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 2017: Tuesdays 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 Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative and 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 (2003), 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 (2013), 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 with Judy Tzu-Chun Wu of the anthology, Gendering the Trans-Pacific World (2017), which is the inaugural volume of their Brill book series with the same title. She also writes about her research, academia, and writing on LinkedIn and The Berkeley Blog. She is currently working on three book projects that feature biographies of Filipino American women; cultural productions about Asian international adoption; and the writing of ethnic studies scholar and historian Ronald Takaki.
Catherine is the featured writer in the Fall 2017 Berkeley Writers at Work Series. In 2017-2018, she is the team leader of the Social Science Matrix research team, "Migration, Racialization, and Gender: Filipino Migration to France and the United States." She is also the faculty coordinator and co-organizer of the Institute of International Studies interdisciplinary faculty program on "Gender and the Trans-Pacific World."
Catherine is a 2017-2018 Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer. She has held distinguished lectureships and visiting appointments at Yonsei University, Mahidol 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 24: Asian American History in American Musicals
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.
"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.
"What Filipino American History Makes Visible," From The Berkeley Blog, October 27, 2016.
"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.
This Filipino American Life, Podcast Episode 10, "Filipinos in the Nursing Industry," March 14, 2017.
New York Times Race/Related Newsletter, "Around the Web: Here are some of the stories that we’re talking about" features Korea and the World podcast interview with Catherine Ceniza Choy on the history of adoption, October 30, 2016.
Korea and the World, Podcast Episode 75, "Catherine Ceniza Choy," October 14, 2016.
Awards & Honors
Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2017-2018
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, Hitotsubashi University, 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