Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi
Areas of Expertise:Vietnam War refugees
BA, Pomona College, History and Media Studies, 2013
PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Rhetoric, 2018
Research Interests:critical refugee studies, settler colonial studies, transpacific studies, comparative ethnic studies, US empire, transnational feminism, critical theory
Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi is an assistant professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (Tovaangar). Her interdisciplinary research engages critical refugee studies, settler colonial studies, and transpacific studies. Dr. Gandhi’s current book manuscript, Archipelago of Resettlement: Vietnamese Refugee Settlers in Guam and Israel-Palestine, examines Vietnamese refugee resettlement in Guam and Israel-Palestine as a means to trace two forms of critical geography: first, archipelagos of empire — how the Vietnam War is linked to US military build-up in Guam and unwavering support of Israel; and second, corresponding archipelagos of resistance — how Chamorro decolonization efforts and Palestinian liberation struggles are connected via the Vietnamese refugee figure. This project analyzes what she calls the “refugee settler condition”: the vexed positionality of refugee subjects whose very condition of political legibility via citizenship is predicated upon the unjust dispossession of an Indigenous population. She is also working on a second book-length project, Revisiting the Southern Question: South Korea, South Vietnam, and the American South, which asks: How were South Korea, South Vietnam, and the American South connected during the Cold War period? What are the political, cultural, and affective afterlives of these historical encounters? You can check out Dr. Gandhi’s films on Vimeo. She also hosts a podcast, Distorted Footprints, through her Critical Refugee Studies class.
Selected Books and Publications
- “Historicizing the Transpacific Settler Colonial Condition: Asian-Indigenous Relations in Shawn Wong’s Homebase and Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer.” MELUS 45, no. 4 (Winter 2020): 49-71.
- “Queer Love across Queer Time: Nonaligned Solidarity, Indigenous Incommensurability, and the Temporal Drag of the Vietnam War.” Critical Ethnic Studies 5, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 99-123.
- “Cold War Entanglements, Third World Solidarities: Vietnam and Palestine, 1967-75.” In “Vietnam, War, and the Global Imagination,” edited by Timothy K. August, Evyn Lê Espiritu, and Vinh Nguyen, Canadian Review of American Studies 48, no. 3 (2018): 352-386.
- “Vexed Solidarities: Vietnamese Israelis and the Question of Palestine.” LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 29, no. 1 (2018): 8-28.
- “ ‘Who Was Colonel Hồ Ngọc Cẩn?’: Queer and Feminist Practices for Exhibiting South Vietnamese History on the Internet.” Amerasia Journal 43, no. 2 (Fall 2017): 3-24.
- “Operation New Life.” Memoirs Pasifika Podcast, Invited Anchor for Episode 3 (2021)
- “Toward a New Afro-Asian Solidarity: Revisiting Cold War Politics in DA 5 BLOODS, WATCHMEN, and LOVECRAFT COUNTRY.” Heung | 흥 Coalition, co-written article with Rachel Lim (2020)
- “STORY // Evyn L. E.” Refugene, Invited Interviewee (2019)
- “Rewind Special Edition: Operation New Life, Part 3—Lone Sailor Statue to Come to Guam.” Joint Region Marianas, Invited “Vietnamese Diaspora Expert” for TV series on Operation New Life (2018)
- “History, Diaspora, and Politics.” Ottoman History Podcast, Invited Interviewee for Episode 332 (2017)
- “Visions of Palestine: Shorts from the 10th Boston Palestine Film Festival.” East Meets West, Blog Post (2016)
- “Vietnam In and With Palestine.” Students for Justice in Palestine, Johns Hopkins University, Featured Speaker (2016)
- “Evyn Lê Espiritu Reflects on VietAID in Fields Corner, Boston.” diaCRITICS, Blog Post (2014)
• Faculty Career Development Award, UCLA (2020-21)
• UC Irvine Global Scholars Early Career Fellowship (2020)
• American Studies Association (ASA) Critical Ethnic Studies Prize (2017)
• Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship (2016-18)
• Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) Best Graduate Student Paper (2016)
• American Studies Association (ASA) Critical Ethnic Studies Prize Finalist (2016)
• Regents Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley (2013-15)
• Phi Beta Kappa Graduate Studies Award, Pomona College (2013)