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 forthcoming book, Asian American Histories of the United States, from Beacon Press in August 2022. The book features the themes of anti-Asian hate and violence, erasure of Asian American history, and Asian American resistance to what has been omitted in a nearly 200 year history of Asian migration, labor, and community formation in the US. She argues that Asian American experiences are essential to any understanding of US history and its existential crises of the early twenty-first century.

Catherine’s first book, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (2003), 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. 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 also the editor of the Brill book series Gendering the Trans-Pacific World, which 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.

Catherine is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. 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

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.

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.

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