Erika Lee to Discuss the First “Global Immigration Crisis” at Gustavus October 13

Lee will compare the Asian immigration of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to today's global immigration concerns.
Posted on October 4th, 2016 by

Award-winning author and University of Minnesota professor Erika Lee will discuss the forgotten history of the first global “immigration crisis of the late 19th and early 20th centuries” at Gustavus Adolphus College on Thursday, October 13, at 7 p.m. Held in Alumni Hall in the Johnson Student Union, the lecture is free and open to the public.

As immigration continues to be a central issue both in the United States and globally, Lee will examine the Asian immigration “crisis” of a century ago, when changing population patterns sparked international debates, race riots, and restrictive immigration laws around the world. Telling a story that mirrors today’s headlines, Lee will connect the global history of Asian exclusion to current debates about immigration. Her lecture will explore why and how certain immigrations become perceived as crises and discuss how common reactions such as immigration restriction and border security have sometimes created humanitarian crises with tragic results.

Erika Lee

Erika Lee

“Erika Lee is one of the most thoughtful and engaging immigration historians in the country,” Gustavus history professor Maddalena Marinari said. “The lecture will be a great opportunity for the audience to get a historical perspective on one of the most heated issues in today’s society and learn about how our current debate over immigration compares and contrasts to the one that occurred a century ago.”

Lee’s most recent book is The Making of Asian America: A History, which was named a Best Nonfiction Book of 2015 by Kirkus Reviews and was awarded the 2015-2016 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Adult Non-Fiction by the American Library Association. Her books will be available for purchase at the event.

The lecture is sponsored by the Gustavus Adolphus College Department of History.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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