People sections

Letter from the Chair

Augusto F. Espiritu

Associate Professor of History
Associate Professor of Asian American Studies
Affiliated Faculty of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Affiliated Faculty of Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies
Center for Global Studies

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Contact Info

Office Hours

On leave 2014-2015

Areas of Specialization

Asian American Intellectuals, Transnationalism, post-Colonialism, Race and Gender, 1898 and American Empire


I grew up in Pandacan and Paco, two special districts in Manila that produced Philippine national artists, Francisco Baltazar and Nick Joaquin. I immigrated to the United States with my family and lived for many years in Inglewood, California. After attending Loyola High School, a Jesuit preparatory school near downtown Los Angeles, I attended UCLA as an undergraduate and graduate student in history and Asian American studies, obtaining my doctorate in 2000. I since joined the History Department and the Department of Asian American Studies in Illinois, serving as head of the Department of Asian American Studies from 2012 to 2014. I have maintained a full agenda of research and teaching as well as a busy travel itinerary, which included sailing around the world for 100 days as instructional faculty for Semester at Sea and research stints in Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • American Empire, Transnationalism, Hispanism, Asian and Caribbean Intellectual History

Research Description

  • I am interested in interimperial relations, transnationalism, and resistance to dominant discourses of race, gender, class, progress, and civilization. My current research focuses on how nationalist intellectuals from Latin America and Southeast Asia, especially from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, articulated "Hispanism," pan-ethnic and pan-national solidarity on the basis of a presumably shared "Spanish" identity, as a mode of questioning, accommodating to, or resisting U.S. colonialism and Americanization. I am fascinated by how Hispanism provides strong supports for projects of national culture and anticolonial resistance while at the same time giving rise to contradictory, discriminatory, and inegalitarian outcomes.


  • B.A., History; M.A., Asian American Studies; Ph.D, History, UCLA

Distinctions / Awards

  • Arnold O. Beckman Award
  • Associate Fellow, Center for Advanced Study
  • UCLA Pilipino Alumni Association Royal Morales Community Achievement Award
  • Outstanding Asian American Faculty/Staff Award
  • Mellon Faculty Fellowship
  • University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Fulbright Research Fellowship


  • Hewlett International Research Grant
  • Amy Ling Memorial Research Grant
  • Ford Foundation, Conference and Travel Grant


  • Constructing Race in America AFRO/AAS/AIS/HIST/LLS 281
  • Intro to Asian American Studies AAS 100
  • Asian American History AAS/HIST 283
  • Immigrant America HIST 472
  • Transnationalism and Empire HIST 572



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Book Contributions

Journal Articles

  • "Inter-Imperial Relations, the Pacific, and Asian American History." Pacific Historical Review 83 .2 (2014): 238-254.
  • "Planting Roots: Asian American Studies in the Midwest." CUNY Forum 1.2 (2014): 19-24.
  • "Transnationalism and Filipino American Historiography." Journal of Asian American Studies 11.2 (2008): 171-185.
  • "'To Carry Water on Both Shoulders': Carlos P. Romulo, American Empire, and the Meaning of Bandung." Radical History Review (2006): 173-190.
  • "Beyond Eve and Mary: Filipino American Intellectual Heroes and the Transnational Performance of Gender and Reciprocity." Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 12 .3 (2003): 361-386.

Encyclopedia Entries

  • "Filipino Transnationalism." Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History, Volume One, A-F. Firstth ed. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2014.


  • Rev. of Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific Pacific Historical Review 84.1 (2015): 128-129.