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Wood agricultural history lecture series features UC-Davis’ Cecilia Tsu

Wood agricultural history lecture series features UC-Davis’ Cecilia Tsu

A nationally-recognized historian with research and teaching interests in Asian American history, race, ethnicity and immigration, addressed a Texas Tech University audience this month. Cecilia Tsu, an associate professor at the University of California-Davis’ Department of History, spoke at 7 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 17) in the Escondido Theater at the university’s Student Union Building.

Tsu’s lecture was titled, “Refugees and the Agrarian Dream: The Politics of Resettlement in the 1980s.” She is being hosted by The Charles L. Wood Agricultural History Lecture in Tech’s Department of History, and her program is supported by Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Program officials note that a reception starting at 6:30 p.m. preceded the event.

Tsu is a noted author. One her first works is the Garden of the World: Asian Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture in California’s Santa Clara Valley (2013), one of the first comparative historical studies of Asian immigrants in rural America. The book explores the ways in which Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants transformed agricultural practices along with ideologies of race and American national identity from 1880 to 1940 in a region once celebrated around the world for its horticultural productivity, now commonly known as Silicon Valley.

Separately, Tsu’s current research examines the evolution of Southeast Asian refugee resettlement policy and its intersection with the rise of modern conservatism in the United States during the 1970s to 1980s. Tsu received her bachelor’s degree in history from Swarthmore College, and her master’s degree in American civilization from Brown University. Her doctorate in history is from Stanford University.

The Charles L. Wood Agricultural History Lecture Series was first held in 1985 as a memorial tribute to the late Texas Tech history professor, Chuck Wood. Since that time the series has featured some of the nation’s top agricultural and western historians.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Mark Stoll, Professor and Director of Environmental Studies, History Department, Texas Tech University at Mark.Stoll@ttu.edu

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