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Lowell Lecture

Beth Lew-Williams: “The Chinese Must Go: A History of Anti-Asian Violence”

Date & Time

Sept. 29, 2021 at 7 p.m.


, MA
Driving Directions


Beth Lew-Williams

Presenting Organization

Boston College




Chandler Shaw (, (617) 552-2203)

Beth Lew-Williams is Associate Professor of History at Princeton University. Her teaching and research examines 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 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018), won the Ray Allen Billington Prize and the Ellis W. Halley Prize from the Organization of American Historians. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, her next book project, John Doe Chinaman, will consider the policing of Chinese migrants in the American West.

Beth Lew-Williams will give a lecture on the topic of The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America. 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. She will discuss this unprecedented outbreak of violence, place it within the broader history of anti-Asian violence, and reflect on the implications for the present day. As we confront a new surge of anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic, how should history help to inform our response? This lecture will be followed by a moderated conversation and audience Q&A.

Cosponsored by the Asian American Studies Program and the History Department.

Please note this is a virtual event. Registration will open on 09/15/21.