The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

Adrian De Leon

PhD Program

Fields of Study Geographical Fields:

Southeast Asia; United States

Fields of Study Thematic Fields:

Cultural and Intellectual; Empires, Colonialisms and Indigeneity; Food; Migration/Diaspora

Areas of Interest:

  • U.S. Empire in the Pacific
  • Food and Critical Nutrition Studies
  • Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies


My dissertation explores the deployment of nutritional sciences in American military expansion into the Pacific in the early 20th century. Specifically, I investigate the central role of nutrition and food economies in the relationship between American soldiers and the Pacific Islands, as well as the relationship of native soldiers with U.S. military infrastructures. I have also presented and published on the histories of migration, street vendors, and food security in cities. In addition, I work on digital scholarship projects as the Content Development Manager for SALT (Savour a Little Taste), a mobile app that explores Scarborough, Ontario through its food and migrant cultures. I am a Graduate Affiliate with the Culinaria Research Centre, a Research Affiliate with the Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration and Settlement, and the Managing Editor for the Global Food History journal for the 2015-2016 academic year. I also serve as Don of Hall at Massey College for the 2016-2017 academic year.


  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, 2016-2020
  • Philippine Studies Group Travel Award (Southeast Asia Council), 2016
  • Massey College Junior Fellowship, 2015-2016
  • C.P. Stacey-Connaught Graduate Fellowship, 2015
  • University of Toronto Excellence Awards in the Social Sciences and Humanities, 2013 and 2014


  • BA, English Literature, University of Toronto Scarborough