Chinese people made up more than 90 percent of the workforce creating the Central Pacific Railroad and in the gold and silver mines. In the years the railroad was completed and the mines waned, Chinese, who had always faced racial discrimination, faced an even more powerful form of racial discrimination from the American government. Chinese communities dwindled and the remaining residents sought ways to retain their culture. One such way was through food.

Instructional Assistant Professor of History Mary Hollywood will examine the advent of Chinese restaurants having origins in the discriminatory past of Chinese immigrant communities. Her talk, “A Dwindling Community and the Advent of an American Desire,” will be the next International Seminar Series talk at noon Wednesday, October 31, in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center.

Hollywood has taught American history at Illinois State University since 2006. She currently teaches courses in American diversity, U.S. history since 1865, and American immigration history with a research focus on race relations in the United States since 1800, and immigration from Europe and Asia.

The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political, and social topics.

International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The fall 2018 series will focus on immigration. For a full schedule, see the Office of International Studies website.