Mae M. Ngai

Professor of History and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies

Columbia University

Mae M. Ngai, Professor of History and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies, is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1998 and taught at the University of Chicago before returning to Columbia in 2006. Professor Ngai has held fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, NYU Law School, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study. She has written on immigration history and policy for the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Nation, and the Boston Review. Before becoming a historian Professor Ngai was a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education. She is now working on Yellow and Gold: The Chinese Mining Diaspora, 1848-1908, a study of Chinese gold miners in the nineteenth-century California, Australia, and South Africa.

She is the author of several books, including Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004), winner of six book awards including Frederick Jackson Turner Prize.