16 June 2008

PUBLIC LECTURE - Prof Mae Ngai (Columbia University, USA) - 12 July 2008


Professor Mae Ngai, Columbia University, USA

“The True Story of Ah Jake: Language, Translation, and Justice in Late-nineteenth-century Sierra County, California”

The paper examines the murder trial of Ah Jake, an unemployed Chinese goldminer in 1887. It considers the use of pidgin in the trial to think about the social world of the California goldfields in the years following passage of the Chinese exclusion act. Ah Jake was convicted of murdering another Chinese miner, but he was later granted a full pardon by the governor. What role did language and translation play in these outcomes?

Professor Mae NGAI is interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism in United States history. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1998 and taught at the University of Chicago before returning to Columbia in 2006. She teaches courses on immigration history, Asian American history, and twentieth-century U.S. history. Ngai is author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004), which won the Frederick Jackson Turner prize from the Organization of American Historians and the Littleton-Griswold Prize from the American Historical Association, among other awards. She has written on immigration history and policy matters for the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Nation, and the Boston Review. She is now working on two projects, a
biography of Chinese American immigrant brokers and interpreters and a comparative study of Chinese gold miners in the nineteenth-century North American West, Australia, and South Africa.

DATE/TIME: Saturday 12 July, 11am
VENUE: Museum of Chinese Australian History, 22 Cohen Place, Melbourne
RSVP by: Wednesday 9 July (tseen.khoo@arts.monash.edu.au / (03) 9662 2888)

FREE entry – refreshments provided.

This event is co-sponsored by the:

>> You can download the PDF flyer of this event HERE.