KU News Release


Feb. 28, 2011
Contact: Kristine Latta, Hall Center for the Humanities, 785-864-7823

Hall Center lecture to focus on history of illegal immigration

Mae Ngai


LAWRENCE — Mae Ngai, professor of history and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies at Columbia University, will deliver the Frances and Floyd Horowitz Lecture at the University of Kansas.

Ngai’s lecture is titled “Illegal Immigration: Origins and Consequences.” The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union and is part of the Hall Center for the Humanities’ 2010-11 Humanities Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow.

Ngai will give a historical overview of American immigration policy from colonial times to the present, analyzing the rise of restrictive legislation and the construction of border policies. The lecture is co-sponsored by Kansas Public Radio and the Organization of American Historians.

Ngai is the author of “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America” (2004), which won the Frederick Jackson Turner prize (best first book) from the Organization of American Historians and the Littleton Griswold prize (best book in legal history) from the American Historical Association. Her most recent book is “The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America” (2010).

KU faculty, students and staff and the public also are invited to join a “Conversation with Mae Ngai,” scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, March 11, in the Hall Center Conference Hall. Humanities Lecture Series’ conversations feature an extended period of questions and answers with the speaker.

Ngai received a doctorate from Columbia in 1998 and taught at the University of Chicago before returning to Columbia in 2006. She has written on immigration history and policy matters for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation and the Boston Review.

Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing lecture series at KU. More than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including poet Gwendolyn Brooks, paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Steven Jay Gould and author Sherman Alexie. Recent presenters have included Paul Muldoon, Michael Chabon, Jeannette Walls, Mary Oliver and Richard Dawkins.

For information on other lectures in the 2010-11 series, visit the Hall Center website.


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