Gao, Hong Deng

Field: United States; Advisor: Ngai; Year: 2016

Hong Deng Gao is a Ph.D. candidate studying 20th century U.S. history, with interests in race and ethnicity, immigration, and public health.  Her dissertation will explore the evolution of New York City’s health care system by examining minority groups’ experiences with the public health state. Through a case study of the Chinese in New York City during the long twentieth century, she will unravel the intersecting politics of race, immigration, and Cold War foreign policy that helped create the present day state of medical services for low-income, minority populations. 

Hong Deng was born in China and moved to New York City in 2005. In 2015, she graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College with a degree in History and completed a senior thesis, entitled: “Three Upscale Chinese Restaurants during and after the Age of Chinese Exclusion: Lau Yee Chai in Honolulu, the Mandarin in San Francisco, and Port Arthur in New York City, 1897-1991.” Before pursuing a Ph.D., Hong Deng co-founded Health Bridges, a grass-roots initiative based in California that trains multilingual college students to serve as health advocates for patients with limited English proficiency. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, playing volleyball, and cooking.