Photo of Guevarra, Anna Romina

Anna Romina Guevarra, PhD

Associate Professor and Director

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

Global Asian Studies


Building & Room:

1030 UH


601 S Morgan St.

Office Phone:

(312) 413-0004


Professor Anna Guevarra is the Founding Director of the Global Asian Studies Program and a Co-PI of the UIC AANAPISI Initiative.  She is also the Co-PI of the Social Justice and Human Rights Cluster and a member of the Diaspora Cluster at UIC. Professor Guevarra's scholarly, creative, and teaching interests focus on immigrant and transnational labor, the geopolitics of carework, critical diaspora studies, and community engagement as they relate to dynamics of race, gender, and empire. She is the author of the award-winning 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."

Professor Guevarra is currently working on three projects. One explores the intersections between migration/labor studies and science and technology studies to examine the racialized and gendered dynamics of robotic “innovation” and the labor of carework being mediated through sociable/personal/humanoid robots in the context of neoliberal globalization. Two projects are in collaboration with Prof. Gayatri Reddy: one focuses on mapping the multi-racial histories and solidarity work of Asian ethnic neighborhoods/enclaves in Chicago and another 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), UIC Pipeline for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Student Success (UIC PASS), Co-PI

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

Selected Publications

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)

“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, and the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE).

Professional Leadership

Board Member, Association for Asian American Studies

Notable Honors

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

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

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(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

  • Simulations of Care: Robotic Technology, Disembodied Labor, and “Cybraceros:” This project explores the simulation of carework through robotic technology and its impact on carework, notions of racialized and gendered skill, and the geopolitical boundaries between the global north and south
  • 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.
  • Mapping Global Asia in Chicago (with Gayatri Reddy): This project focuses on mapping the multi-racial and migrant histories of Chicago's neighborhoods, attempting to recover these invisibilized histories/voices, using an innovative three-dimensional/virtual reality storymap that encodes spatial, historical, and ethnographic/sensory data.