The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics
Mae Ngai is the Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in the histories of immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and the Chinese diaspora. Her latest book, The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics, was winner of the 2022 Bancroft Prize. This distinguished history of the Chinese diaspora and global capitalism chronicles how a feverish alchemy of race and money brought Chinese people to the West and reshaped the nineteenth century. Drawing on ten years of research across five continents, Ngai narrates the story of the thousands of Chinese who left their homeland in pursuit of gold and how they formed communities and organizations to help navigate their perilous new world.
Ability Accommodation Information
This event provides the following accommodations:
- Handicap Accessible
Ngai is author of the award-winning book Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America. Ngai has written on immigration history and policy for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, the Nation, and Dissent. Before becoming a historian, Ngai was a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, New York, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education. She is currently writing Nation of Immigrants: A Short History of an Idea (under contract with Princeton University Press). Ngai lives in New York City, New York, and Accokeek, Maryland.
For twenty-five years, the Oregon Historical Society has presented the Mark O. Hatfield Lecture Series, bringing together the nation’s top historians and award-winning authors for thought-provoking evenings of history. The series began at the suggestion of Senator Hatfield and continues as a tribute to his legacy of public service and as an opportunity to share stories of the people and events that have shaped history. Past speakers include notable historians and authors Heather Cox Richardson, David McCullough, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Jon Meacham, Cokie Roberts, and Isabel Wilkerson.
2022 Hatfield lectures will be re-aired on select weekends to ticketholders throughout the summer; visit our ticketing page to learn more and purchase tickets for $25.
Series Kick-Off Event
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and President Lyndon B. Johnson
Join us for the kick-off to the 2023 Hatfield Lecture Series with presidential historian and bestselling author Doris Kearns Goodwin, who will present a talk on the Voting Rights Act and President Lyndon B. Johnson written exclusively for the Hatfield series!
2023 Series Speakers
Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships
Nina Totenberg is National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. The first radio journalist to win the “Broadcaster of the Year” award, Totenberg shines a light on the inner workings of the nation’s highest court and helps audiences understand the impact of major judicial cases on America’s future.
The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics
Mae Ngai is the Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in the histories of immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and the Chinese diaspora.
Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening
Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and a professor of history at Rice University, the CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at “Vanity Fair.” He works in many capacities of public history, including on boards, museums, colleges, and historical societies.
The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century
Peniel E. Joseph is Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values, and in history at the College of Liberal Arts.
Tickets and Pricing
Member presale for the season kick-off event on Tuesday, October 18 with Doris Kearns Goodwin is on now. Public sale begins Wednesday, August 17 at 10am.
Tickets to the four-part series go on sale to members on Thursday, October 20 and to the public on Thursday, November 10.
MEMBERS: OHS members were sent an email on August 2 with details on how to access members-only pricing for Doris Kearns Goodwin. If you did not receive this email, please email HatfieldSeries@ohs.org or 503.306.5220. Not a member? Join today to access discounted pricing.
Updated Health & Safety Guidelines (as of July 20, 2022)
Please note that in accordance with current statewide health and safety guidelines, masks are currently not required for these programs. OHS encourages and supports those who do choose to wear a mask at these programs, understanding that many individuals continue to do so due to underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 or out of consideration for others. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are still required to attend these events.
Accessible Ticket Options
Student Tickets: Discounted tickets are available for students for $10. Bring your student photo ID to the Portland’5 Box Office to purchase tickets.
Arts for All Tickets: Discounted tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program for $5. Bring your Oregon Trail Card to the Portland’5 Box Office to purchase tickets.
Purchase a Signed Book
Copies of each speaker’s latest book (which include a signed bookplate) will be available for purchase before and after each lecture in the lobby of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. You can also visit the OHS Museum Store Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm or Sunday 12pm to 5pm or place your order by emailing email@example.com or calling 503.306.5230. All purchases in the OHS Museum Store support the Oregon Historical Society’s mission.
- J & S Bishop Fund of OCF
- Stephen Brown and Kimberly Crouch
- Kathy Eaton
- Elizabeth King and Rick Brandeburg
- Richard and Sarah Munro
- Jeannie and Leonard Santos
- Dori Schnitzer and Mark Brown
- Snell & Wilmer
- Kay Stepp
- Robert and Barre Stoll
- William and Julie Valach
- Bryan and Maureen Wolf