The Life and Career of Soo Yong, with Gao Yunxiang

Fri. May 17, 2024 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
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Discover the biography of a forgotten Chinese-American actress whose vibrant career spanned more than 50 years.

From the early 1920s until the early 1980s, Soo Yong acted in productions for stage, film, and television. Less well known than her contemporary Anna May Wong, Yong played small but significant parts in major Hollywood productions and shared the screen with film legends including Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, and Clark Gable. Scholar Gao Yunxiang’s biography-in-progress spotlights her career during the Jim Crow and Chinese Exclusion eras and rediscovers key players of Sino-American cultural politics.

Gao’s exploration of the life and career of Soo Yong reenvisions what a multilingual and transnational Asian and Asian-American history can be.

The NEH Long-Term Fellowships at The New York Public Library have been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To join | Please register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open around 1:30 PM. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.


Gao Yunxiang headshotGao Yunxiang is professor of history at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has published two books: Arise, Africa! Roar, China!: Black and Chinese Citizens of the World in the Twentieth Century (UNC Press, 2021) and Sporting Gender: Women Athletes and Celebrity-Making during China’s National Crisis, 1931-1945 (UBC Press, 2013). The former has won the following honors in 2022: Academic Excellence Award of Chinese Historians in the United States; Honorable Mention for Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations; Finalist for Wallace K. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association; A History Today’s Book of the Year; And a Book Authority's Best New African Americans History Books and Best Politics Ebook.

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In-Person | You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs.


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Courtesy Gao Yunxiang

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Lenox and Astor Room, Room 216 The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
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