqing, obtained his Masters and PhD degrees from the History Department of Wuhan University. He did post-doctoral work at Peking University in 1995, and is Vice Chancellor of Wu Yi University in Guangdong Province, Vice President of the Guangdong Overseas Chinese Historical Society, and Vice President of the Guangdong Overseas Chinese Research Association. He has expertise in the study of overseas Chinese culture and geography. His publications includeWuyi Cultural Origins,Hunan and Hubei Immigrants in the Ming and Qing Dynasties,Cultural History of Wuyi Overseas Chinese.

Zhang Yinglong (张应龙)

暨南大学华人华侨研究院副院长 Associate Dean, Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies in Jinan University

Zhang Yinglong, born in 1958 in Chaoyang, Guangdong Province, graduated from the History Department of Jinan University in 1982 and obtained his doctorate degree of history from Jinan University in 1994. Zhang is professor and Associate Dean at the Overseas Chinese Institute at Jinan University, member of the Expert Advisory Committee of the State Council Overseas Chinese Affairs, Vice President of the Office of Overseas Chinese Historical Society, and Vice President of Guangdong Overseas Chinese Historical Society. He specialized in studies of overseas Chinese and ethnic Chinese in Malaysia. Main academic works include Singapore and Malaysia Overseas Chinese History (co-authored with Lin Yuanhui), Overseas Chinese and New China (chief editor), and Overseas Chinese Abroad and the Revolution of 1911 (chief editor).

Stanford Undergraduate Researchers

Kristen Lauren Lee ’13
Pearle Hsiao-Yueh Lun ’14
Kim Phuong Huynh ’14
Jill Madison ’13
Cleo Udry O’Brien ’13
Sarah Sadlier ’16
Emilia Schrier ’16
Aoxue Tang ’16
Angela Zhang ’16