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About Me

Marimas Hosan Mostiller, Ph.D.


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Instagram: @marimasmostiller

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Dr. Marimas Hosan Mostiller (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Ethnic & Women's Studies department at Cal Poly Pomona. She teaches a variety of Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies courses. As an Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies interdisciplinary researcher and scholar, her specialties include:

  • Race, Ethnicity & Identity

  • Cham Diaspora in the U.S.

  • Cambodian (Khmer) Diaspora in the U.S.

  • Critical Refugee Studies and Southeast Asian American Experiences

  • Asian Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Asian-Settler Experiences 

Dr. Mostiller's research focuses on her community: Cham Muslim Americans. Cham peoples are non-recognized Indigenous peoples of the Kingdom of Champa (present-day Vietnam), refugees (or children/grandchildren of refugees) of the Vietnam War and Khmer Rouge genocide, Asian Americans, and many are Muslims. As a highly invisibilized community, Dr. Mostiller's research makes her Cham Muslim diasporic community visible by positioning them in critical discussions of race, power, indigeneity, immigration, and settler colonialism.

Dr. Mostiller encountered numerous barriers as a child of refugees from the Khmer Rouge genocide and a first-generation college student. Defying the odds, she earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of La Verne, an M.Ed. from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is the first person in the Santa Ana Cham Muslim American community to earn a Ph.D. 

Dr. Mostiller's experience growing up in a traditional Muslim household among other working-class, immigrant, Latinx, and Khmer communities prompted her interest in higher education advocacy, Ethnic Studies, and social justice. She has worked for a number of higher education pipeline programs, and has advised and mentored many undergraduate students from Cal Poly Pomona, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, San Francisco State University, Cal State Long Beach, and the University of Southern California.

For speaking engagements or publication opportunities, contact Dr. Mostiller (

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Selected Publications

Selected Publications

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  • "Building Against the Constraints of the University: Teaching Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies at a HSI/AANAPISI and PWI" (Forthcoming 2024) in AAPI Nexus Journal: Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Policy, Practice and Community.


Cham peoples are a hyper invisibilized community who are generally not seen or are misunderstood in public platforms. Although Cham peoples have multiple identities as Indigenous Asian Muslim refugees, or children of refugees, we are never viewed as bearing these multiple identities. Instead, we are viewed as bearing only one identity and are singularly racialized in that capacity. In this way, our intersectional identity is erased. This dissertation argues that Cham intersectional identity is erased through a transnational network by which state and social institutions in the U.S., Vietnam, Cambodia, and the United Nations reduce and homogenize our intersectional identity, maintaining our invisibility in national and international platforms. This dissertation argues that social and state institutions socially construct, racialize, and erase our intersectional identity through multiple mediums, including through institutional labeling, cultural representations of Champa at museum and tourist sites and mass media, and racial stereotypes. Utilizing a Critical Refugee Studies lens and Yến Lê Espiritu’s conception of “critical juxtaposition,” this dissertation critically juxtaposes two social categories, “Indigenous” and “refugee,” which are often viewed as separate identities. As our communities are not nationally or internationally recognized as Indigenous peoples of present-day Vietnam, this dissertation interrogates how nomenclature plays a role in erasing our Indigenous identity and perpetuating colonialism. Laws meant to protect marginalized communities privilege the nation-state as the governing body determines who is and is not worthy of the state’s protection. This dissertation also critically juxtaposes two other social categories, “Asian” and “Muslim,” and shows how we are racialized in both capacities. As Asian Americans and Muslims, we experience both forms of racialization successively in the same space. In this way, as perceived Asians, we are viewed as model minorities until we are racialized as Muslim terrorists. The Cham Muslim American experience shows how Muslims are pathologized against Asian American stereotypes. Despite these multiple racializations, Cham Muslim American communities have forged a collective identity and fight against assimilation by emphasizing Muslim identity. In addition, within Muslim spaces, this dissertation discusses authenticity politics of Muslimness and Chamness, as Cham Muslims and other Asian Muslims are not viewed as authentically Muslim by other Arab Muslim missionaries. By understanding the complexity of Cham identities, we can better support social justice and anti-racist initiatives that may overlook or neglect smaller invisible communities.



Cham peoples are typically recognized as ethnic or religious minorities in Southeast Asia and the U.S. We are never recognized as Indigenous on any national or international platform despite our Indigeneity to the Kingdom of Champa (present-day central and southern Vietnam). This essay examines the complex positions of Cham refugees of the Vietnam War and Khmer Rouge genocide who necessarily resettled in the U.S. Utilizing Yến Lê Espiritu’s concept of “critical juxtaposition,” this essay critically juxtaposes two Cham identities, often viewed as separate identities: “Indigenous” and “refugee.” As Indigenous Asian peoples in diaspora, Cham peoples complicate the discussion of Asian settler colonialism.

  • Guest Editor’s Introduction. History & Perspectives: The Journal of the Chinese Historical Society of America – Special Issue on Chinese Cambodian Americans (2020): ix-x.​​ 

    • This Special Issue on Chinese Cambodian Americans examines the experiences of the Chinese Khmer diaspora.

  • “The Perpetual Outsider.” Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism, edited by Nikki Khanna (New York: NYU Press, 2020).

    • This essay discusses Dr. Mostiller's experiences as a first-time mom raising a mixed-race child and their experiences of colorism and anti-Blackness within the Southeast Asian American community.


  • “Cham Muslims.” Encyclopedia of Asian American Religious Cultures, edited by Jonathan H. X. Lee, Fumitaka Matsuka, Ronald Nakasone, and Edmond Yee (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2015).

    • This encyclopedia entry offers a synopsis of the Santa Ana Cham Muslim community in California, established by Cham refugees of the Khmer Rouge genocide and Vietnam War in the early 1980s.



As an Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies interdisciplinary researcher, Dr. Mostiller primarily focuses on mixed-methods approaches. More recently, her methods have included: online surveys, oral histories, participant interviews, autoethnography, and performing content, media, and museum exhibit analysis.

• Mixed-methods research study that includes the collection of data via online surveys, oral histories, interviews, and analysis of representations of Cham peoples, culture and history. The study examines and analyzes the identities and experiences of Cham Muslim Americans who are Indigenous to present-day Vietnam, Asian Americans, Muslims, and refugees or children of refugees from the Vietnam War and Khmer Rouge genocide.

• Conducted a qualitative research study by collecting oral histories of Cham Americans. The analyses discussed the flexible identity and performativity of Cham Muslim identities within and outside Cham Muslim American communities.

  • “Racial Microaggressions in the Workplace: The Experiences of Black College Administrators” (2013)San Francisco State University, College of Ethnic Studies

• Conducted a qualitative research study surveying Black college administrators on their experiences of overt racial discrimination and racial microagressions working at a predominantly white institution (PWI).

• Conducted a quantitative research study surveying approximately 200 college students regarding their perceptions of racism on campus and its relationship with ethnic identity and student development.

  • "Perceived Racial Prejudice and its Effect on Academic Performance" (2006)Undergraduate Senior Project, University of La Verne, Department of Psychology

• Conducted a quantitative research study surveying approximately 100 college students regarding their perceptions, experiences, and progress in college.

  • Century High School, Higher Education Center (2006)

• Developed the "College Tracking Survey" to track students' college application and college acceptance rates. Surveyed 342 high school seniors, analyzed and summarized results.

Colorful Book Spines




Instagram: @marimasmostiller

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