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Richard T. Chu

Five College Associate Professor

Portrait of Richard T. Chu

(413) 545-6762

Herter Hall 626

Richard T. Chu received his A.B. from Ateneo de Manila University, his M.A. from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. from University of Southern California. His research and publications focus on the history of the Chinese and Chinese mestizos in the Philippines and of the different Chinese diasporic communities in the world, centering on issues of race, ethnicity, gender, empire, and nationalism.

His first book The Chinese and Chinese Mestizos of Manila: Family, Identity, and Culture 1860s-1930s (E.J. Brill, 2010) examines and analyzes the familial and business practices of Chinese merchant families as they negotiated the attempts of colonial governments to control them. An offshoot from the first, his second book is Chinese Merchants of Binondo in the Nineteenth Century, published by the University of Santo Tomas Press (2010). His third book project, "The ‘Chinaman Question’: A Conundrum in U.S. Imperial Policy in the Philippines, 1898-1908," is a social history of the Chinese in the Philippines, and the racialization of their identities during the first decade of American colonial rule.

He has also edited an anthology of studies on the Chinese in the Philippines. He co-edited with Caroline Hau of Kyoto University a special issue on the Chinese in the Philippines and published by Kritika Kultura; and most recently, co-edited with Mark Blasius of CUNY an anthology of LGBT studies in the Philippines.

Research Areas

Chinese diasporic history

Chinese in the Philippines history

Asian American History

U.S.Empire/Philippine colonial history

Gender and Sexuality in the Philippines



The Chinese and Chinese Mestizos of Manila: Family, Identity, and Culture 1860s to 1930s. Leiden and Boston: E.J. Brill, 2010; Pasig City: Anvil Publishing Inc., 2012 (Philippine edition).

The Chinese Merchants of Binondo in the Nineteenth Century. Manila: University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila, 2010.


More Tomboy, More Bakla [Gay] than We Admit: Insights into Sexual and Gender Diversity in Philippine Culture, History, and Politics. Quezon City: Vibal Publishing, November 2019. [Co-edited with Mark Blasius, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Graduate Center and La Guardia Community College of the City University of New York.]

More Tsinoy (Chinese Filipino) Than We Admit: Chinese-Filipino Interaction Over the Centuries.  Quezon City: Vibal Publishing, 2015. Foreword by Wang Gungwu, Professor Emeritus, National University of Singapore.


Forum Kritika - Regional Studies of the Chinese Diaspora in the Philippines, with Caroline Hau of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University. No. 21/22 (2013). [Kritika Kultura is a refereed electronic journal published by the English Department, Ateneo de Manila University].


“Including the Excluded: The Chinaman Question in Filipino American Studies,” in Bonus, Rick and Antonio Tiongson (eds.), Filipinx American Studies: A Critical Registry of Words. New York: Fordham University Press, Forthcoming. Under review.

“Growing Up Male, Catholic, Chinese and the Son My Mother Wanted Me to Be,” in Blasius, Mark and Richard T. Chu (eds.), More Lesbian/Bakla Than We Admit: Insights into Philippine Cultural Politics. Manila: Vibal Publishing. November 2019.

“The General, the Chino, and the Señorita: Stories from The Manila Times in Early American Colonial Manila,” in Choi Chi Cheung, Tomoko Shiroyama and Koh Keng We (eds.), The Strenuous Decades: Global Crisis and the Transformation of Chinese Society in Asia, 1930-1950. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press. Under review.

“Toward a History of Chinese Burial Grounds in Manila during the Spanish Colonial Period,” with Teresita Ang See, in Salmon, Claudine (ed.), Archipel 92, 2016, pp. 63-90.

“Transnationalizing the History of the Chinese in the Philippines during the American Colonial Period: The Case of the Chinese Exclusion Act,” in Manalansan, Martin and Augusto Espiritu, (eds.), Philippine Palimpsests: Filipino Studies in the 21st Century: History, Cultural Criticism, and Social Theory. New York: New York University Press. 2016, pp. 179-196.

“The Chinese Mestizo,” in Joshua Barker, Erik Harms, and Johan Lingquist, (eds.), Figures of Modernity in Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2014, pp. 25-27.

“Reconstituting Histories of Filipino Families with Chinese Ancestry: Methodology, Challenges, and Relevance,” in Chu, Richard T. and Caroline S. Hau (eds.), Kritika Kultura Special Forum on “Regional Studies of the Chinese Diaspora in the Philippines,” 21/22, 2013, pp. 307-35. 

“Region and Microhistory: Writing the Chinese Diaspora in the Philippines,” with Caroline S. Hau, in Chu, Richard T. and Caroline S. Hau (eds.), Kritika Kultura Special Forum on “Regional Studies of the Chinese Diaspora in the Philippines,” 21/22, 2013, pp. 299-306.

“An Overview of Binondo’s History,” with Teresita Ang See, in Marya Svetlana T. Camacho (ed.), Manila: Selected Papers of the 20th Annual Manila Studies Conference July 28-29, 2011. Manila: Manila Studies Association, 2012, pp. 206-28.

“Strong(er) Women and Effete Men: Negotiating Chinese-ness in Philippine Cinema at a Time of Transnationalism: Mano Po, 2, 3, 4 and Crying Ladies” in Tolentino, Roland (ed.), Vaginal Economy: Philippine Cinema, Sex, and Globalization in the Post-Marcos Post-Brocka Era. Positions 19.2, 2011, pp. 365-91.

“Filipino Americans in Boston/Massachusetts.” Institute of Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2007. [A 12-page demographic study based on census records and interviews.]

“The ‘Chinaman’ Question: A Conundrum in U.S. Imperial Policy in the Pacific.” In Kritika Kultura 7 (July 2006), pp. 4-25.

“Rethinking the Chinese Mestizos of the Philippines,” in Shen, Yuanfang and Penny Edwards (eds.), Beyond China: Migrating Identities. Canberra:  Centre for the Study of the Chinese Southern Diaspora, The Australian National University, 2002, pp. 44-74. 

“The ‘Chinese’ and ‘Mestizos’ of the Philippines:  Towards a New Interpretation.” In Philippine Studies Journal, 50.3 (2002), pp. 327-70. 

“Guilt Trip to China,” in Khu, Josephine, ed. Cultural Curiosity: Thirteen Stories About the Search for Chinese Roots. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001, pp. 128-44.

“Catholic, Sangley, Mestizo, Spaniard, Filipino: Negotiating ‘Chinese’ Identities at Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century Manila,” in Asis, Maruja, (ed.), The Philippines as Home: Sojourners and Settlers. Quezon City: Philippine Social Science Council, 2000, pp. 41-87.


Awards and Accolades

Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Grant, 2018. Research travel grant to Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba.         

Community Hero Award, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American Commission, 2018.

Teaching Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Ambassador Faculty Fellowship, UMass, 2017-18.

Center for Racial Justice and Urban Affairs Initiative Grant, UMass Chancellor’s Office, Spring 2017.

Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, January to May 2016. [Research/teaching award to the Philippines/Ateneo de Manila University]

UMass Civic Engagement & Service-Learning Fellowship, 2014-2015.

UMass International Scholars Mutual Mentoring Network, Mellon Mutual Mentoring Initiative Grant, 2013-2014.

UMass/Five Colleges Asian/Pacific/American Studies Mutual Mentoring Program, Mutual Mentoring Initiative Grant, 2008-2010.

Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Grant, 2010. Research travel grant to China and the Philippines.

Faculty Research Grant, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2008.        

General Education Council Diversity Grant,   University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2007.

Faculty Research Grant, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2006.        

Research Grant, Institute of Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2006.

Visiting Research Fellowship, The Centre for Intercultural Studies, University of Santo Tomas, Manila Philippines, Summer 2004, 2005.

Courses Recently Taught

  • “Asian/Pacific/American History: 1850 to Present” (with civic engagement and honors designation)
  • “Race, Empire, and Transnationalism: Chinese Diasporic Communities in the World” (undergraduate lecture course)
  • “Special Topics in Philippine History: Cultural History of the Philippines”/ Special Topics in Philippine History: Ethnic Chinese in Philippine Life” (a combined graduate and undergraduate course) History Department, Ateneo de Manila University Spring 2016. Taught under the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
  • “Empire, Race, and the Philippines: Indigenous Peoples vs. the Spanish, U.S., and Japanese Imperial Projects” (undergraduate lecture course)