Professor Judy Yung to Discuss the History of the “Ellis Island of the West”

Two-day lecture at UC Riverside will cover importance of oral history, and "Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America"

Judy Yung, professor emeritus and co-author of “Angel Island – Immigrant Gateway to America” to host discussion on April 21&22, at UCR.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – Judy Yung, professor emerita in American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will present poetries and stories from “Angel Island, Immigrant Gateway to America” at UC Riverside on Tuesday, April 21. Yung will also talk about her work in oral history, including why it is important to her and how she became an oral historian on Wednesday, April 22.

Tuesday’s event will be held in 1128 CHASS Interdisciplinary Building South from 3:30-5 p.m. Refreshments will be served outside afterward from 5-6 p.m. Yung will sign copies of “Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island,1910-1940,” and copies of the book will be available for purchase for $30, plus tax. The presentation on Wednesday will be held in 240 Orbach Science Library from 3:30-5:15 p.m. and refreshments will follow until 6 p.m. Both events are free to the public.

What began with a discovery of poems carved into the walls of buildings slated for demolition in the 1970s led to preservation efforts and telling the silent stories of immigrant history. Today the Angel Island Immigration Station is an historic site, often dubbed the “Ellis Island” of the west, the tales of which were impacted by the various exclusion laws enacted at the time. Originally published in 1980, the poems were reproduced in the original and translated in the book Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940, which Judy Yung co-edited.  A second edition was released in November, 2014, enlarged and enhanced by further research, oral histories, and extensive profiles, with additional photographs added from family albums and public archives.  Between these two editions, Judy Yung and Erika Lee co-authored Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America (2010), which won the Caughey Western History Prize for best book of the year in Western History for 2011. 

The on-campus presentations are sponsored by The Librarians Association of the University of California, Riverside Division (professional development, chair, and programs funds); the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department; the Center for Ideas and Society; the Public History Program of the History Department; the Department of Ethnic Studies; and the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies.  Arrangements and administrative support provided by the UCR Library and CHASS.

Parking information for the lectures is as follows:

For Tuesday:

  • Park in Visitor Lot 1
  • Follow the directions on the parking dispenser
  • Cross the street and walk toward the center of campus. CHASS INTS will be in the 2nd building on the left. Room 1128 is the Screening Room.

For Wednesday:

To Visit the Orbach Science Library
2 hours or less (until walking out and feeding the meter)

  • Park in visitor lot 10 on the northeast corner of Campus Circle Drive.
  • Follow the instructions on the parking dispenser
  • Cross the street and walk up the path to the Science Library.

If you prefer to park all day, you can purchase an all-day Lot 13 blue pass for $8 at the Parking Services Building.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-5893
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Judy Lee
Tel: 951-827-5486

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