Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Ceniza Choy
UC Berkeley
Website URL
Asian American, Filipino American, adoption, nursing, race, gender, migration
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Catherine Ceniza Choy is the author of the award-winning book Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (Duke University Press, 2003), which explored how and why the Philippines became the world’s leading exporter of nurses to the United States. Her second book, Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America, was published by NYU Press in October 2013. Catherine is the co-editor of the Brill book series Gendering the Trans-Pacific World: Diaspora, Empire, and Race.

Catherine is Professor of Ethnic Studies and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research expertise includes Asian American history, Filipino American studies, immigration history, adoption studies, and nursing history. 

Prior to coming to Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of American Studies 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.

Recent Publications

Catherine Ceniza Choy, “Why Are There So Many Filipino Nurses In California?”, Zócalo Public Square, September 20, 2019.

Catherine Ceniza Choy, “International Adoption and Cultural Insecurity,” in Handbook of Cultural Security, ed. Yasushi Watanabe (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, May 2018), 146-166.

Catherine Ceniza Choy, “New Asian American Communities: Building and Dismantling,” in Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study (U.S. National Park Service, May 2018), 307-324.

Gendering the Trans-Pacific World: Diaspora, Empire, and Race, eds. Catherine Ceniza Choy and Judy Tzu-Chun Wu (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017).

Media Coverage
Berkeley News Fiat Vox Podcast, "Why are there so many Filipino nurses in the U.S.?," May 28, 2019; Korea and the World Podcast, "History of American Adoption of Korean Children," Oct. 14, 2016
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
Asia, North America, Pacific
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Family, Gender, Medicine, Migration & Immigration, Race, Women