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Photo of Guevarra, Anna Romina

Anna Romina Guevarra, PhD

Professor and Founding Director

Co-PI, AANAPISI Initiative; Co-PI Social Justice and Human Rights Cluster

Global Asian Studies

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

1030 UH


601 S Morgan St.

Office Phone:

(312) 413-0004

Related Sites:


Professor Anna Guevarra has served as the program's director since 2012, beginning when it was Asian American Studies. She then became the Founding Director of the Global Asian Studies Program in 2016. She is a Co-PI of the UIC AANAPISI Initiative and the Social Justice and Human Rights Cluster and a member of the Diaspora Cluster at UIC. Her interdisciplinary scholarship, teaching, and community-engaged work focus on immigrant and transnational labor, the geopolitics of carework, the Philippine diaspora, and critical race/ethnic studies. She is the award-winning author of several works including the book, Marketing Dreams and Manufacturing Heroes: The Transnational Labor Brokering of Filipino Workers, an ethnography that narrates the multilayered racialized and gendered processes of brokering Filipino labor, the Philippines’ highly-prized “export, an edited volume, Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age and numerous articles in interdisciplinary journals.

Professor Guevarra is currently working on three projects. One explores the mediation of carework through robotic technology and artificial intelligence and its impact on the delivery of care, notions of racialized and gendered skill, and the geopolitical boundaries between the global north and south. Two projects are in collaboration with Prof. Gayatri Reddy: one is a public history project (Dis/Placements: A People's History of Uptown Chicago) they co-founded  that maps and narrates stories of displacements and everyday people's resistance in Uptown, a Northside Chicago neighborhood. Another collaborative project explores the relationship between diaspora and empire by mapping the spatial and temporal configurations of global/local foodways by using the sea as an analytic optic for tracing and mapping the diasporic currents of a confection, (bi)bingka’s, multivalent and culinary trajectories in South and Southeast Asia.

Professor Guevarra teaches courses on Global Asia in Chicago, Asian/Asian American Women in the Global Economy, Asian America and Transnational Feminism, Cultural Politics of Asian American Food, and Asian Markets, Corporations, and Social Justice. In 2012 and 2013, she co-taught (with Gayatri Reddy) a study abroad course on "Labor, Gender, Food, and Social Justice" in India.

Selected Grants

U.S. Department of Education (Title 3, Part A AANAPISI Grant)-2021-2026, UIC AANAPI Citizens who are Culturally Responsive, Engaged, Dynamic, Informed, and Thoughtful (UIC ACCREDIT), Co-PI

UIC COVID-19 Community Engagement Strike Force Grant, The Winthrop Family Griots: An Ode to Black Resilience in Chicago, Co-PI (with Gayatri Reddy)

Ford Foundation, Labor Disruptions and Alternative Employment Strategies Among Immigrant Women in the U.S, Co-PI

UIC Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, Community Building, Building Community: Filipinos and the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, PI

UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, Civic and Community Engagement of Filipinos in chicago, PI

Selected Publications

2021  Coding Care” in Redesigning AI: Work Democracy, and Justice in the Age of Automationedited by Daron Acemoglu (Cambridge, MA: Boston Review Forum 18 (46.2).

2021    Public History Project: Dis/Placements: A People’s History of Uptown Chicago (Co-PI with Dr. Gayatri Reddy ( 

2021 November 2   OpEd:  “Winthrop Family and Black Resilience on the North Side of Chicago,” (with Gayatri Reddy), in The Chicago Reporter

2021 August 19  OpEd:  “Illinois becomes first state to mandate teaching Asian American history in K-12” in Truthout 

2021 August 13    OpEd:  “Afro-Asian Solidarities and Reclaiming the Erasure of Women” in Ms. Magazine 

2020 October 20   OpEd: “Essential, Not Disposable” in Chicago Reader

2020   “The Source of Actual Terror: The Philippine Macho-Fascist Duterte” (with Maya Arcilla). In Feminist Studies, 46(2): pp. 489-494.

2018. “Mediations of Care: Brokering Labour in the Age of Robotics.” Special Issue on “Practices of Brokerage and the Making of Migration Infrastructures in Asia.” Pacific Affairs vol 91(4): 739-759

2016. “The Legacy of Undesirability: Filipino TNTs, “Irregular Migrants,” and “Outlaws” in the US Cultural Imaginary.” In Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora(eds by Martin F. Manalansan and Augusto Espiritu, NYU Press, pp. 355-374)

2015. “Techno-Modeling Care: Racial Branding, Dis/embodied Labor  and “Cybraceros” in Korea, Frontiers: Journal of Women’s Studies 36(3): 139-159 (Special Issue on Transnational Feminism)

2014. “Supermaids: The Racial Branding of Global Filipino Care Labour,” book chapter in Migration and Care Labour: Theory, Policy, and Politics, edited by Bridget Anderson and Isabel Shutes, pp. 130-150, Palgrave Macmillan.

2013Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age (co-edited with Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Maura Toro-Morn, and Grace Chang). University of Illinois Press.

2013. “The Public Manager,” book chapter in Figures of Southeast Asia Modernity, edited by Joshua Barker, Erik Harms, and Johan Lindquist; University of Hawai’i Press.

2010Marketing dreams, Manufacturing heroes: The transnational labor brokering of Filipino workers (Rutgers University Press)

2006. (October). The Balikbayan Researcher: Negotiating vulnerability in fieldwork with Filipino labor brokers. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 35(5): 526-551.

2006. (September). Managing “vulnerabilities” and “empowering” migrant Filipina workers: The Philippines’ overseas employment program. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture, 12(5):523-541.

Service to Community

Professor Guevarra serves or has served on the advisory board of three non-profit organizations: Full Spectrum Features, CIRCA-Pintig,  the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), and Northside Action for Justice (NA4J)

Professional Leadership

Former Board Member, Association for Asian American Studies

Notable Honors

2021-2022, Inaugural UIC Faculty Community Engagement Award, Offices of Faculty Affairs and Diversity, Equity & Engagement

2020-2021, Teaching Recognition Program, UIC Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

2019, William J. Holland Prize - for outstanding paper published in 2018, Pacific Affairs Journal

2018, Inaugural Award - Distinction in Public Scholarship, Filipino Studies Section - Association for Asian American Studies

2014, Policy and Social Engagement Fellowship, UIC IRRPP

2010, Distinguished Book Award, Race, Class, Gender Section of American Sociological Association

2010, Teaching Recognition Program, UIC Center for Excellence on Teaching and Learning (CETL)


2003 PhD, Sociology, University of California San Francisco

1996 BA, Women’s Studies, University of California, Irvine

1996 BA, Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine

Selected Presentations

2019 (4/16)       Distinguished Lecture, 42nd Harry Lee Waterfield Distinguished Lecture in Public Affairs,  “The Robots are Coming! Unpacking the Ethics of Automation in the 21st Century,” Murray State University, Murray, KY

2019 (3/14)       Keynote Address, 38th Annual Gender Studies Symposium, “From Heroes, Supermaids, to TNTs: Racial Branding and the Geopolitics of Carework,” Lewis and Clark University, Portland, OR

2018 (4/27)     Invited presentation, “From Filipina Supermaids to Cybraceros: Brokering Labor in the Age of Robotics." Conference on Migration: Discipline and Displacement, Institute for Historical Studies, University of Texas, Austin

2017 (6/1)       Keynote Address, “Simulations of Care: Brokering Labor in the Age of Robotics.” Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

 2017(2/23-2/24) Invited presentation, “Bumbay Bibingka: In the Footsteps of Indian Sepoys in the Philippines,” Workshop on ‘Scales of Alimentation Between Europe and Asia,’ EHESS, Paris, France

Research Currently in Progress

  • Mediations of Care: Robotic Technology, Gender, and Labor:” This project explores the mediation of carework through robotic technology and artificial intelligence its impact on the delivery of care, notions of racialized and gendered skill, and the geopolitical boundaries between the global north and south.
  • Dis/Placements: A People’s History of Uptown Chicago (with Gayatri Reddy): This project traces displacements of people and struggles over land, housing, and community in the city of Chicago, raising critical questions about how we understand urban “development” or renewal, who this development is for, and how it is structured. We begin this excavation in the northside neighborhood of Uptown, a neighborhood uniquely shaped and formed by multiple forms of displacement - local, national, and transnational, and reflective of active resistance to such geopolitical and economic displacement, racial segregation, and state and imperial violence. The project visualizes these varied displacements as well as the active place-making that, over the course of the last century, produced Uptown as a multiracial anomaly in Chicago, the most segregated city in America.
  • Bumbay Bibingka: Culinary Crosscurrents and a Tale of Three Cities (with Gayatri Reddy): this project explores the spatial and temporal configurations of global/local foodways using a dessert, bibingka’s multivalent culinary trajectories in South and Southeast Asia as the lens through which to do so.

Artistic and Professional Performances and Exhibits

Public History Project: Dis/Placements: A People’s History of Uptown Chicago (co-PI Gayatri Reddy)