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The Making of the First “Permanent Outsiders” : A Critical Reading of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 One Hundred Forty Years Later

December 3 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first federal law that mandated the exclusion of foreigners from immigrating to the United States purely on the basis of race. The law not only profoundly shaped the American experience of the Chinese immigrants in U.S., but also marked the beginning of the end of free immigration in American history.

To mark the 140th anniversary of the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Renwen Society presents a lecture on the topic by Dr. Wang Xi, Professor of History, Indiana University of Pennsylvania on December 3, 2020, 8 – 9:30 pm (EST).

Taking the perspective of constitutional politics, the lecture aims at outlining how the law was made and implemented, discussing how it had decisively shaped the making of later restrictive immigration laws based on race, ethnicity and national origin, and revealing how, at the time of the nation’s “Second Founding,” different groups of Americans had fought a long battle over the legitimacy and primacy of two sets of contested American values——equal protection of the laws for all persons (based on the Fourteenth Amendment) and the idea of racial hierarchy (as inherited from the constitutional practice of the antebellum era).

Wang Xi received his Ph.D. in United States history from Columbia University. He is currently a professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, specializing in 19th-century United States history, African American history, and history of American constitutionalism. He held a Boya Professorship in the History Department, Peking University, from 2008 to 2020. He has authored, among other things, The Trial of Democracy: Black Suffrage and Northern Republicans, 1860-1910 (1997) and Principles and Compromises: The Spirit and Practice of the American Constitution (expanded edition, 2014). His translation work includes The Story of American Freedom (2002) and Give Me Liberty: An American History (2010), both of which were authored by the prominent American historian Eric Foner.

1882年《排华法案》(The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882)是美国历史上第一部以种族为理由禁止外国人移民美国的法律,不仅深刻地影响了华裔移民的美国经历,而且也开启了终结外国人自由移民美国的历史。值《排华法案》通过140周年之际,华美人文学会特邀美国宾夕法尼亚州印第安纳大学历史系王希教授于2022年12月3日美东时间晚8时至9时半做第一批“永久性外来者”的制造——140年 后重读《1882年排华法案》专题讲座。

本讲座采用宪法政治的视角,叙述排华法案的制定与实施过程,讨论其如何关键地影响了后来其他基于种族/族裔和国籍之上的限制性移民法的制定,并揭示在“第二次建国”时代中,不同群体的美国人如何围绕两套冲突的美国价值观——跨种族的平等法律保护原则(来自第十四条宪法修正案)和种族主义等级观(来自内战前的宪政实践)——的合法性和首要性而展开的一场旷日持久的政治博弈。

主讲人王希,美国哥伦比亚大学历史系美国史博士,宾夕法尼亚州印第安纳大学(Indiana University of Pennsylvania)历史系教授(1994至今),北京大学历史学系博雅讲座教授(2008-2020),研究领域为:19世纪美国历史、非裔美国人历史、美国宪政史。著有 The Trial of Democracy: Black Suffrage and Northern Republicans, 1860-1910、《原则与妥协:美国宪法的精神与实践》;译著包括:《美国自由的故事》、《给我自由:一部美国的历史》。

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Date:
December 3
Time:
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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