Center for Missouri Studies

Contact sheet of images of soldiers on patrol at Long Binh, Vietnam.

Contact sheet of images of soldiers on patrol at Long Binh, Vietnam. [Ann Bryan Mariano McKay Papers, C4009 f. 635]

2019 Center for Missouri Studies Fellowship Winners Selected

Scholars to Examine Missouri’s Experience with the Vietnam War and 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act

The State Historical Society of Missouri will award Center for Missouri Studies fellowships in 2019 to scholars examining consequences for Missouri of the Vietnam War and the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.

Thomas Ringenberg, an assistant professor of political science at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, will receive the Center’s fellowship focusing on Missouri in the Vietnam War. In his study, "Representing Dissent: Missouri and Opposition to the Vietnam War in the People’s House," Ringenberg proposes to assess the diverse responses to the war by Missouri congressmen in the US House of Representatives, as characterized by Democrat Richard W. Bolling of Kansas City, Democrat William Lacy Clay Sr. of St. Louis, Republican Durward Hall of Springfield, and Democrat Richard Ichord of Licking in southeast Missouri.

Huping Ling, a professor of history at Truman State University in Kirksville, has been named the recipient of the Center’s fellowship to study how the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act affected Missourians. The 1965 act changed US immigration policy by replacing the National Origins Formula, a protocol introduced in 1921 which created a quota system based on national origin, with the current system based on family relationships and work skills.

Ling’s proposed study, "The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act and the Formation of Cultural Community in St. Louis, Missouri," will focus on the development since the 1960s of a St. Louis Chinese American community that, unlike older immigrant communities, has not formed its identity from living together in a close physical neighborhood, but is unified by a sense of shared cultural heritage despite being spread throughout the metropolitan area.

"These new immigration criteria drastically impacted the landscape of American immigration everywhere, and in St. Louis, Missouri, the new law contributed to the rise of a ‘cultural community.’" – Huping Ling

Ringenberg and Ling will hold their appointments for the 2019 calendar year. Each will write a scholarly essay for possible publication in the Missouri Historical Review, the quarterly journal of the State Historical Society of Missouri, and may also make a public presentation of their work. Each fellowship award includes a stipend of $5,000. New topics for the fellowships are introduced each year.