The UC Irvine Department of History presents The 8th Annual Keith L. Nelson Lecture in U.S. International History:

"Bodily Defiance, Prison, and the War on Democracy"

featuring Dr. Nayan Shah, Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity and History at the University of Southern California


May 15, 2024

5:00 PM

Humanities Gateway 1030


The talk will be preceded by a graduate student social at 3:00pm. Location tbd. 

Established in 2015, the Keith L. Nelson Lecture in International History was originally made possible by the allocation of funds from the Edward A. Dickson professorship awarded to Keith L. Nelson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at UCI. Past Nelson lectures have highlighted the works of some of the most prominent scholars of International Studies and Global History in the country, including political scientist Dr. Carol Anderson as well as historians Mark Bradley and Arne Westad.

Speaker Bio

Professor Nayan Shah is the author of three books (all published by the University of California Press): Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown (2001), Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and the Law in the North American West (2012), and Refusal to Eat: A Century of Prison Hunger Strikes (2022). His research has appeared in American Quarterly, Social Text, GLQ, Amerasia Journal, Frontiers: Journal of Women’s History and Clio (France). His articles cover a broad array of subjects and have been published in volumes on the history of gender, sexuality, and empire; pandemics and quarantine; transnational history of science and emotions; empire and intimacy in North America; Asian American art and politics in California; South Asian American diaspora; history of Sexuality; Queer and LGBT Studies, and Law and American Borderlands; and Biopolitics and Citizenship. Shah has received fellowships and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, van Humboldt Foundation, Thomas J. Watson Foundation and Freeman Foundation. He was co-editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies in 2011-2014. He is featured in documentaries on Asian American History and the History of Contagion and Pandemics for PBS and the History Channel. He has worked with the National Park Service, Angel Island Foundation, California Historical Society, and the New York Historical Society to interpret Asian American past and present. He serves on the board of Los Angeles’ East West Players, the longest-running Asian American theater in the U.S.