The history of Chinese students at MIT dates back to 1877. From these beginnings, the Institute became one of the most popular destinations for Chinese overseas students, especially those seeking to contribute to their country’s modernization through engineering, science, and commerce. Between 1854 and 1954, MIT awarded 734 degrees to Chinese students, the third highest number of any American university. This lecture and exhibition will offer insight into local history, immigration trends, and lessons from a previous generation.
To commemorate the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and in conjunction with her exhibition China Comes to Tech: 1877-1931, Professor Emma Teng will address the impact of the Exclusion laws, and the xenophobia that they represented, on students from China, using MIT as a case study.
Emma J. Teng is the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations at MIT. She teaches courses in Chinese culture, Chinese migration history, Asian American history, East Asian culture, and women’s and gender studies.
Co-hosted by the Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE) and MIT Global Studies and Languages. With support from CHSNE’s 25th Anniversary Sponsors: Tufts Medical Center, National Park Service, and South Cove Community Health Center.