Catherine Ceniza Choy is Professor of Ethnic Studies. Her scholarly specialties include Asian American history, Filipino American studies, race, gender, and migration, nursing history, and adoption studies. She is the author of the 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. Empire of Care received the 2003 American Journal of Nursing History and Public Policy Book Award and the 2005 Association for Asian American Studies History Book Award. It is part of the Social Science Research Council’s #coronavirussyllabus. In 2020 and 2021, Catherine has been interviewed and had her research cited in many media outlets, including ABC 2020, The Atlantic, CNN, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, New York Times, ProPublica, San Francisco Chronicle, and Vox on the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on Filipino nurses in the United States, anti-Asian, coronavirus-related racism and violence, and racism and misogyny in the March 16 Atlanta murders.
Catherine’s 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. In the last fifty years, transnational adoption—specifically, the adoption of Asian children—has exploded in popularity as an alternative path to family making. In a Choice book review, historian Karen Dubinsky writes, “Her book’s strength is in the stories themselves, which Choy narrates with skill and sympathy. . . . A useful corrective to one-dimensional, romantic portraits of adoption that saturate popular culture today. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”
Catherine is the editor of the Brill book series Gendering the Trans-Pacific World. This book series explores the gendered nature of the Pacific World by focusing on three phenomena: diaspora, empire, and race. The inaugural volume of the book series is the anthology, Gendering the Trans-Pacific World (2017), which Catherine co-edited with Judy Tzu-Chun Wu. The third volume is a reprinting of Doreen G. Fernandez’s Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (2019) with a new editor’s preface by Catherine and a new foreword by chef Aileen Suzara. Catherine was interviewed and quoted in Ligaya Mishan’s feature story about Fernandez in the New York Times.
Catherine is currently working on the book “Asian American Histories of the United States” (Beacon Press, under contract), and a book featuring biographies of Filipino American women, tentatively titled “In No Man’s Shadow: The Filipino Woman in America and the World.” You can follow her on Twitter @ccenizachoy
ASAMST 20A: Introduction to Asian American History
ASAMST 24: Asian American History in American Musicals
ASAMST 124: Filipino American History
ASAMST 190: Asian American History in the Age of COVID-19
ETH STD C135A: Migration in the Contemporary World
ETH GRP 250: Research Seminar on Asian American History
ETH GRP 250: Research Seminar on Gender and the Trans-Pacific World
“When the Reporter Asks You Why There Are So Many Filipino Nurses in the U.S.,” in AAWW’s (Asian American Writers’ Workshop) magazine, The Margins, May 17, 2021.
“From imperialism to inpatient care: Work differences of Filipino and White registered nurses in the United States and implications for COVID‐19 through an intersectional lens,” in Gender, Work & Organization, April 4, 2021, with Jennifer Nazareno, Emily Yoshioka, Alexander C. Adia, Arjee Restar, and Don Operario.
“Nursing Justice: Filipino Immigrant Nurse Activism in the United States,” in Nursing Clio, December 3, 2020, part of the Beyond Florence essay series on the history of nurses and nursing.
“Epicenter of the Epicenter,” in Independent Curators International Journal, July 21, 2020, with curator PJ Gubatina Policarpio, part of Reports from the Field’s perspectives from curators from around the world and reflections on the impact of the global pandemic on their lives.
“In This Country,” in The Society Pages, June 17, 2020, part of the special essay series, “Wonderful/Wretched Memories of Racial Dynamics in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.” Reprinted in The Berkeley Blog as “Brushes with racism in Minnesota and why Black lives matter,” June 24, 2020. Forthcoming in Sparked: George Floyd, Racism, and the Progressive Illusion, eds. Walter R. Jacobs, Wendy Thompson Taiwo, and Amy August (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, May 2021).
“Inoculate Against Racism,” in California Magazine, Summer 2020, part of the roundtable, “What Comes After the Pandemic? Berkeley experts explain what will change—and what should.”
Associate Dean, College of Letters & Science Division of Undergraduate Studies, 2019-2021
Faculty Leadership Academy Program Participant, Spring 2019
Department Chair, Ethnic Studies, 2012-2015, 2018-2019
Oprah Daily, “What AAPI Means, and Why AAPIHM Falls in May,” May 11, 2021.
Rappler, “The Filipino nursing diaspora,” April 19, 2021.
CNN, “Why some Asian Americans are embracing their heritage by dropping their anglicized names,” April 7, 2021.
Berkeley News, “The long history and present surge of anti-Asian violence,” April 1, 2021.
NPR Code Switch, “Why Are We Here?” March 31, 2021.
SF Chronicle, “Jack London had racist ideas. It’s time to rename the square,” March 25, 2021.
KCET, “Disaggregation for Health Equity: Shedding Light on COVID-19’s Impact on the Filipinx Community,” March 23, 2021.
KQED Morning Edition, “Advocates React to the Atlanta Killer ‘Not Being Motivated by Race,’” March 22, 2021.
NBC TODAY Show, “Atlanta spa shootings spotlight spike in violence against Asian Americans,” March 21, 2021.
ABC 20/20 special, “20/20 Murder in Atlanta,” March 16, 2021. Full episode available on Hulu.
Agence France-Presse, “Racism, or misogyny? How the Atlanta shootings can be both,” March 18, 2021. Re-printed and translated in Noticias Telemundo, Semana.com, Diario Libre, Istoe Dinheiro, Courrier International, L’Express, and more.
NBC News, “Racism, sexism must be considered in Atlanta case involving killing of six Asian women, experts say,” March 17, 2021.
KTVU News, “Experts say motive in Atlanta spa attacks points to racism, sexism,” March 17, 2021.
Newsy, “Atlanta Attacks Spotlight Violence Against AAPI Women,” March 17, 2021.
Decibel on Austin PBS, “The Care That Breaks The Ceiling,” March 15, 2021.
San Francisco Chronicle, “‘You’re not Chinese, are you?’ Bay Area health workers describe racism during the pandemic,” March 8, 2021.
Asian American Life, “Filipino Nurses,” March 2, 2021, March 2, 2021.
RFI (Radio France International), “Covid-19: les soignants philippins durement touchés par la pandémie à travers le monde,” February 28, 2021.
San Francisco Chronicle, “There’s been a surge of attacks against Asian Americans. Asians in the Bay Area say the hostility isn’t new.” February 25, 2021.
The Atlantic‘s The Experiment podcast, “The Sisterhood: 4 Percent of Nurses, 31.5 Percent of Deaths, Why Filipino nurses have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” February 25, 2021.
Al Jazeera English, “The Stream,” February 17, 2021.
Colorlines, “Why Are There No Filipino Nurses on Medical TV Shows?” February 8, 2021.
Berkeley News, “Berkeley scholars’ outrage, reflections on U.S. Capitol mob siege,” January 7, 2021.
KQED Forum, “California’s Filipino American Nurses Bear Disproportionate COVID-19 Risks,” December 18, 2020.
CNN Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction, “A Sisterhood of Nurses and a Universe of Grief,” December 11, 2020.
Vox, “Why the US has so many Filipino nurses,” June 29, 2020.
Fiat Vox, “Why are there so many Filipino nurses in the U.S.?,” May 28, 2019.
Berkeley Writers at Work, “Catherine Ceniza Choy,” October 18, 2017.
Korea and the World, “Catherine Ceniza Choy on International Adoption,” October 14, 2016.
Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study Grant, Co-PI with Dr. Linn Normand on “Exhuming Immigrant Voices From the Past: A Critical Archival Study of the Bancroft Library,” 2020-2023
Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2017-2020
UC Berkeley Townsend Center for the Humanities Senior Faculty Fellow, 2018-2019
Institute of International Studies Faculty Interdisciplinary Program Grant on “Gender and the Trans-Pacific World,” 2016-2018
Social Science Matrix Research Team Award on “Migration, Racialization, and Gender: Comparing Filipino Migration to France and the US,” 2017-2018
Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship, Yonsei University, Korea, 2015-2016
Organization of American Historians Japanese Residencies Program, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, 2011
Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 2005
Association for Asian American Studies History Book Award for Empire of Care, 2005
American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award in History and Public Policy for Empire of Care, 2003
Association of American University Women Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship, 2002
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2000