Home | People |

Cecillia Tsu

Education

  • Ph.D., and M.A., History, Stanford University
  • M.A., American Civilization, Brown University
  • B.A., History, Swarthmore College

About

Cecilia Tsu is a U.S. historian with research and teaching interests in Asian American history, race and ethnicity, immigration, California and the American West. Her first book, Garden of the World: Asian Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture in California’s Santa Clara Valley (Oxford University Press, 2013), is one of the first comparative historical studies of Asian immigrants in rural America. It explores the ways in which Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino immigrants transformed agricultural practices along with ideologies of race and American national identity from 1880 to 1940 in a region once celebrated around the world for its horticultural productivity, now commonly known as “Silicon Valley.”  Professor Tsu’s current book project examines the evolution of Southeast Asian refugee resettlement policy and its intersection with the rise of modern conservatism in the United States during the 1970s–1980s.

Research Focus

Asian American history, race and ethnicity, immigration, California and the American West, gender, agricultural and rural history, refugees and resettlement policy

Selected Publications

  • Tsu, C. (forthcoming) Immigration in a rural context, in Routledge History of Rural America, (Ed.) Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, Routledge.
  • Tsu, C. (2013) Garden of the World: Asian Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture in California's Santa Clara Valley, Oxford University Press.
  • Tsu, C. (2009) Sex, lies, and agriculture: Reconstructing Japanese immigrant gender relations in rural California, 1900-1913, Pacific Historical Review 78: 171-209.
  • Tsu, C. (2006) Independent of the unskilled Chinaman: Race, labor, and family farming in California’s Santa Clara Valley, Western Historical Quarterly XXXVII: 475–495. 

Teaching

Lecture Courses: Asian American History, 1850-present (HIS 179); Becoming an American: Immigration and American Culture (HIS 173); California History (HIS 189); History of the United States since 1865 (HIS 17B)

Undergraduate Seminars: America in the 1980s (HIS 102M, Winter 2016); History of American Orientalism (HIS 102M); Asian American Lives: History Through Biography (HIS 102M)

Graduate Seminar:  Immigration and Migration in U.S. History (HIS 202H)