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Jean Pfaelzer

Professor, University of Delaware, and author of Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans

Jean Pfaelzer is a professor of English, Asian Studies, Women’s Studies American Studies at the University of Delaware.

She is the author of “Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans,” (Random House; University of California Press) as well “Parlor Radical: Rebecca Harding Davis and the Origins of American Social Realism,” “The Utopian Novel in America” and two critical editions.

She was the Executive Director of the National Labor Law Center and served as a Senior Legislative Analyst for the late Congressman Frank McCloskey, D-Indiana, covering labor, immigration and women's issues.

Ms. Pfaelzer curated the exhibit “Chinese American Women: a History of Resistance and Resilience” for the National Women’s History Museum. She has also wrote and co-produced a documentary for PBS/KEET on the Chinese experience in Humboldt County, California.

Ms Pfaelzer has spoken extensively on immigration, labor, and Chinese American issues on NPR, Pacifica and independent radio stations across the country. She has been a featured speaker at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. She has also written more than 30 articles in the areas of 19th century American Literature, women’s literature, feminist theory, utopian fiction and cultural theory.

Ms. Pfaelzer was Chair of the American Studies Association International Women’s Task Force, serves on the International Committee and has served on the Women’s Committee of American Studies Association.

Ms. Pfaelzer has a Ph.D. from University College, London, a Graduate Diploma in Literature and Society from Cambridge University, and a B.A. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Articles by Jean Pfaelzer

US: Dog Tags for Chinese Immigrants

Seizing on anti-immigrant sentiment before an election is not a new phenomenon in the U.S. It goes back to the 19th century.

August 10, 2019

US: China’s Example for Today’s Latinos

Long before Latinos became the target of anti-immigration sentiments, Chinese laborers were in the crosshairs of nativist Americans.

August 9, 2019

Equality Is Never Having To Say You Are Sorry (Part II)

Are apologies for racial abuses enough — or are reparations necessary?

September 8, 2009

Equality Is Never Having To Say You Are Sorry (Part I)

How can the United States honor the struggles of immigrant laborers who helped build the country?

September 7, 2009

The United States’ First National ID System

What is the forgotten history of the United States' first national identity card system?

September 5, 2007