Dawson Community College Author Series Event Scheduled for May 19

GLENDIVE, MONT. – April 22, 2022 – Dawson Community College is proud to announce the next installment of DCC’s Author Series. On Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 6:30p.m., Mark T. Johnson will deliver a lecture on his book The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky: A History of the Chinese Experience in Montana. The community is invited to hear stories of Montana’s Chinese population in their own words.

From the earliest days of non-Native settlement of Montana, Chinese pioneers played a key role in the region’s development. But this population, so crucial to Montana’s history, remains underrepresented in historical accounts. Using documents left by Chinese pioneers, The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky recovers the stories of Montana’s Chinese population in their own words and deepens understanding of Chinese experiences in Montana through a global lens. Through these experiences, Chinese Montanans emerge as empowered and active, advocating for their rights in America while both shaped by and shaping events in China.

Johnson has mined several large collections of primary documents left by Chinese pioneers, translated into English here for the first time. These collections, spanning the 1880s through the 1950s, provide insight into the pressures the Chinese community faced—from family members back in China and from non-Chinese Montanans—as economic and cultural disturbances complicated acceptance of Chinese residents in the state. Through their own voices, Johnson reveals the agency of Chinese Montanans in the history of the American West and China.

May has been designated as Asian American Heritage Month, used to honor the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.   In conjunction with this recognition, Dawson Community College is proud to sponsor Johnson as part of our ongoing Guest Lecture/Author Series as we honor this population.  Johnson’s efforts to retell the story of the Chinese in Montana through their own words is enlightening and reminds us that we, as a state, continue to benefit from their contributions. 

Discover more about Johnson and his book on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 6:30 pm in the Toepke Center Auditorium. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

To learn more about Mark T. Johnson’s lecture or the DCC Author Series, please visit, or call 406-377-9400.