One of my most vivid memories of the research process for this book
took place in my aunt’s apartment in New York City. The apartment was
typically abuzz with the conversations of elders, adults, and children
because it was the main gathering place for my family to have dinner, play
Bingo, watch tv, and so on. However, it also happened to be the most
convenient place to interview a Filipino nurse one evening. So that eve-
ning, my Lolo Braulio Ceniza, Lola Soledad Ceniza, ‘‘Auntie’’ Mary Her-
nandez, aunts Lucy Ceniza and Vicky Paragas, cousin Brian Paragas, and
my mother patiently and quietly waited in a bedroom as I interviewed the
nurse in the living room for over two hours. Although the interview went
well, I felt bad for inconveniencing my family. However, when the inter-
view was finally over, they emerged from the bedroom smiling, o√ering
the nurse something to eat, and talking excitedly and proudly about the
project. For me, this experience exemplifies the ways in which my re-
search was inextricably linked to family and community support, and
challenges the notion that this book is a product of individual merit.
The many solitary hours I spent in front of a computer writing this
book belie the collective nature of this project, which the cooperation,
encouragement, and support from numerous individuals and groups in
the United States and the Philippines have enabled. This project began as
a dissertation in ucla’s History Department, where I was privileged to
work with Valerie Matsumoto, Michael Salman, and Karen Brodkin,
whose mentorship and scholarship I have humbly tried to emulate and
from whom I continue to seek guidance.
In more recent years, the camaraderie of my colleagues Brenda Child,
Rod Ferguson, Elaine Tyler May, Lary May, Carol Miller, David Noble,
Jeanie O’Brien, Jennifer Pierce, Riv-Ellen Prell, and Gayle Graham Yates
in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota
nurtured the development of this project into a book. I am especially
grateful for their protection of my time during a year of research leave.
My two faculty mentors, Elaine Tyler May and Josephine Lee, have been
role models in every sense of the word, providing me with crucial insights
for balancing scholarship, pedagogy, and family life.
When I first approached Duke University Press, I was fortunate to
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