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Chrissy Lau

Assistant Professor
School of Social, Behavioral & Global Studies

Contact information

Office hours

Fall Semester 2020Wednesdays: 1-3pm


I am an interdisciplinary scholar trained in the fields of History, Asian American Studies, and Feminist Studies. My research and teaching interests include Asian American History, Women’s History, and Public History. In the fall of 2021, I will teach SBS 112: Women and Social Change in the U.S., From 1890 to the Present and SBS 364: The Japanese American Internment Camps.

My current research focuses on young people in the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. My book manuscript, Racial Arbiters: A History of How Young People Rebuilt TransPacific Relations During an Era of Exclusion, tells the stories of college-aged Japanese American youth that became politicized during the anti-immigrant nativism of the 1920s and emerged as leaders of their communities. They rebuilt gender relations, community welfare and trans-Pacific ties during an era of U.S. racial exclusion and the rise of Japanese imperialism. The book manuscript is forthcoming from University of Washington Press in Spring of 2022.

I believe strongly in the value of making history accessible to the general public. I have served on research and planning teams to develop exhibitions, from the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. to the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles. In the classroom, I work with students to build digital exhibitions, oral history archives, and podcasts. Lastly, I make connections between campus and community such as placing undergraduates and graduate students in internships at local historical museums and archival libraries.

When I am not writing or teaching, I am sewing. I am a member of the Auntie Sewing Squad, a collective of women of color craftmakers across California and the nation. We sew masks and work with community organizations to distribute them to vulnerable communities of color. I am currently co-editing a tradebook, We Go Down Sewing: The Auntie Sewing Squad, Radical Care and Racial Justice During Covid-19, forthcoming from the University of California Press in Fall 2021.