Past Event

Date:
Chapter Leadership Breakfast, Thursday, 14 November 2013
Time:
Breakfast 09:00
Stanford Speaks:
SHELLEY FISHKIN, co-Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project & Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities and Director of American Studies at Stanford University
Topic:
The History of Chinese Railroad Workers in North America
Place:
The China Club, Old Bank of China Building, Central, Hong Kong

Date:
Evening Reception, Thursday, 14 November 2013
Time:
Drinks 18:30; Presentation: 19:00; Close: 20:00
Place:
Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Cost:
HKD 180 Asia Society members/Stanford alumni; HKD 230 Non-members.
Co-Sponsors:
The Asia Society & The Stanford Club of Hong Kong


Event Details:
The Asia Society and the Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong and the Stanford Club of Hong Kong co-hosted 30 attendees for an evening discussion and drinks with Professor Fishkin, co-Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University (CLICK HERE for RAILWAY PROJECT/PROGRAM WEBSITE). 

A separate Stanford GSB Chapter Leadership Breakfast was also held with the Professor at the China Club on the same day.

The Professor spoke on the history of Chinese workers on the transcontinental railroad. Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants toiled at a grueling pace and in perilous working conditions to help construct America’s First Transcontinental Railroad. The labor of these Chinese workers, who eventually numbered between ten thousand and fifteen thousand at any one moment, was central to creating the wealth that allowed Leland Stanford to found Stanford University. But these workers have never received the attention they deserve. We know relatively little about their lives. What led them to come to the United States? What experiences did they have in their arduous work? How did they live their daily lives? What kinds of communities did they create? How did their work on the railroad change the lives of their families in China and how did it change the lives of the workers themselves, both those who returned to China or went elsewhere after the railroad’s completion and those who stayed in the U.S.? The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West. The Project coordinates research in the United States and Asia in order to create an on-line digital archive available to all and was created by Stanford scholars to give a voice to these thousands of Chinese migrants. The Project is organizing major conferences and public events at Stanford and in China in 2015 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of large numbers of Chinese to work on the railroad.

Biography:
Professor Shelley Fisher Fishkin is the Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities and Director of American Studies at Stanford University and is co-Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford. She has taught there since 2003, and is the author, editor or co-editor of over 40 books. Many of her pieces have focused on issues of race and racism in America, and on recovering previously silenced voices from the past. She is a Past President of the American Studies Association, Past Chair of the Nonfiction Prose Division of the Modern Language Association, and a Founding Editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies.  After receiving her B.A. from Yale College (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), she stayed on at Yale for an MA in English and a Ph.D. in American Studies, and was Director of the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism there. She taught American Studies and English at the University of Texas from 1985 to 2003, and was Chair of the Department of American Studies. She is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, England, where she was a Visiting Fellow, and has twice been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford's Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Japan, and was the winner of a Harry H. Ransom Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Texas.