Announcing the Desi Wisconsin Oral History Project

The Desi Wisconsin South Asian Immigration Oral History Project has been launched! Led by Sharath Raja, the project will be an ongoing effort to document some of the first South Asian immigrants to Wisconsin from 1950-1979.

Due to tight restrictions on immigration from Asian countries to the United States, only a small number of individuals from South Asia, usually students or academics, settled in Wisconsin in the early part of the twentieth century. Following the enactment of the Hart-Celler Act in 1965 liberalizing immigration quotas, however, these numbers grew steadily. South Asian individuals found Wisconsin fertile ground for pursuing their personal and professional dreams.

This anthology of annotated oral histories and photographs details the subjects’ pursuit of the American Dream and their evolving conception of what it means to be an American.