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Victor Bascara

Associate Professor

Victor Bascara

Areas of Interest: Imperialism, Media and Technology, Social Movements

Phone: 310-794-7780



2337 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095


Victor Bascara is Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Asian American Studies.  He was previously Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and English at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He received his doctorate from the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.  His research examines various manifestations of formal and informal colonialism, with a particular emphasis on Asian American cultural politics.  His current research includes a comparative study of the early 20th-century histories of the Universities of Puerto Rico, Hawai’i, and the Philippines, and he is completing a monograph on the relationship between U.S. imperialism and isolationism in the interwar period (c. 1919-1941).  He is co-editing, with Prof. Lisa Nakamura (U. of Michigan – Ann Arbor), a special issue of Amerasia Journal called “Asian American Cultural Politics Across Platforms:  Literature, Film, New Media, and Beyond.”

Recent courses he has taught include Asian American literature and culture (graduate and undergraduate), contemporary Asian American communities, Asian Americans and war, Filipino American experience, technology and new social movements, empire and sexuality, new media and the new world order, cultural politics of movements, and research methodologies.

He has also served as faculty advisor for student-initiated courses on Samahang Pilipino Cultural Night, Filipino American student activism, and Pacific Islander education and retention. He has served as Undergraduate Advisor, Graduate Advisor, and Vice Chair for the Asian American Studies Department.  And he has also done service for the Asian American Studies Center, the Center for the Study of Women, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and other units at UCLA.  He is part of an ongoing, multi-campus, and international collaborative initiative (co-run with UCLA Profs. Keith Camacho and Elizabeth DeLoughrey) on legacies of Pacific Island militarization, including a symposium at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, in summer 2013.


Ph.D., Columbia University, 2000
M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1994
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1992

Research Interests

Post-colonial studies (esp. U.S. imperialism); Asian American cultural politics; critical race studies; comparative ethnic studies; gender and sexuality; new social movements; mass/popular culture; media and technology.


  • Model Minority Imperialism (University of Minnesota Press, 2006).
  • ‘In the middle’:  The Miseducation of a Refugee,” Strange Affinities:  The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization (ed. Grace Kyungwon Hong and Roderick Ferguson) (Duke University Press, 2011) 195-214.
  • “The Case of the Disappearing Filipino American Houseboy:  Speculations on Double Indemnity and United States Imperialism,” Kritika Kultura 8 (Ateneo de Manila University, 2008) 54-89.
  • “Panama Money:  An Essay on Reading the Transition to U.S. Imperialism,” article in Imagining Our Americas:  Toward an International Frame, (edited by Sandhya Shukla, Heidi Tinsman, and Radical History Review, Duke UP, 2007) 365-386.
  • “‘Within each crack/ a story’:  The Political Economy of Queering Filipino American Pasts,” East Main Street: Asian American Popular Culture (New York University Press, 2005) 117-136.
  • “Up From Benevolent Assimilation:  At Home with the Manongs of Beinvenido Santos” Multiethnic Literatures of the United States (MELUS) 21:9 (Spring 2004) 61-78.
  • “Cultural Politics of Redress:  Reassessing the Meaning of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 After 9/11,” Asian Law Journal 10:2 (Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley) (May 2003) 185-214.
  • “Following the Money:  Asian American Literature and the Preface to United States Imperialism,” Jouvert: Journal of Postcolonial Studies 4:3 (special issue on Postcolonial Asian America) (Spring/Summer 2000).
  • “‘A vaudeville against coconut trees’: Colonialism, Contradiction, and Coming Out,” Q&A: Queer in Asian America (Temple University Press, 1998) 93-114.
  • “Empire,” Routledge Companion to Asian American Literature (ed. Rachel Lee) (New York:  Routledge, forthcoming)
  • “Filipino Americans,” Asian Americans:  An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History (ed. Xiaojian Zhao) (ABC-CLIO, forthcoming)
  • “Filipino Cultural Nights,” Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education (ed. James Banks) (Sage Publications, 2012)


  • Annual Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring and Teaching, UCLA Asian American Studies Graduate Student Association (2012)
  • Pacific Rim Research Program Faculty Initiative Grant, UC Office of the President (Co-PIs:  Keith Camacho & Elizabeth DeLoughrey) (2011-2013)
  • Center for New Racial Studies research grant, University of California (2011).
  • Golden Key Honor Society honorary member induction (2011).
  • UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations Faculty Working Group Grant (Co-PIs:  Profs. Keith Camacho and Elizabeth DeLoughrey) (2010).
  • Doris Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Prize, UCLA Asian American Studies Center (2009-2010)
  • Pacific Rim Research Grant (individual), UC Office of the President (2009-2010)
  • Research Service Award Grant, University of Wisconsin – Madison (2005)
  • Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshops in the Humanities Grant, University of Wisconsin – Madison (2003-5)

Victor Bascara