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Nerissa S. Balce

Associate Professor 

Associate faculty | Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Affiliate faculty | Media, Art, Culture and Technology Advanced Graduate Certificate Program

Affiliate faculty | Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice and Policy

Nerissa Balce


  • Biography


    Nerissa S. Balce 

    Nerissa S. Balce is a cultural studies scholar. Her research focuses on race, gender, state violence and popular culture in the U.S. and the Philippines. She is co-curator of the online art project,   Dark Lens / Lente ng Karimlan: The Filipino Camera in Duterte’s Republic, an online exhibition of Philippine photographs of injustice and loss featuring commissioned poems and captions by 40 scholars and artists from the Philippines and North America.   Dark Lens  is currently on view at SUNY Stony Brook's   Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice and Policy  website. The   Dark Lens  co-curators are Pia Arboleda, Director of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Center for Philippine Studies, and writer Francine Marquez of Manila Art Allies. The editors of Dark Lens are Sarita Echavez See and Clare Counihan from the Center of Art and Thought.

    Balce is the author of the book,  Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images and the American Archive  (University of Michigan Press 2016 and Ateneo de Manila University Press 2017), winner of the 2018 Best Book award in Cultural Studies from the Filipino Section of the Association for Asian American Studies. The book was also a finalist for the best book in the social sciences for the 2018 Philippine National Book Awards. She was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She received a B.A. in Literature and an M.A. in Philippine Studies from De La Salle University, Manila. She worked as a journalist in Manila, writing articles on Philippine literature, politics, culture and the arts. She took doctoral studies at the University of California-Berkeley on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies. Before joining SUNY Stony Brook’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, she received a postdoc at the University of Oregon’s Department of Ethnic Studies and taught at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst’s Comparative Literature Program. At Stony Brook, she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Asian American literature and popular culture. Her essays have appeared in Verge: Studies in Global AsiasJournal of Asian American Studies,   Social Text  Peace Review  Hitting Critical Mass   and in anthologies such as   "Positively No Filipinos Allowed": Building Communities and Discourse   (Temple UP 2006) and    Resource Guide to Asian American Literature  (Modern Language Association 2001).

  • Publications



      Body Parts of Empire    Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images and the American Archive  ( University of Michigan Press 2016  and   Ateneo de Manila University Press 2017).


    Selected articles

    "Exposing EJKs and the State: A Collaborative Review of Dark Lens/ Lente ng Karimlan: The Filipino Camera in Duterte's Republic." Co-written with media scholar Sarita Echavez See. Verge: Studies in Global Asias 6:1 , U Minnesota Press, Spring 2020. 2-6.

    "Laughter Against the State: On Humor, Postcolonial Satire and Asian American Short Fiction."  Journal of Asian American Studies,   Johns Hopkins U Press,  February 2016. 47-73.

    "The Filipina’s Breast: Savagery, Docility and the Erotics of the American Empire.”  Social Text, Duke U Press, June 2006. 89-110. 

    "American Insecurity and Radical Filipino Community Politics.” Co-authored with Robyn Rodriguez (Sociology Department, Rutgers University).  Peace Review, Taylor & Francis, 16:2 June 2004. 131-140. 

    “Imagining the Neocolony.”  Critical Mass: A Journal of Asian American Cultural Criticism. 2:2 Spring 1995. Berkeley: U of California. 95-120.


    Book chapters

    "Filipino Bodies, Lynching and the Language of Empire." In Positively No Filipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse edited by Antonio Tiongson, Ed Gutierrez and Rick Gutierrez. Philadelphia: Temple U Press, 2006. 43-60.

    "Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn." In Resource Guide to Asian American Literature. Ed. Sau-ling Cynthia Wong and Stephen H. Sumida. New York: Modern Language Association, 2001. 54-65.

    "Filipino American Literature." Co-authored with Jean Vengua Gier. In New Immigrant Literatures in the United States, A Sourcebook to Our Multicultural Literary Heritage. Ed. Alpana Sharma Knippling. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996. 67-89.


    Book reviews

    Solicited review for American Historical Review. Rebecca Tinio McKenna's American Imperial Pastoral: The Architecture of US Colonialism in the Philippines (U Chicago 2017). Volume 124, February 2019. 256-257.

    "Citizenship and the Immigrant Body." Solicited review for Women's Studies Quarterly. June 2010. 327-334.


    On-line essays

    " Face: Necropolitics and the US Imperial Photography Complex." Reprint of book chapter for the on-line exhibit, Empire's Eyes: Colonial Stereographs of the Philippines. In the multi-media blog Center for Art and Thought. UC Riverside. March-April 2018.

    "The Meanings of Marrow." In the multi-media blog Center for Art and Thought, "Filipino Food Worlds" issue. UC Riverside. May 1, 2014.

    " Ten Questions for [Filipino American novelist] Gina Apostol." In the Manila cultural blog [Spot Philippines]. Manila, Philippines. May 1, 2014.



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