At the institute, Beth Lew-Williams is completing her dissertation on Chinese immigration across the United States-Canada boundary in the late nineteenth century. The project examines both legal and extra-legal forms of border control; specifically, how U.S. immigration policies that barred Chinese laborers intersected with grassroots movements that sought to drive them out. Beginning with the Chinese Restriction Act in 1882, the dissertation traces the formation of Chinese Exclusion through immigration law, transnational mobility, racial violence, and diplomacy.
Beth Lew-Williams is a doctoral candidate in the department of History at Stanford University. Her interests include Asian American history, immigration, race and the American West. Her work has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Shultz Grant in Canadian Studies.