"The American Dilemma": Foreign Contract Labor and the Making of US Immigration Policy
Time & Location
About the Event
Link to the event: https://hku.zoom.us/j/95523946487
This presentation introduces Hirota’s current book project, which examines a fundamental
dilemma in American history – the tension between nativism against foreigners and demand for
their labor. The book argues that the origins of the American dilemma lay in the importation of
foreign contract workers and attempts through federal laws to prevent this form of immigration
in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, a period in American history running roughly between
the 1880s and the 1920s. The presentation introduces an overview of the project, its major
historiographical contributions, and part of one chapter of the manuscript.
Hidetaka Hirota is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies at Sophia
University, where he teaches North American Studies and Migration Studies. His principal areas
of research include nineteenth-century US history, American immigration history, and
transnational history. He is the author of Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the
Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy (Oxford University Press), which
received multiple book prizes including the First Book Award from the Immigration and Ethnic
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of History at HKU. All are welcome. No registration is required.
Our Seminar Series comprises of talks and works-in-progress seminars that meets 2-3 times over the semester for postgraduate students and academic staff. For further information, please conact us.