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Unsettled City: Migration, Race, and the Making of Seattle's Urban Landscape

November 22, 2016 | Megan Asaka

Lumber workers in Selleck, Washington, ca. 1920. Personal collection.

Megan Asaka is an assistant professor of history at the University of California, Riverside where she specializes in Asian American history, urban history, and public humanities. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar and public historian, her work seeks to develop new methodologies and frameworks of analysis for understanding the urban past and present. Her current project, “Unsettled City: Migration, Race, and the Making of Seattle’s Urban Landscape,” explores the role of mobile populations in shaping urban regions through a case study of early twentieth-century Seattle. It links the historical erasure of migrant sites and spaces, including lodging houses, labor camps, and shantytowns, to their absence in the contemporary memory of the city. The dissertation on which this project is based won awards from the American Historical Association (Pacific Coast Branch) and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. She received her PhD in American Studies from Yale in 2014.