OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Mary Ting Yi Lui

Portrait of Mary Ting Yi Lui

Mary Ting Yi Lui is a professor of American studies and history at Yale University. Her primary research interests include Asian American history, urban history, women's and gender studies, and public history. She is the author of The Chinatown Trunk Mystery: Murder, Miscegenation, and Other Dangerous Encounters in Turn-of-the-Century New York City (2005), a cowinner of the best history book prize from the Association of Asian American Studies. The book uses a unsolved 1909 murder case to examine race, gender, and interracial sexual relations in the cultural, social, and spatial formation of New York City Chinatown from 1870 to 1920. She is currently working on a new book entitled "Making Model Minorities: Asian Americans, Race, and Citizenship in Cold War America at Home and Abroad," which examines the history of Asian Americans and U.S. cultural diplomacy in Asia in the early years of the Cold War.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This lecture focuses on the Progressive Era and the efforts at social reform that targeted the social ills connected to urbanization and industrial capitalism, particularly in working-class and poor communities. Looking specifically at New York City in this period, the lecture discusses the ways in which reformers attempted to enact multiple forms of labor protections and moral discipline that also created new understandings of gender and race.
This lecture focuses on the late 19th and early 20th century migrations — domestic and international — that shaped the growth of New York City. In particular, the lecture addresses these histories of migration and settlement that gave rise to racial and ethnic tensions and patters of exclusion and segregation.
This lecture discusses the waves of Asian migration to the US between the end of WWII and the passage of the 1964 Immigration Act that resulted from Cold War pressures in Asia. From changes in “war brides acts” to emergency asylum and parole policies the lecture notes the ways in which Asian migration changed greatly in this period as a precursor to the post-1965 immigration waves.
This lecture discusses the ways in which scholars of history can use the built environment as a means to understanding the past. The lecture discusses how historians should understand the built environment as shaped by social relations and political and cultural ideologies such as race and gender. This lecture discusses what the field of cultural geography has to offer historians.
This lecture discusses US State Department’s efforts to tour Asian American cultural and political leaders in an effort to shore up U.S. Global leadership in the early years of the Cold War. The lectures looks at the “model minority” narratives of Asian American success as domestic and international cultural production.