Mark Padoongpatt

Professor and Director, Asian and Asian American Studies
Expertise: Asian American history, 20th-century U.S. history, Race and racism, Suburbs, Thai cuisine


Mark Padoongpatt, an associate professor within UNLV's Department of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies, serves as director of the Asian and Asian American Studies program. 

Padoongpatt researches and writes on the histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the 20th-century United States, with a focus on empire, migration, race, and urban and suburban cultures. His Ph.D. thesis-turned-book, Flavors of Empire: Food and the Making of Thai America (University of California Press, 2017) — which explores how and why Thai food shaped the contours of Thai American community and identity since World War II — landed him an appearance on Padma Lakshmi's Hulu show "Taste the Nation." Padoongpatt is currently writing a book and developing a podcast series on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Las Vegas titled "Neon Pacific," which explores histories of race, space, and placemaking in Vegas.

At UNLV, Padoongpatt teaches a range of courses in Asian American Studies and on the interdisciplinary research process, including Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, Interdisciplinary Research Methods, and the Interdisciplinary Capstone class.


  • Ph.D., American Studies & Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Mark Padoongpatt In The News

K.L.A.S. T.V. 8 News Now
Seven years in the making, a new grant has allowed Dr. Mark Padoongpatt to bring the Neon Pacific initiative to UNLV. As the director of Asian and American studies at UNLV, he said this is part of a new program that will expand Asian American education through classes, internships, and more. The funding is all thanks to the Mellon Foundation bringing in $800,000 over the next 3 years.
CNBC News Today
With the help of a Mellon Foundation grant – the first of its type in Nevada – UNLV will expand the study of race, place, and culture of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Las Vegas.
Cotiduanul Online
Romania's capital offers a variety of multicultural food options thanks to its diverse population and rich history. Romanian food itself is a mix of various influences, including from Turkish, Hungarian and German cuisine. Bucharest also has a growing Asian population, and as a result you can find Asian restaurants in the city, featuring cuisine from countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, India and Pakistan. We will briefly explore the cuisine of these countries, but also restaurants or shops where you can try them, in the following lines.
Frame of Reference
The third most popular type of Asian food in America

Articles Featuring Mark Padoongpatt

Graduation surprise
Campus News | August 1, 2023

News stories from the summer featuring UNLV students and faculty.

2022 U.N.L.V. Spring Commencement Ceremony for the Graduate College.  May 13, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV)
Campus News | June 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

Graduates bumping fists
Campus News | June 8, 2021

A collection of news stories highlighting celebration, health, and progress at UNLV.