Sam Vong


Bruce Gray Post-doctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in History

I am a historian of twentieth-century United States, with specializations in Asian American history, international migration and refugee studies, and comparative race and ethnicity. I am also trained in the history of modern Southeast Asia. At Gustavus, I serve as the inaugural Bruce Gray Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2015) and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History.

My research investigates the transnational politics of compassion that surrounded the migration and settlement of refugees and immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. Presently, I am working on a book manuscript that examines the global dispersal and resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees in the United States, various parts of South America and Africa, India, and Hawai'i, among other sites. This project adopts both a "top-down" and "bottom-up" approach to investigate how governments and ordinary people sutured together transnational networks of humanitarianism and care, which linked people and institutions together across multiple continents and national borders during the late stages of the Cold War.

Fellowships, Awards, and Grants

  • Walter F. Mondale Research Fellowship, Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, University of Minnesota (2014-2015)
  • American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Fellowship (2011-2012)
  • Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2011-2012, declined for the ACLS Fellowship)
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (2010-2011, alternate candidate)
  • Council on Southeast Asian Studies Research Grant, Yale University (Summer 2009)
  • Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity Fellowship, Yale University (2007-2008)
  • Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, California State University, Los Angeles (2004-2005)


Yale University (Ph.D.); California State University, Los Angeles (M.A.); University of California, Berkeley (B.A.); Pasadena City College (community college transfer)

Courses Taught


HIS-244 (ST:Race/Migration USA)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HIS-205Power, Protest, Change22015/JN and 2014/JN
HIS-344ST:U.S. in World22014/FA and 2013/FA
HIS-140American History since the Civil War12014/SP