Upwards of 15,000 to 20,000 individual migrant Chinese laborers performed the bulk of the work constructing the Central Pacific span of the Transcontinental Railroad. Between 1864 and 1869, these Chinese also crossed the Pacific Ocean in what was then, and may still rank among the largest transnational labor migration movements. How do we find sources to uncover this forgotten and deliberately erased history? How did they live their daily lives? What kinds of enterprise did they innovate? How did their work on the railroad shape their lives in communities on both sides of the Pacific? We will look together at digital resources available at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/chineserailroad/cgi-bin/website/.
In 2018, the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), which is a program of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, published four lessons on the Chinese Railroad Workers. These units adapt the research, primary sources, and insights of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project for high school students and classes. Together, we'll engage in several activities from these lessons which are free for download from the SPICE website.
Roland Hsu is Director of Research for the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University. Hsu’s publications address migration and ethnic identity formation. His is the author of multiple essays in international scholarly collections, and in policy journals including Le Monde Diplomatique. Hsu’s most recent book is Migration and Integration. His writing focuses on the history of migration, and on contemporary immigration policy questions, combining humanistic and social science methods and materials to answer what displaces peoples, how do societies respond to migration, and what are the experiences of resettlement. Hsu earned his Ph.D. in Modern European History at the University of Chicago. He holds an M.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago, and a dual B.A. in Art History and also English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
Greg Francis is a Curriculum Consultant for SPICE. Previously, he was Director of Impact Programs for Net Impact. In that role, he led a team that designed and executed experiential learning programs for college students. Before that, Greg was a director for The Broad Superintendents Academy, where he oversaw an executive training program for leaders of urban school districts. With SPICE, Greg has authored or co-authored 10 curriculum units, including Along the Silk Road; Security, Civil Liberties, and Terrorism; International Environmental Politics; and China’s Cultural Revolution. In 2007, Greg received the Franklin Buchanan Prize, which is awarded annually by the Association for Asian Studies to honor an outstanding curriculum publication on Asia at any educational level. Greg received a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and M.A. in Latin American Studies from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Ecuador.