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Research Seminars



Hidetaka Hirota
Sophia University "The American Dilemma": Foreign Contract Labor and the Making of US Immigration Policy


13 Nov 2020

3:30 p.m.



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 History Society.


Co-organized by HKU Nineteenth-Century Research Cluster and the Department of History.


All are welcome. No registration is required.