Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi

Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi

Associate Professor


Areas of Expertise:

Vietnam War refugees




Office Location:

3327 Rolfe Hall


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 associate 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 first book, Archipelago of Resettlement: Vietnamese Refugee Settlers and Decolonization across Guam and Israel-Palestine (2022), is published open access by the University of California Press. It 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. Dr. Gandhi is the co-editor with Vinh Nguyen of The Routledge Handbook of Refugee Narratives (2023). She is also working on a second book-length project, Revisiting the Southern Question: South Korea, South Vietnam, and the US South, which asks: How were South Korea, South Vietnam, and the US 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


Public Scholarship


• Asian American Studies Graduate Student Association Annual Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring and Teaching, UCLA (2021)
• 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)

Additional Resources