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Student Symposium to Highlight Historical Research

Student Symposium to Highlight Nationally Acclaimed Historical Research

Newburyport, MA – May 7, 2018: On Thursday, May 17, Governor’s Academy senior Eli Anderson-Song will present his nationally acclaimed research paper, “A Question of Life & Money: Chinese Prostitutes in San Francisco and American Immigration Policy” at the Museum of Old Newbury, 98 High Street in Newburyport.  Anderson-Song’s paper earned the prestigious Cum Laude Essay Prize in 2017 and was hailed by his AP U.S. History teacher Sharon Slater as “the best student paper that I have ever read.”  Anderson-Song’s presentation is part of the museum’s “Student Symposium” program series, and will begin at 7:00pm with a reception preceding at 6:30.

Akin to Phi Beta Kappa at the college and university level, the Cum Laude Society recognizes outstanding academic achievement in secondary schools, and the Essay Prize is its pinnacle recognition. The $5,000 prize recognizes the best single work of scholarship produced in 382 of the best public and private schools in America during the 2016-17 school year.

Anderson-Song’s prize-winning paper explores the influence of Chinese prostitutes on nationwide immigration policy throughout the 19th century.  Anderson-Song argues that many 19th century Americans felt threatened by this group of women due to their gender, occupation, and nationality.  Although the women comprised a relatively small proportion of incoming immigrants, the response to their presence was widespread and caused significant changes in immigration policy.

Anderson-Song is interested in music and journalism, both of which he plans to pursue in college. A family trip to Seattle and a museum guide’s comment there about the significance of prostitution in Seattle’s early economy sparked Eli’s interest in this subject.

Anderson-Song’s presentation marks the Museum of Old Newbury’s third “Student Symposium” in partnership with The Governor’s Academy.  Over the past year, the work of five other students has been highlighted through this program series.  The topics covered have been local, international, and often little-known, making the programs fascinating and enlightening.  These programs offer students well-deserved exposure for their original research, and valuable experience presenting their work publicly.

The May 17 Student Symposium is free and open to the public.  Reservations are recommended due to limited seating; contact 978-462-2681 or  The Museum of Old Newbury’s program series in sponsored in part by a grant from the Institution for Savings.



Media Contact:

Emily Shafer






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