Originally from Việt Nam, Yến Lê Espiritu is Distinguished Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of California, San Diego. An award-winning author, she has published extensively on Asian American panethnicity, gender and migration, and U.S. colonialism and wars in Asia. Her most recent book, Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es) (UC Press, 2014) charts an interdisciplinary field of critical refugee studies, which reconceptualizes “the refugee” not as an object of rescue but as a site of social and political critiques.
Espiritu has served several terms as Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, and also as its Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies. She has also served as the President of the Association of Asian American Studies and Vice President of the Pacific Sociological Association. She is a Founding Member of the Critical Refugee Studies Collective whose aim is to integrate scholarly, policy, artistic, legal, diplomatic and international relations interests with refugees’ everyday experiences.
Espiritu is the recipient of several UCSD teaching awards: the Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Outstanding Faculty Award; the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award; and the Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching; and the inaugural recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies Mentorship Award.
Critical refugee studies; critical immigration studies; Asian American studies; gender and migration; U.S. militarism