Erika Lee, PhD is the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants who entered the United States through both Angel Island and Ellis Island. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches history at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center. More about Erika.


The Making of Asian America: A History

(New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015; paperback 2016; coming soon in Chinese) Awarded the 2015 -2016 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Adult Non-Fiction from the American Library Association Awarded a 2015 Kirkus Star from the Kirkus Reviews for books of exceptional merit Named a Best Nonfiction Book of 2015 by the Kirkus Review, named […]

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Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America

(Co-authored with Judy Yung; New York, Oxford University Press, 2010; 2d edition, 2012) From 1910 to 1940, the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco served as the processing and detention center for half a million people from around the world on their way into and out of the United States. Based on extensive archival […]

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Blog Posts

Erika featured on the ABC (Australia)

November 29, 2018: Erika was in Melbourne to give the La Trobe University Bernard Bailyn Lecture in North American History. Her lecture, “American Xenophobia from the Colonial Era to the Trump Era” was broadcast by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and she was also interviewed by Patricia Karvelas for the “Drawing Room.”

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Erika Named a U of M Regents Professor!

June 20, 2018: The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has given three faculty members the distinction of Regents Professor: Gunda Georg as Regents Professor of Medicinal Chemistry; Marc Jenkins as Regents Professor of Microbiology and Immunology; and Erika Lee as Regents Professor of History and Asian American Studies. The designation, granted this month, is […]

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Erika Named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow for 2018-2020!

April 25, 2018: The Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced the 2018 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows. As part of the so-called “brainy award,” 31 extraordinary scholars and writers will each receive up to $200,000, making it possible for them to devote their time to significant research, writing, and publishing in the humanities and social […]

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News & Events

Erika named 2017 Dean’s Medalist!

Erika was honored today by being named the College of Liberal Arts 2017 Dean’s Medalist, an honor given to faculty in recognition of their excellence in scholarship and creativity. Read her interview here.  

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Erika at Google

Googlers are reading The Making of Asian America and invited Erika out to the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA for a talk. Check out her Google Talk: “Stand Up/Speak Out: The Need for Asian American Activism Today” here.  

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Erika Interviewed on the #ImmigrationSyllabus

Since launching on January 27, 2017, the #ImmigrationSyllabus has been viewed by thousands around the world. Erika talks to Perspectives magazine about how it all started.

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