Virtual Event     

Historians and the News: Reflections on Xenophobia, Politics, and Living in an Historic Moment

Suggested donation: $35 general public and $25 OHS members / Registration opens on Thursday, August 20

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
5PM – 6PM

  • Researchers
  • Teachers

Virtual program via Zoom. Register here.

Event Type: Virtual EventAudience(s): Researchers, Teachers

During the Q&A portions of public lectures, historians are almost always called on to speak to the present, and sometimes even to predict the future. Audiences recognize that careful study of primary-source evidence and secondary-source context reveals patterns and habits of human behavior that are not solely relegated to the past. Right now, it is clear we are all living through a truly historic era, making us all the more eager to hear how historians are understanding our current world. This discussion between two nationally renowned historians promises to offer valuable insights, informed by years of scholarly analysis of the past, into the meaning of news stories that fill our screens and newspaper pages.

Ability Accommodation Information

This event provides the following accommodations:

  • Handicap Accessible

Erika Lee and Christopher McKnight Nichols are donating their time and considerable knowledge, drawn from years of scholarship, to provide historical context and perspective. As historians, Dr. Lee and Dr. Nichols rely on archival institutions like OHS to do their research, and so they are willing to give of their time to sustain the important work of OHS. Tickets would normally be $25 for members and $35 for non-members. To make this important conversation accessible to all, we ask that you contribute what you can. Your donation goes directly to the OHS Pandemic Survival Fund to help replace revenue OHS has lost as a result of COVID-19.

About the Speakers

One of the nation’s leading scholars on immigration and Asian American history, Erika Lee teaches American history at the University of Minnesota, where she is a Regents Professor, the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History, and the Director of the Immigration History Research Center. She is the author of four notable books, including most recently, America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United Statesand the award-winning The Making of Asian America: A History. Lee also founded and directs the Immigrant Stories Digital Storytelling Project, which works with recent immigrants and refugees to create, preserve, and share their immigration stories through a free multi-lingual web app and publicly-accessible archive. She is also an active public intellectual and is a frequent news commentator and consultant. She is a recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship (also known as the nation's “brainy award”) and is the incoming Vice President of the Organization of American Historians. Don’t miss her September 8, 2020, virtual presentation on America for Americans as part of the Oregon Historical Society’s Mark O. Hatfield Lecture Series; tickets available here

Erika Lee

Christopher McKnight Nichols is associate professor of history at Oregon State University and Director of OSU’s Center for the Humanities. He founded and leads OSU’s Citizenship and Crisis Initiative. Nichols is an expert on the history of the United States’ relationships with the world, including isolationism, internationalism, globalization, ideas, and political history, with an emphasis on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era through the present. An Andrew Carnegie Fellow and Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer, Nichols was honored as Oregon State University’s Honors College Professor of the Year. Nichols also is a frequent commentator on air and in print on U.S. foreign policy and politics, often appearing on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s program Think Out Loud with Dave Miller. He is an editorial board member of the “Made by History” section of the Washington Post and is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Nichols is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, most notably Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age, and the forthcoming Rethinking American Grand Strategy. Nichols is a proud member of the Board of Trustees of the Oregon Historical Society and a passionate advocate for history and the humanities.

Christopher McKnight Nichols, photo by Mina Carson