Ethnic Studies 119: 3 Units

Professor: James Sobredo, Ph.D.
Lecture/Discussion: ETHN 119_85291. Tues. Thurs, 9 - 10: 15 a.m., EUR 114
Office Hours: Amador Hall 563A, Hours. Tues.12:00 – 1:20 pm and 3-4:30 pm
    *Every 2nd Fri. of MONTH = Friday, 10:00 am - 1 pm (no office hours on Tues.)
Telephone: (916) 278-7566 & Web Address:



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The Professor is NOT responsible for ADDING or DROPPING you
from this course or any other course. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to file the appropriate paper work with the Registrar’s Office to add or drop Dr. Sobredo’s ETHN or any other class.
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Course Description

Historical documents provide us archival evidence that Filipinos have been immigrating to the Americas since the 16th century and forming permanent settlements in the United States since the mid-1800s. Their experience and contributions, however, have been minimized and generally received very little attention in history books. Moreover, whenever mentioned, Filipino Americans have been stereotypically constructed as either "cheap" labor who were a threat to white workers or as successful "model minorities."

This course will provide an introduction to the history of Filipinos in America. Beginning in the 16th century and extending to the present (1990s), we shall examine the immigration and settlement histories. Their experience in America will be examined within the context of historical, social, economic, and political forces in American society. We shall also critically examine how their labor market status, race, class, and sex/gender relations affected the evolution and formation of Asian American communities. Finally, this course approaches the discussion and analysis of Filipinos in America from a world history and global migration point of view.

Course Objectives

By the end of the class, students will learned about:

  1. The history of Filipino American immigration and settlement in the U.S. (16th century - present),

  2. Historical context within which these immigrations/settlements have occurred,

  3. Social science theories in analyzing and interpreting Filipino American history.


In order to pass the class, students must complete all the mid-terms, final, and oral history interview project. Students are also required to attend all the class lectures, arrive to class on time, and are responsible for all the readings and lectures.

Only medical and family emergencies will be considered by the instructor. Students are allowed 2 absences, after which their grades will be significantly affected. The instructor does not tolerate disruptive classroom behavior. Consult the Sac State Student Handbook for policies governing student conduct and responsibilities. Late work will be assessed a reduction in grade points. Students are expected to be at class on time. The instructor does not give "make-up" exams or grade on a curve.



2 Midterm Exams

200 pts

2 Midterms (100 pts each): T or F, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, and short essay (500 words).

Oral History Project

50 pts

Oral History interview, narrative, & photos.

(a)   Oral History Narrative [20 pts]: 1,200 words (minimum), single-spaces (do a word count on your computer and write down the number of words). *Due: Last day of class, IN CLASS at beginning of class time.

(b)   Transcript [20 pts]: 5 full pages of transcript, single-spaced, typed—see online example. *Due: Last day of class, IN CLASS at beginning of class time.

(c)    Photos [10 pts]: provide 5 photos (color photo copies) with appropriate captions & explanations (who, what, where, when, why/how). *Due: Last day of class, IN CLASS at beginning of class time.

NOTE: If the person you are interviewing cannot sign a consent form or provide photos, then choose another interviewee.

In-Class Discussion, Short Assignments & Participation

50 pts

50 pts. CLASS DISCUSSIONS & IN-CLASS WRITING ASSIGNMENTS. 50 pts. Students will be evaluated on their small group discussion sessions, in-class writing assignments & participation.



300 pts





GRADING SCALE   300 pts Total

300-282 points.... A, 281-270...A-, 269-260... B+, 259-250...B, 249-240... 

B-, 239-230...C+, 229-220...C, 219-210...C-, 209-179...D, 178 and below... "E" [not passing] 

Asian American Studies 150: TEXTS/READINGS

·          Evangeline Canonizado Buell, Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride: Growing Up in a Filipino Immigrant Family (San Francisco: T’Boli Publishing, 2006).

·          Carlos Bulosan, American is in the Heart (University of Washington Press, 1995).

·          Readings/Articles in Library Reserve: indicated by *.



  1. Introduction: Historical "Invisibility" to a Critical Mass

*“Filipina Activist Buell Writes Family History to Understand Herself,” San Francisco Chronicle, 8 March 2007.

*Antonio Vargas, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," NYTimes 22 June 2011.


  1. Pre-Spanish Society: Datus and Caracoas

    Felice Noelle Rodriguea, “Juan de Salcedo Joins the Native Form of Warefare,” Journal of Economic and Social History of the West, Vol. 46:2 (2003). Available via Sac State Library: JSTOR (Library Database).


  1. The Galleon Trade and Early Filipino Immigration, 16th-19th Century

Flynn, Dennis  and Arturo Giraldez, "Born with a 'Silver Spoon': The Origin of
World Trade in 1571," Journal of World History, 6:2, 1995. Available via Sac State Library: JSTOR (Library Database).

James Sobredo, “Filipino Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, Stockton and Seattle,” July 1999.


  1. American Colonialism: 1899-1902 FA War and "Benevolent Assimilation"

    Benjamin Pimentel, “’White Man’s’ Forgotten War,” San Francisco Chronicle, 31 March 1999.

    Carl Nolte, “U.S. War  with Philippines told in Presidio Exhibit,” San Francisco Chronicle, 14 November 2008.

    *Luzviminda Francisco, “The Philippine-American War” in Daniel B. Schirmer & Stephen Rosskamm Shalom, The Philippines Reader: A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance (Boston: South End Press, 1987). *Library Reserve.

  2. Context of Filipino Labor Migration to the United States

“Introduction” and Chapters 1-7. Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2000).

  1. Filipino Migrant Workers: Hawaii's Sugar Plantations

    Chapters 7-12. Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2000).

    “Labor Migration in Hawaii” and “Plantation Life” from The Philippine History Site (University of Hawaii). 

    Rosemarie Bernardo, “Filipino Americans have Rich Isle History,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 June 2002.  

    * * * Mid-term I (6th week): Tuesday, 2 October 2012) * * *
    * * * FIELD TRIP * * *
    7 Oct. 2012 (11 am – 4 pm), Asian Art Museum (San Francisco): Filipino American History Celebration

  2. Filipino Migrant Workers: San Francisco, Seattle & Stockton

    Finish reading Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2000).

    *Carey McWilliams, “Our Oriental Agriculture,” Factories in the Field (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1939).

  3. Stopping the "Third Asiatic invasion"

    *James Sobredo, "Stopping the 'Third Asiatic Invasion': the 1934 Tydings-McDuffie Act and Filipino Exclusion," in Studies in Pacific History (London: Ashgate, 2002).

    Evangeline Canonizado Buell, Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride: Growing Up in a Filipino Immigrant Family (San Francisco: T’Boli Publishing, 2006)—finish reading.

  4. World War II and the Filipino American Community

    Alex Fabros, “California’s Filipino Infantry,” California State Military Museum.
    James Sobredo, “Sargeant Leo Giron: Farm Worker & U.S. Army Commando,” Asian Art Museum lecture, San Francisco (Oct. 2011).

  5. Filipinos and the United Farm Workers Union (UFW)

Emelyn Cruz Lat, “Paving the Way for the UFW, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 October 1997.
Micah Ellison, “The Local 7/Local 37 Story: Filipino American Cannery Unionism in Seattle, 1940-1959,” Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project.

  1. Post-1965 Immigration and Community Formation

    Diane I. Wolf, “Family Secrets: Transnational Struggles among Children of Filipino Immigrants” (Sociological Perspectives: 40:3, 1997). Available via Sac State Library: JSTOR (Library Database).

  2. Filipino American Communities Today

    *James Sobredo, “From Manila Bay to Daly City: Filipinos in San Francisco” in James Brooks, Chris Carlsson & Nancy J. Peters (eds.), Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1998).

    * * * Mid-term II (12th Week): Thursday, 15 November 2012) * * *

    FIELD TRIP: 7 Oct. 2012, Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), 11 am – 4 pm.

  3. Filipino American Communities Today

    Annie Nakao, “US Filipinos try to Live in Two Worlds,” SF Examiner, 31 May 1995.
    Ellen Nakashima & Edward Cody, “Troubling Exodus of Philippines’ Best and Brightest,” Washington Post, 30 May 2004.

    * * * THANKSGIVING BREAK:  22-25 November 2012) * * *

  4. Filipino Global Migration
    *Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, “Introduction” and Chapt. I, Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration, and Domestic Work (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001) .
    Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, "Life in Italy is no Dolce Vita," Women in Action (2:1999).

15.  Pilipino, kahit saan, kahit kailan
         Rene P. Ciria-Cruz, “Italian Hours,” Filipinas, February 1999.

 * * *

7 Oct. 2012 (11 am – 4 pm), Asian Art Museum (San Francisco): Filipino American History Celebration

20 Oct. 2012 (TBA), United Latinos political forum, CSUS University Union.

* * * CLASS ENDS: 7 December 2012 * * *

* * * ORAL HISTORY PROJECTS DUE in class * * *