Mae M. Ngai
Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: United States History
Competition: US & Canada
Mae M. Ngai is a historian interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism in the United States. She received her B.A. from Empire State College of the State University of New York in 1992 and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1998. She taught at the University of Chicago from 1998 to 2006 before returning to Columbia University, where she is Professor of History and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies.
Ms. Ngai’s first book, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton UP, 2004), won six awards, including the Frederick Jackson Turner award from the Organization of American Historians and the Littleton Griswsold award from the American Historical Association. Her second book, a family biography of Chinese American immigrant brokers and translators in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She will use her Guggenheim fellowship to research her third book, a study of Chinese gold miners in the North American west, Australia, and South Africa. In addition to publishing in academic journals, Ms. Ngai has written articles on immigration history and policy for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Boston Review, and the Nation. She has received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, NYU Law School, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Concurrent with her Guggenheim Fellowship, she will be a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.