Mae Ngai with The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics

Free Virtual Event: Tuesday, October 19 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Jia Lynn Yang, national editor for the New York Times and author of One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965
Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library, Boston Book Festival, and GBH Forum Network

How the Chinese diaspora, particularly migration to the world’s goldfields, reshaped the nineteenth-century world

In roughly five decades, between 1848 and 1899, more gold was removed from the earth than had been mined in the 3,000 preceding years, bringing untold wealth to individuals and nations. But friction between Chinese and white settlers on the goldfields of California, Australia, and South Africa catalyzed a global battle over “the Chinese Question”: would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration? Join us for a discussion of these definitive cultural and political movements which impact us to this day, featuring two remarkable authors and experts on the topics of Chinese-American history and immigration.

Mae Ngai is Lung Family Professor Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning work Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America.

Jia Lynn Yang is the national editor at The New York Times. She was previously deputy national security editor at The Washington Post, where she was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team. She is the author of the acclaimed work One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965.

Anne Willan with Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today

Free Virtual Event: Thursday, November 4 at 1 p.m. ET

Moderator: Sheryl Julian, award-winning food writer
Presented in partnership with State Library of Massachusetts

A culinary historian traces the origins of American cooking through profiles of twelve essential women cookbook writers, highlighting their key historical contributions and recipes.

Anne Willan, multi-award-winning culinary historian, cookbook writer, cooking teacher, and founder of La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, explores the lives and work of women cookbook authors whose important books have defined cooking over the past three hundred years. Beginning with the first published cookbook by Hannah Woolley in 1661, Women in the Kitchen moves through history to show how female cookbook authors have shaped American cooking today. Don’t miss learning more about such the lives and influences as such influential cooks and chefs as Fannie Farmer, Julia Child, and Alice Waters.

Anne Willan founded La Varenne Cooking School in Paris in 1975 and has written more than thirty books, including the double James Beard Award–winning, The Country Cooking of France, the Gourmand Award¬–winning The Cookbook Library, and the groundbreaking La Varenne Pratique, as well as the Look & Cook series, showcased on PBS. In 2013, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Awards Hall of Fame. Willan serves as an Emeritus Advisor for The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

Sheryl Julian was the longtime award-winning Food Editor of The Boston Globe. She trained at the Cordon Bleu schools in London and Paris, was deputy director of La Varenne cooking school in Paris, is co-author of The Way We Cook, and editor of The New Boston Globe Cookbook. She runs food styling workshops in the Boston area, writes regularly for The Boston Globe, and teaches food writing in the Gastronomy master's program at Boston University.

Robert A. Gross with The Transcendentalists and Their World

Free Virtual Event: Tuesday, November 9 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Lucinda Brockway, Program Director for Cultural Resources, The Trustees
Presented in partnership Boston Public Library and The Trustees

A fresh view on nineteenth century Concord and its community of thinkers whose outsize impact on philosophy and literature spread from New England to the corners of the earth.

From the 1820s through the 1840s Concord, Massachusetts was home to celebrated authors, poets, and philosophers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May and Bronson Alcott. These Transcendentalists and their neighbors lived through a transformative epoch of American life. Hear from Bancroft-winning historian Robert A. Gross about his latest work, The Transcendentalists and Their World, an intimate journey into the life of a community and a searching cultural study of major American writers who pursued spiritual truths.

Robert A. Gross is the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Professor of Early American History Emeritus at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of The Minutemen and Their World (1976), winner of the Bancroft Prize, and of Books and Libraries in Thoreau’s Concord (1988); with Mary Kelley, he is coeditor of An Extensive Republic: Print, Culture, and Society in the New Nation, 1790–1840 (2010). A former assistant editor of Newsweek, he has written for Esquire, Harper’s, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times and his essays have appeared in The American Scholar, New England Quarterly, Raritan, and Yale Review.

Lucinda (Cindy) Brockway is Program Director of Cultural Resources, for The Trustees, where she leads a team of cultural resource specialists seeking innovative solutions for research and stewardship of their unique cultural sites. She and her team facilitated the curation of landscape research, planning and investments in the Old Manse (Concord), one of three National Landmark sites owned by The Trustees. Brockway is the author of two books and has published articles in Old House Journal, Colonial Homes, Accent, Nineteenth Century, and the American Public Gardens Association Magazine.

Discussing Adoption: Driving Positive Outcomes in the Search for Knowledge, Past and Present

Live Panel Discussion: Monday, November 15 at 6 p.m. ET
Cost: $75

An Online Conversation Course with lawyer Gregory Luce, genealogist Melanie McComb, and author Gabrielle Glaser
Moderator: TV Host and Author Bill Griffeth

Over the past several decades, the dynamics of adoption and access to its critical records have shifted dramatically. Our society’s move toward greater openness and advances in DNA has changed the landscape for families and researchers. State by state, the laws are different: in some, secrecy still controls; in others, birth records are available to adoptees on request. Across the country, individuals are being reunited with their biological families.

This online conversation course brings together professionals from a variety of fields to discuss approaches to researching adoptions (both historical and current day), current and coming legislation, and new techniques for connecting with living family members and broadening your family tree. The panelists will also share instructive and inspiring stories, some of them personal, about the search for knowledge. Through a combination of instructive videos, educational resources, and a lively panel discussion, this unique course will give you the traction and tools you need to further your own research.

Sharing strategies for a successful search, lawyer Gregory Luce will review individuals’ rights to adoption information, including their ancestors’ and their own critical records, and point to new opportunities and pending legislation.

NEHGS Genealogist Melanie McComb will shine light on historical research of adoption and expose the nuts-and-bolts of how it’s most efficiently executed. She’ll provide insight on building out your family tree in the face of an adoption “road block.”

Journalist and Author Gabrielle Glaser (American Baby: A Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption) will speak to big-picture cultural trends in adoption. She’ll share stories of families looking particularly at how others found success and personal satisfaction in their search.

In addition to moderating, TV anchor and author Bill Griffeth will lend his personal insights on the topic gained through research for his coming book, Strangers No More, the sequel to his best-loved memoir The Stranger in My Genes.

Produced by GBH Forum Network in partnership with Boston Public Library


Questions? Please email signatureevents@nehgs.org
or call 617-226-1215 or 888-296-3447.