|Residence||New York City|
|Known for||Impossible Subjects|
|Awards||Frederick Jackson Turner Award|
|Alma mater||Empire State College|
|Doctoral advisor||Eric Foner|
University of Chicago
|Main interests||American history|
M. Ngai is an American historian and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History at Columbia University. She focuses on nationalism, citizenship, ethnicity, and race in 20th-century United States history.
Life, education and career
Ngai writes that "as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, [she] grew up in a home where being in Chinese and being American existed in tension, but not in contradiction", and spent "not a few years in New York's Chinatown community and labor movement as an activist and professional labor educator" before becoming an academic.
After graduation, Ngai obtained postdoctoral fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the New York University School of Law, and, in 2003, the Radcliffe Institute. She taught at the University of Chicago as an associate professor, before returning to Columbia as a full professor in 2006.
Besides publishing in various academic journals, Ngai has written on immigration and related policy for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and the Boston Review.
Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America discusses the creation of the legal category of an "illegal alien" in the early 20th century, and its social and historical consequences and context.
- 2005 Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Organization of American Historians for Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America
- 2004 Littleton-Griswold Prize, the American Historical Association
- 2004 Theodore Saloutos Book Award, the Immigration and Ethnic History Society
- 2009 Guggenheim Fellow 
- "The Strange Career of the Illegal Alien", Law and History Review, Spring 2003, Vol. 21 No. 1
- "The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law", The Journal of American History, June 1999, Vol. 86 No. 1
- Ngai, Mae (September–October 2006). "The Lost Immigration Debate". Boston Review.
- Ngai, Mae M. (May 16, 2006). "How grandma got legal". The Los Angeles Times.
- Mae M. Ngai (June 14, 2005). "We Need a Deportation Deadline". The Washington Post.
- Ngai, Mae (January 28, 2018). "Immigration Border-Enforcement Myth". NYTimes.
- Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton University Press. 2004. ISBN 978-0-691-07471-9.
- Ronald H. Bayor, ed. (2004). "Race, Nation, and Citizenship in Late Nineteenth Century America". The Columbia documentary history of race and ethnicity in America. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11994-8.
- Janice A. Radway, Kevin Gaines, Barry Shank, Penny Von Eschen, eds. (2009). "The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 and the Reconstruction of Race in Immigration Law". American Studies: An Anthology. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-1-4051-1351-9.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
- Marc S. Rodriguez, ed. (2004). "Braceros, "Wetbacks", and the National Boundaries of Class". Repositioning North American migration history: new directions in modern continental migration, citizenship, and community. Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 978-1-58046-158-0.
- The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2010. ISBN 978-0-618-65116-0.
- "Department of History - Columbia University". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
- Ngai, Mae (2004). Impossible Subjects. Princeton University Press.
- "Current Fellows: Mae M. Ngai". Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
- "Mae Ngai". Columbia University Department of History.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-11-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)