Wilson Center Experts
Mae M. Ngai is a Professor of History and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies at Columbia University. She is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism. Mae is the author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton 2004) , which won six awards, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians; and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010). Professor Ngai has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009-10); the Institute for Advanced Study (2009-10); the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2003-04); the Huntington Library (2006); NYU Law School (1999-2000).
Ngai has written on immigration history and policy for the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, the Nation, and the Boston Review. In October 2009, she was one of the conveners of a national conference hosted by the Wilson Center, “Fixing a Broken Immigration System,” cosponsored by Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Southern California. The conference brought together policy analysts, advocates, academics, and journalists, with special speaker Rep. Luis Gutierrez.
Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton 2004.
The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010, paperback edition, Princeton University Press, 2012.