Christine Bacareza Balance

Associate Professor


Christine Bacareza Balance is Associate Professor of Performing & Media Arts and Asian American Studies. Her writings on former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos, Asian American YouTube artists, Bruno Mars, Glee’s karaoke aesthetics, and spree killer Andrew Cunanan have been published in Women and Performance: a feminist journal, Journal of Asian American Studies (JAAS), Women's Studies Quarterly (WSQ), and Theatre Journal. Her first book, Tropical Renditions: Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America (Duke University Press, 2016), examines how the performance and reception of post-World War II Filipino/Filipino American popular music compose Filipino identities, publics, and politics. It received the Best First Book award from the Filipino Studies caucus of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS).  Her current book project, Making Sense of Martial Law, analyzes how the former President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos employed the sensorial and sensational, during their 21-year dictatorial rule, and how U.S.- and Philippines-based performances, events, and cultural objects critique the “Marcosian imaginary,” modeling new forms of cultural memory. With Prof. Lucy San Pablo Burns (UCLA), she is co-editor of the artist-scholar anthology, California Dreaming: Movement & Place in the Asian American Imaginary (University of Hawai’i Press, 2020).

In 2017, she was awarded a UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) Engaged Humanities grant for "Afterlives of Martial Law," a multi-site, multi-program public partnership with Visual Communications (VC), a Los Angeles-based Asian American media arts organization, to digitally preserve archival materials and present public programs that document the history of Philippine martial law and its impact upon Los Angeles-based communities. In 2014, she was commissioned by the Music Center, Los Angeles to collaborate with Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) on "The Songs We Carry," a traveling interactive pop-up exhibit of songs and stories of migration. 

Balance’s research has been supported by the Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD), UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (UCPPFP), and the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Program. During the 2014-2015 academic year, she was a Society for the Humanities fellow. From 2003-2006, she previously served as a Research Consultant for the Ford Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program, an Events Associate in NYU’s Asian/Pacific American Studies Program, and Editorial Assistant to writer Jessica Hagedorn on the literary anthology Charlie Chan is Dead 2: At Home in the World (Penguin, 2004).

She is a board member of CinemaSala, a platform showcasing Filipino & Filipino American work in film and the performing arts; an advisory board member for the Pop Music Conference and for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Victory Alliance think tank.  Balance is one-eighth of the New York-based indie rock band The Jack Lords Orchestra.

Awards and Honors

President's & Provost's Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Service through Diversity, Cornell University (2023) 

Best First Book Award, Filipino/Filipino American Studies section of Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) (2018)

Faculty Fellow, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University (2014-2015)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Ford Foundation Fellowship (2012-2013)



Tropical Renditions: Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America. (Duke University Press, April 2016)

California Dreaming: Movement & Place in the Asian American Imaginary, co-edited with Lucy San Pablo Burns (University of Hawai’i Press, October 2020)


 “Revisiting Apocalypse Now: Hollywood in a Time & Place of Philippine Martial Law.” PELIKULA: a journal of Philippine cinema and moving image (Vol. 7, December 2022), 4-13

“Keynote Duet: Christine Bacareza Balance & Alexandra Vazquez.” Performance Matters: the journal, “Sound Acts, part 2” (Spring 2022), 1-12

Contributor, "Martial Law Now, as Then," edited by Neferti X. Tadiar. Social Text (149). (Duke University Press, December 2021)

“Time After Time: St. Jude, Stages, and Muñozian Traces.” Social Text (121). “Being-With: a special issue on the work of José Esteban Muñoz.” (Duke University Press, Winter 2014)

“Dancing to Rock & Roll Poetry: Jessica Hagedorn and the West Coast Gangster Choir.” BOOM: a journal of California Studies. 3.2 (Berkeley: University of California Press, Summer 2013), 72-81

“How It Feels to Be Viral Me: Affective Labor and Asian American YouTube Performance.” Special issue “Viral” for WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly. 40.1 & 40.2 (New York: The Feminist Press, Spring/Summer 2012), 138-152

“Dahil sa Iyo: the Performative Power of Imelda’s Song.” Special issue, “Shattered Ceilings”for Women & Performance: a Journal of Feminist Theory. 20.2 (London: Routledge Press, July 2010), 119- 140.

“Notorious Kin: Filipino America Re-Imagines Andrew Cunanan.” Special issue on “Violence” for Journal of Asian American Studies. Min Hyoung Song, ed. 11.1 (Johns Hopkins University Press, March 2008), 87-106

“On Drugs: The Production of Queer Filipino America through Intimate Acts of Belonging.”Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory (16.2; London: Routledge Press, July 2006), 269-282

Bruno Mars & Janelle Monáe: "Hooligans in Wonderland," performance review.” Journal of Popular Music Studies. 23.4 (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Press, December 2011), 491-496

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