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Southbury Public Library

100 Poverty Road
Southbury, CT 06488
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P:(203) 262-0626
F:(203) 262-6734
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Library News


6/8/2018 - The Chinese Exclusion Act Documentary Screening and Asian American History Lecture on June 19, 2018

Richard Bozzuto “American Dream” Series

The Southbury Public Library is hosting a documentary screening and lecture examining Asian American history on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 5pm in the Kingsley Room as a part of the library’s 2018 Adult Summer Series: Revisiting Our History at the Southbury Public Library. The documentary that will be shown is The Chinese Exclusion Act. Following this 35 minute film, Dr. Mary Lui, a Yale Historian featured in the film, will give a 45 minute talk titled “Understanding Asian American History: Immigration and Exclusion in the 19th and 20th Centuries.” This program is the first of the Richard Bozzuto “American Dream” series which was recently established in his memory by the Friends of the Southbury Public Library and to honor his daughter Chris Tolley, a long time officer and member of the Friends.

The Chinese Exclusion Act examines a deeply American story about immigration and national identity, civil rights, and human justice, and how we define who can be an American and what being an American means. What does a little-known 1882 law have to do with American identity, democracy, and civil rights today? Through powerful and illuminating visuals, historical documents, testimonies, and insights of leading scholars and experts, The Chinese Exclusion Act documentary explores the history of Chinese immigration to the United States and its significance to issues of globalization, immigration, labor, and civil rights today. Directed by Rick Burns and Li-Shin Yu, this documentary is a co-production of Steeplechase Films and the Center for Asian American Media, with support from NEH, Committee of 100, CPB, and PBS.

Dr. Mary Lui will give a talk titled “Understanding Asian American History: Immigration and Exclusion in the 19th and 20th Centuries.” Tied in to the documentary, this talk will give the audience a broader history of Chinese Exclusion and its impact on shaping broader additional immigration policies that ended Asian migration as well as limited naturalization and citizenship.

Mary Lui is Professor of American Studies and History. Her primary research interests include: Asian American history, urban history, women and gender studies, and public history. She is the author of The Chinatown Trunk Mystery: Murder, Miscegenation, and Other Dangerous Encounters in Turn-of-the-Century New York City (Princeton University Press, 2005), the 2007 co-winner of the best book prize for history from the Association of Asian American Studies. She is currently working on a new book titled Making Model Minorities: Asian Americans, Race, and Citizenship in Cold War America at Home and Abroad that examines the history of Asian American and U.S. cultural diplomacy in Asia in the early years of the Cold War.

Like all Southbury Public Library programs, this presentation is free to attend and open to anyone regardless of town of residency. Registration is required; please call 203-262-0626 ext. 130 to register.