Anna Pegler-Gordon’s teaching and research interests include immigration, race, citizenship, and visual culture. At MSU, she has taught courses in Asian American history, immigration policy and law, comparative race and ethnic relations, global issues in citizenship, and U.S. racial and immigration history. She also works on history and ethnic studies in the K-12 classroom.
Professor Pegler-Gordon has received awards and fellowships for her teaching and research, including awards from the Organization of American Historians, the Japanese Association for American Studies, the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, as well as an MSU Teacher-Scholar award and a Lilly Teaching Fellowship. Internationally, Pegler-Gordon was a visiting research fellow at the University of London School of Advanced Study and was one of two scholars selected nationally for a teaching residency in Japan. Her American Quarterly article, “Chinese Exclusion, Photography and the Development of U.S. Immigration Policy” was selected for inclusion as the lead essay in Best American History Essays 2008. Her first book, In Sight of America: Photography and the Development of U.S. Immigration Policy (University of California Press, 2009) won the Immigration and Ethnic History Society’s 2009 Theodore Saloutus prize “for the book judged best on any aspect of the immigration history of the United States.”
In 2017, Professor Pegler-Gordon published “‘New York has a Concentration Camp of its Own:’ Japanese Confinement on Ellis Island during World War II” (Journal of Asian American Studies) and “Debating the Racial Turn in U.S. Ethnic and Immigration History” (Journal of American Ethnic History). She is currently completing work second book, a study of Asian immigrants at Ellis Island.