Past Member

Mae M Ngai


Social Science

Field of Study


Home Institution

Columbia University

Title: Yellow and Gold: The Chinese Mining Diaspora, 1850-1910. My project examines Chinese gold miners in the North American West, Australia, and South Africa (1850-1910). My intention is to think about exploitable-extractive resources and diasporic labor in the development of Anglo-American colonial-settler societies and in the world-capitalist economy in the late-nineteenth century. I compare the social organization and experience of Chinese miners across Anglo-American settler colonies; and examine the relationship between Chinese and European labor and the circulation of racial discourses in the making of polities that were at once democratic and exclusionary. I also explore the colonial dimension of the international monetary system and the gold standard in the late-nineteenth century.

Dates at IAS

School of Social Science


Columbia University