James Zarsadiaz is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program. He specializes in United States history, particularly urban and suburban history and Asian American history. Prof. Zarsadiaz was a fellow at both the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and Asian Pacific American Center. Prior to entering academia, James worked in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He is the author of Resisting Change in Suburbia: Asian Immigrants and Frontier Nostalgia in L.A. (University of California Press, 2022), which is the 2023 recipient of the Organization of American Historians' Lawrence W. Levine Award. Prof. Zarsadiaz's research articles include: "Design Assimilation in Suburbia: Asian Americans, Built Landscapes, and Suburban Advantage in Los Angeles's San Gabriel Valley since 1970" (co-authored with Becky Nicolaides), which won the Urban History Association's Arnold Hirsch Award and the Vernacular Architecture Forum's Catherine W. Bishir Prize; "Raising Hell in the Heartland: Filipino Chicago and the Anti-Martial Law Movement, 1972-1986," which received an Honorable Mention from the Filipino Section of the Association for Asian American Studies; and "Methodists against Martial Law: Filipino Chicagoans and the Church's Role in a Global Crusade." James has also published work in Amerasia Journal, International Migration Review, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of Social History, New Jersey Studies, and Pacific Historical Review, as well as for media outlets including City Lab, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post. He has done live interviews on ABC, BBC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, and Southern California Public Radio regarding current affairs and his research. James currently sits on the board of the Association for Asian American Studies.
- Urban and Suburban Studies
- Urban Planning
- California and U.S. West
- Asian American History
- Oral History
- Program Director, Yuchengco Philippine Studies
- PhD, History, Northwestern University
- MA, History, Northwestern University
- BA, American Studies and Political Science, George Washington University
Awards & Distinctions
- Lawrence W. Levine Award, Organization of American Historians, 2023
- Best Article (Honorable Mention), Association for Asian American Studies, Filipino Section, 2020
- Catherine W. Bishir Prize, Vernacular Architecture Forum, 2018
- Arnold Hirsch Award, Urban History Association, 2016
- Zarsadiaz, J. (2022). Resisting Change in Suburbia: Asian Immigrants and Frontier Nostalgia in L.A. University of California Press.
- Zarsadiaz, J. (2021). "Methodists against Martial Law: Filipino Chicagoans and the Church's Role in a Global Crusade." Alon: Journal for Filipinx American and Diasporic Studies 1(3).
- Zarsadiaz, J. (2017). "Raising Hell in the Heartland: Filipino Chicago and the Anti-Martial Law Movement, 1972-1986." American Studies, 56(1), 141-162.
- Zarsadiaz, J. and Nicolaides, B. (2015). "Design Assimilation in Suburbia: Asian Americans, Built Landscapes, and Suburban Advantage in Los Angeles's San Gabriel Valley since 1970." Journal of Urban History, 43(2), 332-371.
“Asian malls in the U.S. are thriving post-pandemic, bucking a retail trend,” NBC News, 9/8/23.
"Dr. James Zarsadiaz, Resisting Change in Suburbia," History of California Podcast, 8/25/23.
"Filipino chefs are embracing fine dining in S.F. Will diners too?," San Francisco Chronicle, 8/3/23.
"How one of Filipino America's last newspapers folded," Voices, Asian American Journalists Association, 7/24/23.
- "Summer Book Club, Part 1: 'Resisting Change in Suburbia,'" The Urbanist, Monocle Radio, 7/6/23.
- "Resisting Change in Suburbia," New Books in Asian American Studies podcast, New Books Network, 6/27/23.
- Episode 189: Filipino American Suburbanization with Dr. James Zarsadiaz, This Filipino American Life podcast, 6/16/23.
- "Resisting Change in Suburbia," New Books in the American West podcast, New Books Network, 5/23/23.
- One year after Laguna Woods mass shooting, Asian community mourns ongoing tensions, violence, Orange County Register, 5/13/2023.
- Season 2, Episode 6: Ube in the Bay, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, Hulu, 5/5/23.
- How renovation of an iconic Chinese mall represents a shift in L.A.'s Chinese community, Los Angeles Times, 2/27/23.
- Episode 413: Dr. James Zarsadiaz on the Significance of Monterey Park, The SGV And Other Ethnoburbs, Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast, 2/19/23.
- Monterey Park: The Making of America's First Suburban Chinatown, Notes from America with Kai Wright podcast, WNYC (New York Public Radio), 1/26/23.
- Asian Americans are reeling from California's back-to-back mass shootings, Vox, 1/26/23.
- Shock turns to disbelief in mass shooting-hit Asian communities, France 24, 1/25/23.
- California just eclipsed its deadliest month for mass shootings. It only took 23 days, The Mercury News, 1/25/23.
- Monterey Park: A pioneering Asian American suburb shaken by the tragedy of a mass shooting, The Conversation, 1/24/23.
- Op-Ed: Why the Monterey Park shooting feels like an attack on Asian America, Los Angeles Times, 1/23/23.
- Imagining a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture, Washington City Paper, 11/30/22.
- SGV Connect 105: Resisting Change in Suburbia: Asian Immigrants and Frontier Nostalgia in L.A. with James Zarsadiaz, SGV Connect Podcast/Streetsblog LA, 11/18/22.
- Op-Ed: What Asian immigrants, seeking the American dream, found in Southern California suburbs, Los Angeles Times, 10/17/2022.
- When Filipinos Fight with Filipino-Americans, No One Wins, Esquire Magazine, 8/12/2022.
- Philippine ex-President Fidel Ramos dies, BBC World News, 7/31/2022.
- Ferdinand Marcos Jr Sworn in as Philippines president, BBC Newsday, 6/30/2022.
- Why Marcos Jr. gets massive OFW backing despite father’s labor export policy, Rappler, 6/6/2022.
- The Philippine election: How revised history and misinformation made its way on the ballot, KCBS Radio Bay Current podcast, 5/12/2022.
- Dictator's Son Could Become Philippines President, ABC 7 News, 5/10/2022.
- Son Of Former Dictator Wins Philippine Presidency, NBC, 5/10/2022.
- Why AAPI Heritage Matters, NBC, 5/2/2022.
- From Olivia to Bruno to H.E.R., Filipino American artists enjoy a breakout year at Grammys, Los Angeles Times, 3/30/2022.
- Nochebuena: Why many Hispanic, Latinx and Filipino families celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, USA Today, 12/23/2021.
- Philippines Struggling After Deadly Typhoon, NBC News, 12/19/2021.
- The Pandemic's Impact on the Filipino Community, All IN, WFYI (NPR) & WVPE (NPR), 12/14/2021.
- A Complicated Love Story: Author Carlos Bulosan's Critique of America Gave Filipino Migrants a Voice, USA Today, 11/19/2021.
- In Daly City, the Bayanihan Spirit Is Alive and Well, KQED, 08/05/2021.
- Opinion: Asians in Arcadia against homeless people? It's complicated, Los Angeles Times, 07/01/2021.
- For Fil-Am youth, fighting Asian hate in the US means breaking silence, Rappler, 4/14/2021.
- Cherry Blossom Trees Vandalized in San Francisco’s Japantown, The New York Times, 1/8/2021.
- How the Bay Area became the sports world’s epicenter of revolutionary thought, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/24/2020.
- The fates of dozens of city statues are under review amid calls to reconsider the past, The San Francisco Examiner, 07/23/2020.
- San Francisco’s Toppled Statues, SF Weekly, 07/04/2020.
- Local Filipinos Disappointed Trump Didn't Push Duterte on Drug Killings, Southern California Public Radio/KPCC (NPR), 11/13/2017.
- Trump Boasts of ‘Great Relationship’ with Philippines’ Duterte at First Formal Meeting, Washington Post, 11/13/2017.
- Elaine Chao is Sticking by President Trump. That Shouldn’t be a Surprise, Washington Post, 09/07/2017.
- Asians and Asian Americans Swarm to Thriving Diamond Jamboree, Los Angeles Times, 07/02/2017.
- Militants in the Philippines: President's Martial Law Order is Déjà Vu for Some Expats, Southern California Public Radio/KPCC (NPR), 05/24/2017.
- Asian American Electorate a Sleeping Giant, MSNBC, 09/17/2016.
- Why Candidates Should Court Asian American Voters, San Francisco Chronicle, 09/09/2016.