Project Leaders


Gordon Chang


Professor of History, Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities; Director, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University

Gordon Chang’s research focuses on the history of America-East Asia relations and on Asian American history.  He is affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the American Studies Program, International Relations Program, and the Center for East Asian Studies.  He is particularly interested in the historical connections between race and ethnicity in America and foreign relations, and explores these interconnections in his teaching and scholarship.  He is a recipient of both Guggenheim and ACLS fellowships, and has been a three-time fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. 
Chang is the editor or author of a number of essays and books, including American Asian Art: A History, 1850 – 1970 (2008); Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present (2006); Asian Americans and Politics: An Exploration (2001); Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Wartime Writing, 1942-1945 (1997);  and Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972 (1990).  Chinese American Voices is a collaboration with two other historians and presents the words of Chinese Americans from the mid-19th century to the recent past.

Chang’s most recent work, American Asian Artis the first comprehensive study of the lives and artistic production of American Asian artists active in the United States before 1970.  The books features essays by ten leading scholars, biographies of more than 150 artists and over 400 reproductions of artwork, ephemera and images of artists.  He is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Transnational American Studies.  He is currently completing a long history of America-China relations from Jamestown to the present and is studying Leland Stanford’s relationship to the Chinese in America.

Shelley Fisher Fishkinfishkin


Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, Professor of English, and Director of American Studies, Stanford University

Shelley Fisher Fishkin has taught at Stanford since 2003. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of over forty books, and has published over one hundred articles, essays and reviews, many of which have focused on issues of race and racism in America, and on recovering previously silenced voices from the past.  Her books have won two “Outstanding Academic Title” awards from Choice, an award from the the National Journalism Scholarship Society, and “Outstanding Reference Work” awards from Library Journal and the New York Public Library.   She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. Before coming to Stanford, she was chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2003, the challenge of doing transnational research in American Studies has been a central concern. Her publications on this topic include “Crossroads of Cultures: The Transnational Turn in American Studies—Presidential Address to the American Studies Association, November 12, 2004.” American Quarterly Vol. 57, No. 1 (March 2005); “Asian Crossroads/Transnational American Studies.” Japanese Journal of American Studies No. 17 (2006);  “American Literature in Transnational Perspective: The Case of Mark Twain,” in the Blackwell Companion to American Literary Studies, Ed. Caroline  F. Levander and Robert S.  Levine;   (2011); “A Brief for Digital Palimpsest Mapping Projects (DPMPs) or ‘Deep Maps.’” Journal of Transnational American Studies. 3:2 (2011);  “Mapping Transnational American Studies,” in Transnational American Studies, Ed. Udo J. Hebel , Universitätverlag Winter (2012); and “Mapping American Studies in the Twenty-First Century: Transnational Perspectives” in The Transnationalism of American Culture, Ed. Rocio DavisNew York: Routledge (2013).  She has keynoted American Studies conferences in Beijing, Calcutta, Cambridge,  Copenhagen, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kunming, Kyoto,  La Coruña, Lisbon,  Nanjing,  Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo, and her work has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Georgian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.   She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California, and serves on the international jury for the 2013 Francqui Prize. She is a Past President of the American Studies Association, past chair of the Nonfiction Prose Division of the Modern Language Association,  and a Founding Editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies. For further info please visit her biography on the English Department website.


Evelyn Hu-Dehartevelyn

Professor of History and Ethnic Studies, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University

Evelyn Hu-DeHart joined Brown from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she was Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and Director of the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America. She has also taught at the City University of New York system, New York University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Arizona and University of Michigan, as well as lectured at universities and research institutes in Mexico, Peru, Cuba, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. She often describes herself as a multicultural person who speaks several languages (including English, Chinese, French, and Spanish) and moves easily among several cultures. Her professional life has focused on what Cuban historian Juan Perez de la Riva calls “historia de la gente sin historia.”  In 2011-12, she was the Santander Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and lectured all over China, introducing Chinese audiences to the little known subject of Chinese migration to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Professor Hu-DeHart was born in China and immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was 12. As an undergraduate at Stanford University,  she studied in Brazil on an exchange program and returned after graduation with a Fulbright fellowship. She became fascinated with Latin America and that interest eventually led her to a Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Texas at Austin.  She is also the recipient of an Honorary Degree from the University of Notre Dame.   Prof. Hu-DeHart has written two books on the Yaqui Indians on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and has been engaged in an long term, ongoing research project on the Chinese diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  The goal of her diaspora project is to uncover and recover the history of Asian migration to Latin America and the Caribbean, and to document and analyze the contributions of these immigrants to the formation of Latin/Caribbean societies and cultures. It should also contribute towards theorizing diasporas and transnationalism. Hu-DeHart also hopes that her work will broaden the scope of Asian American studies as well as contribute to a subject not well covered within Latin American studies.

Prof. Hu-DeHart has published in English, Chinese, Spanish, and on five continents–North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.  Selected publications on the Chinese diaspora include these articles: “Huagong and Huashang: The Chinese as Laborers and Merchants in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Amerasia Journal 28:2 (2002); “Opium and Social Control: Coolies on the Plantations of Peru and Cuba,” Journal of Overseas Chinese, 1:2 (November 2005); “Latin America in Asia-Pacific Perspective,” in Rhacel Parreñas and Lok Siu (eds), Asian Diasporas.  Stanford 2007; “Indispensable Enemy or Convenient Scapegoat?  A Critical Examination of Sinophobia in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Journal of Chinese Overseas 5:1 (September 2009); “Chinatowns and Borderlands: Inter-Asian Encounters in the Diaspora,” Modern Asian Studies 46:2 (2012); “Integration and Exclusion: The Chinese in Multiracial Latin America and the Caribbean,” TAN Chee-Beng, ed., Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora, 2012.  She is also the editor of several anthologies and journal special issues:  Across the Pacific: Asian Americans and Globalization,  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999;  
Asians in the Americas: Transculturations and Power (co-editor with Lane Hirabayashi), special issue of Amerasia Journal 28:2 (2002)
Voluntary Associations in the Chinese Diaspora (co-edited with Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce), Hong Kong U. Press, 2006; 

Asia and Latin America, special issue of REVIEW: Literature and Arts of the Americas 72 (Spring 2006); “Afro-Asia,” (Guest Editor with Kathleen López), special issue of Afro-Hispanic Review 27: 1 (Spring 2008). She is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Transnational American Studies.

Dongfang Shaodongfang_shao

Chief, Asian Division, Library of Congress, USA

Born in China, Dongfang Shao received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Beijing Normal University, and came to the United States in 1986 and earned his PhD in history from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with a fellowship from the East-West Center in Honolulu. Dr. Shao taught for nearly six years in the Chinese Studies Department of the National University of Singapore and also served for two years on the Advisory Panel for Singapore National Library Board’s Chinese Library Service before moving to Stanford University in 1999.  As a visiting professor in the Department of Asian Languages, Dr. Shao taught graduate level courses on Sinological research methods and topics in advanced Classical Chinese; and he also advised doctoral candidates on their dissertation research. Subsequently appointed research fellow in Stanford’s innovative Asian Religions & Cultures Initiative, he continued teaching and provided advanced reference and research assistance as well as bibliographic instruction to students in the university’s Departments of East Asian Cultures and Languages, History, and Religious Studies.  In May 2003, after one academic year teaching at Fo Guang University in Taiwan, Dr. Shao was appointed head of Stanford’s East Asia Library, the university’s primary East Asian-language collection in the social sciences and humanities for all historical periods. Dr. Dongfang Shao is a well-known and highly respected scholar of Chinese history, literature and culture on both sides of the Pacific. He has numerous publications to his credit, including five monographs, seven edited books, as well as many articles in academic journals, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and book reviews. The Bamboo Annals, one of the most important ancient Chinese texts, is a subject of particular interest and expertise to Dr. Shao. He co-authors with Professor David S. Nivison, A New Study and Translation of the Bamboo Annals, which will be published by the University of Washington Press. Dr. Shao is also an experienced translator of scholarly publications from English into Chinese and vice versa.  Dr. Shao has also provided ongoing research and academic consultation services to several higher education institutes in China, including Beijing Normal University, Beijing Jiaotong University and Xiangtan University. Dr. Shao began his new responsibilities as chief of Asian Division, Library of Congress in Washington, DC on April 23, 2012.  In this capacity, he serves as the Library of Congress’ primary expert in the provision of reference services related to material in all languages of Asia and the Pacific Islands, and has custodial responsibility for the largest Asian language collections outside of Asia. Dr. Shao was appointed by President John L. Hennessy as a member of Advisory Council of Stanford University Libraries in July 2012.

Hilton Obenzingerobenzinger

Associate Director, Chinese Railroad Workers Project; Lecturer, American Studies and English, Stanford University

Hilton Obenzinger writes cultural criticism, history, fiction and poetry. He is the author of American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania, a literary and historical study of America’s fascination with the Holy Land. He has published chapters in books and articles in scholarly journals on American travel writing, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and American cultural interactions with the Middle East, such as “Melville, Holy Lands, and Settler-Colonial Studies,” “Naturalizing Cultural Pluralism, Americanizing Zionism: The Settler Colonial Basis to Early-Twentieth-Century Progressive Thought,” “‘Wicked Books’: Melville and Religion,” “Melting-Pots and Promised Lands: Zionism, the Idea of America, and Israel Zangwill,” “Better Dreams: The Philippine-American War and Twain’s ‘Exploding’ Novel” and “Going to Tom’s Hell in Huckleberry Finn.” He is currently writing Melting Pots and Promised Lands: Early Zionism and the Idea of Americaa study of entwined settler colonial narratives from the nineteenth century to 1948. He has most recently published an autobiographical novel Busy Dying. His other books include Cannibal Eliot and the Lost Histories of San Francisco, New York on Fire, Running through Fire: How I Survived the Holocaust by Zosia Goldberg, and This Passover Or The Next I Will Never Be In Jerusalemwhich received the American Book Award. At Stanford University he teaches American studies and writing.



Barbara VossBarbVoss cropped

Director of Archeology, Chinese Railroad Workers Project
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

Barbara Voss’s  research program is centered on two primary interests: historical archaeology and sexuality studies. Within historical archaeology, her research focuses on the dynamics and outcomes of transnational cultural encounters in the Americas. This research includes ongoing investigations of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, including (since 1992) field and laboratory research at the Presidio of San Francisco. In the past decade, she has expanded this work on cultural encounters into the archaeology of overseas Chinese communities in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In this capacity she serves as Principal Investigator of the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project, a community-based research program developed to study and interpret the history and archaeology of San Jose’s first Chinese community. The second focus of her research is sexuality studies in archaeology. She strives to generate a productive dialogue between queer studies and archaeology, and to develop rigorous methodologies that support the study of sexuality and gender through archaeological evidence. Most recently she has been exploring the relationship between queer theory and postcolonial theory in archaeology, the subject of her recent book The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects, co-edited with El Casella. Throughout she is  guided by a deep commitment to public archaeology and collaborative research.