Beth Lew-Williams Receives Two Book Awards from the Organization of American Historians

Princeton University’s Beth Lew-Williams has received two awards from the Organization of American Historians for her latest book, The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of Alien in American (Harvard University Press, 2018). The award-winning book maps the tangled relationships between local racial violence, federal immigration policy, and U.S. imperial ambitions in Asia in the second half of the nineteenth century.

At the recent Organization of American Historians’ annual meeting in Philadelphia, Dr. Lew-Williams received the 2019 Ray Allen Billington Prize. The award is given every two years for the best book on the history of native and/or settler peoples in frontier, border and borderland zones of intercultural contact in any century to the present, and includes works that address the legacies of those zones. She also received the 2019 Ellis W. Hawley Prize, which is awarded annually for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present.

Dr. Lew-Williams has been an assistant professor of history at Princeton University since 2014. She is a historian of race and migration in the United States, specializing in Asian American history. In addition to her appointment in the department of history, she also serves as an affiliated faculty member in the Program of American Studies, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Asian/American/Diaspora Studies. She is also a core member of the Princeton Migration Lab. She is currently working on her next book project, John Doe Chinaman: Race and Law in the American West. The book is primarily based on nineteenth-century courtroom testimony and will examine the legal regulation of Chinese migrants within the United States.

Before coming to Princeton, Dr. Lew-Williams was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in history and Asian American studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She has been a resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research in the Humanities and the Institute of Advanced Study.

Dr. Lew-Williams is a graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University in California.

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