Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Michael Lujan Bevacqua, PhD, is the grandson of Elizabeth De Leon Flores Lujan, familian Bådu, Kabesa and the Chamorro Master Blacksmith, Joaquin Flores Lujan, familian Kåtson, Bittot. He is the son of Rita Flores Lujan Butler and Robert Francis Bevacqua, and has two children: a daughter, Sumåhi Chan Bevacqua and a son, Akli’e’ Chan Bevacqua.
Bevacqua graduated from the University of Guam with a BA in art and literature in 2001 and an MA in Micronesian studies in 2004. He completed an MA in ethnic studies from the University of California, San Diego in 2007 and was conferred a PhD degree in 2010. He currently is an instructor of Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam. Bevacqua’s research deals with the impact of colonization on Chamorros in Guam and theorizes the possibilities for the decolonization of their lands and lives. In 2001 he led a faculty task force in successfully creating a Chamorro Studies BA program at the University of Guam. He is a passionate advocate for the revitalization of the Chamorro language, and has translated manga comic books, rock songs and even Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” into Chamorro.
Bevacqua’s masters thesis in Micronesian studies, These May or May Not Be Americans: The Patriotic Myth and the Hijacking of Chamorro History in Guam deals with the Americanization of Chamorro memories of pre-war and wartime Guam. His master’s thesis in ethnic studies, Everything You Wanted to Know About Guam But Were Afraid to Ask Zizek, seeks to answer why, despite Guam’s colonial status over the past century under the United States, there remains resistance on the island to the prospect of its decolonization.
He has worked as a producer for the documentary Land of the Chamorros directed by Frances Negron-Muntaner since 2002, and worked as a writer for the documentary The Insular Empire directed by Vanessa Warheit and Amy Robinson since 2006. He was a consultant for the Chamorro non-profit group, Guam Communications Network from 2003 to 2004 where he assisted in the translation of health documents into Chamorro, wrote narratives and painted images for the Chamorro Providing Access to Health Book. Since 2006 Bevacqua has worked as the assistant managing editor for two academic journals Social Identities and African Identities. He was also co-editor of Chamoru Childhood, an anthology of Chamoru stories published by Achiote Press in 2009.
Bevacqua co-organized several conferences and events both on Guam and in California. Most notable are the first ever Human Rights Watch Film Festival in Guam and California (2003), the conferences ”Famoksaiyan: Decolonizing Chamorro Histories, Identities and Futures” (2006), “Ghosts, Monsters and the Dead” (2007), and Famoksaiyan, “Our Time to Paddle Forward” Summit on Native Self-Determination and Decolonization (2007).
In 2004 and 2006, Bevacqua received the Tan Chong Padula Humanitarian Award from the southern California non-profit organization Guam Communications Network for his outstanding commitment and service to the Chamorro community. He is a board member of the Chamorro Cultural Center in San Diego and in October of 2007 he testified before the Fourth Committee of the United Nations on the political status of Guam.
Bevacqua has been the editor for the online Chamorro zine Minagahet since 2003 which is dedicated to the revitalization of Chamorro language and culture, the decolonization of Guam and the dissemination of information regarding current events on Guam. In addition, he maintains a number of other websites, including Chamorro.com, Decolonize Guam and his personal blog No Rest for the Awake – Minagahet Chamorro. He also participates in the regular podcast, Voicing Indigeneity which features discussions on the decolonization, sovereignty and the state of indigenous peoples in the world today. He writes a weekly column in The Marianas Variety titled “When the Moon Waxes” and is a co-host for the KPRG show Beyond the Fence. In 2011 he led a faculty task force in establishing a historic Chamorro Studies program.
Bevacqua is a member of Nasion Chamoru, The Association of Asian American Studies, The National Association of Ethnic Studies, The National Pacific Islander Education Network, and a founding member of The Chamorro Information Activists and Famoksaiyan.
He became the curator of the Guam Museum in 2021 and is in charge of museum exhibits, artworks, and historic artifacts.
Guampedia Entries by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Agad’na: Canoe Builders
Ancestral Worship Today
Chamorro Ancestor Worship
Chamorro World View
Chåmpada: Social Competition for Status
Fumatinas Titiyas yan Fuma’gasi Magagu: Places of Romance
Gadao yan Otro Pinenta Siha: Traditional Art
Hineksa’ Aga’ga’: Red Rice
Interpretive Essay: Angel L.G. Santos
Mangkalamya: Skilled Artisans
Matå’pang: Evolution of the Term
Mo’na: Circular Concept of History
Pan: Dinner Rolls
Pumeska: Hunters on Land and Sea
Religious Life during the Japanese Occupation
Transmission of Christianity into Chamorro Culture