Mark Johnson: Chinese Experience in Montana

Carroll Campus
Lower Campus Center
Chinese Experience in Montana graphic

Join Carroll College on April 18, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lower Campus Center as author and historian Mark Johnson presents "The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky: A History of the Chinese Experience in Montana."

Stream online as well (ZOOM)

From the earliest days of non-Native settlement of Montana, when Chinese immigrants made up more than 10 percent of the territory’s population, Chinese pioneers played a key role in the region’s development. But this population, so crucial to Montana’s history, remains underrepresented in historical accounts, and popular attention to the Chinese in Montana tends to focus on sensational elements—exoticizing Chinese Montanans and distancing their experiences from our modern understanding. The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky recovers the stories of Montana’s Chinese population in their own words and deepens understanding of Chinese experiences in Montana with a global lens.

Author and Historian Mark Johnson has mined several large collections of primary documents left by Chinese pioneers, translated into English for the first time. These collections, spanning the 1880s-1950s, provide insight into the pressures the Chinese community faced—from family members back in China and from non-Chinese Montanans—as economic and cultural disturbances complicated acceptance of Chinese residents in the state. Through their own voices, Johnson reveals the agency of Chinese Montanans in the history of the American West and China.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Carroll College History and Sociology Departments.