Valerie Matsumoto


UCLA, History & AASD
6265 Bunche
Box 951473
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Class Websites


Ph.D., Stanford, 1985

Areas of Interest

Asian American history, U.S. 20th Century, women's history, oral history, food studies.


Valerie J. Matsumoto is a Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Asian American Studies. In July 2017 she was appointed to the George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair on the Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community.



  • City Girls:  The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950 (NY:  Oxford University Press, 2014). 

  • Farming the Home Place: A Japanese American Community in California, 1919-1982 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993)


  • Over the Edge: Remapping The American West, co-edited with Blake Allmendinger (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999)

Selected Essays

  • “Sansei Women and the Gendering of Yellow Power in Southern California, 1960s-1970s,” Transpacific Japanese American Studies: Conversations on Race and Racializations, eds. Yasuko Takezawa and Gary Y. Okihiro (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2016), pp.183-209.
  • “Apple Pie and Makizushi: Japanese American Women Sustaining Family and Community,” Eating Asian America, A Food Studies Reader, eds. Robert Ji-Song Ku, Martin Manalansan IV, and Anita Mannur (NY: New York University Press, 2013), pp.255-73.
  • “Pioneers, Renegades, and Visionaries: Asian American Women Artists in California, 1890s-1960s,” Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970, eds. Mark D. Johnson, Gordon Chang, and Paul Karlstrom (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), pp.169-99. 
  • Guest Editor, Amerasia Journal 26:1 (2000) special issue, "Histories and Historians in the Making."
  • "Reflections on Oral History: Research in a Japanese American Community," Feminist Dilemmas in Fieldwork, ed. Diane L. Wolf (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996)
  • "Redefining Expectations: Nisei Women in the 1930s," California History (Spring 1994): 44-53, 88.
  • "Desperately Seeking 'Deirdre': Gender Roles, Multicultural Relations, and Nisei Women Writers of the 1930s," Frontiers 12, No. 1 (1991): 19-32.
  • "Japanese American Women During World War II," Frontiers 8, No. 1 (1984): 6-14.


George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair on the Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community, appointed July 2017.

Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring and Teaching, UCLA Asian American Studies Graduate Student Association, 2013 and 2007.

UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, 2007.

Toshio and Doris Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Award, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 2006.