Crossing Borders: Migration, Law, and Global Politics


Thursday, February 3, 2022


Mae Ngai (Columbia University)
The Chinese Question. The Gold Rushes and Global Politics (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2021)

Ian Sanjay Patel (London School of Economics)
We’re Here Because You Were There: Immigration and the End of Empire (London: Verso Books, 2021)

Moderators: Franziska Exeler (Cambridge/FU Berlin) and Kalyani Ramnath (Harvard)



Mae Ngai is Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History at Columbia University. She is also the Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia. Mae Ngai is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in the histories of immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and the Chinese diaspora. She is author of three books, including, most recently, The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics, which was published with Norton in 2021. She is currently working on a new book, titled Nation of Immigrants: A Short History of an Idea, which is under contract with Princeton University Press.

Ian Sanjay Patel is Assistant Professor in Sociology and Social Research at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research specializes in human rights and the intersections between intellectual history, world history, and political thought. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His book, We're Here Because You Were There: Immigration and the End of Empire, was published by Verso Books in 2021.