People / Faculty
Catherine Ceniza Choy
Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies
Asian American History; Philippine and Filipino American Studies; Adoption; Nursing; Migration; Gender
Ph.D., History, University of California, Los Angeles, June 1998
M.A., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993
B.A., History, cum laude, Pomona College, Claremont, 1991
- 526 Barrows Hall
- Office Hours in Fall 2016: Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30pm
Bio & Research Interests
Catherine Ceniza Choy is a professor and a former chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies. She is a core faculty member of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies and an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Race and Gender. Her major research interests focus on the U.S. global presence in Asian countries, Asian migrations to the United States, and the impact of trans-Pacific migration on American and Asian societies. She is the author of the award-winning book, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History, which explored how and why the Philippines became the leading exporter of professional nurses to the United States. Her second book, Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America, unearths the little-known historical origins of Asian international adoption in the United States beginning with the post-World War II presence of the U.S. military in Asia. Catherine is the co-editor of a new Brill book series, "Gendering the Trans-Pacific World: Diaspora, Empire, and Race." She also writes about her research, academia, and writing on LinkedIn and The Berkeley Blog. She is currently working on four book projects that feature gender and the trans-Pacific world; biographies of Filipino American women; cultural productions about Asian international adoption; and the writing of ethnic studies scholar and historian Ronald Takaki.
In Fall 2016, Catherine is the team leader of the Social Science Matrix prospecting research team, "Migration, Racialization, and Gender: Filipino Migration to France and the United States." She is also the faculty coordinator and a co-organizer of the 2016-2017 Institute of International Studies interdisciplinary faculty program on "Gender and the Trans-Pacific World."
Catherine has held distinguished lectureships and visiting appointments at Yonsei University, Hitotsubashi University, and Northwestern University. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of American Studies and a founding member of the Asian American Studies Initiative at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Catherine received her Ph.D. in History from UCLA and her B.A. in History from Pomona College. The daughter of Filipino immigrants, she was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and their two children.
ASAMST 20A: Introduction to the History of Asians in the United States
ASAMST 124: Filipino American History
ASAMST 175: Contemporary Narratives on the Philippines and the United States
ETH STD 10AC: History of Race and Ethnicity in Western North America
ETH STD 135: Contemporary U.S. Immigration
ETH GRP 201: History and Narrativity: Contemporary Theories and Methods
ETH GRP 250: Research Seminar
ARTICLES AND ESSAYS
“A History of Asian International Adoption in the United States,” in The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History, ed. David Yoo and Eiichiro Azuma (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 205-221.
“A Different Mirror: Philippine International Adoption Through the Lens of Brillante Mendoza’s Foster Child,” VERGE: Studies of Global Asias 1.1 (Spring 2015), 212-229.
"Adoption," in Keywords for Asian American Studies, ed. Cathy Schlund-Vials, Linda Trinh Vo, and K. Scott Wong (New York: NYU Press, 2015), 7-9.
"The Awesome and Mundane Adventures of Flor de Manila y San Francisco," in Drawing New Color Lines: Transnational Asian American Graphic Narratives, ed. Monica Chiu (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2014), 209-224.
"Adoption History and Women's History Month," From The Square, March 25, 2016, and The Berkeley Blog, March 26, 2016.
“Remembering the Filipino American Origins of the Delano Grape Strike,” The Berkeley Blog and LinkedIn, September 8, 2015; re-posted in Pinoy Built, September 26, 2015.
“One of the Biggest Mistakes Academic Writers Make During the Summer,” LinkedIn, July 20, 2015.
“The Not-So-New History of Asian International and Transracial Adoption,” APALA (Asian Pacific American Librarians Association) Blog, June 23, 2015, and The Berkeley Blog, June 25, 2015; re-posted in The Donaldson Adoption Institute, June 25, 2015, and Asian American Journal, June 28, 2015.
Marnette Federis, "Two Trumps? Filipino Americans can vote in two (remarkably similar) elections this year," PRI's The World, May 5, 2016.
Rosemary Regina Sobol, "Rare photos, interviews honor memory of 8 nurses slain by Richard Speck," Chicago Tribune, April 28, 2016.
Korean American Data Bank, “Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption by Catherine Ceniza Choy,” March 4, 2016.
FilipiKnow, “10 Contemporary Filipina Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading," FilipiKnow website, September 2, 2015.
Sofia Leung, “Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy Resource Guide," APALA (Asian Pacific American Librarians Association) Blog, May 16, 2015.
Alice Woodhouse, “Adoptees reaching out to Hong Kong birth parents,” South China Morning Post, international edition, October 19, 2014.
Awards & Honors
Fulbright East Asia & Pacific Regional Travel Program Grant, Mahidol University, Thailand, February 2016
Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship, Yonsei University, Korea, 2015-2016
UC Berkeley Mellon Project Grant, 2015-2016
Organization of American Historians Japanese Residencies Program Winner, June 2011
Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor, Northwestern University, 2005
History Book Award, Association for Asian American Studies for Empire of Care, 2005
Honorable Mention, American Studies Association Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize for Empire of Care, 2004
American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award in History and Public Policy for Empire of Care, 2003