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Joy Sales

  • Field(s):  United States
  • Dissertation Title: “Crossing Borders, Creating Solidarity: Transnational Activism and the Formation of the Filipino American Left, 1964-1991”
  • Advisor(s):  Ji-Yeon Yuh


Joy Sales is a doctoral candidate in U.S. history and a Mellon Cluster fellow in Comparative Race and Diaspora. Her general research interests include Filipino American history, social movements, U.S. Empire in Asia, race and diaspora, and oral history. Her dissertation investigates the anti-Marcos movement in the Filipino diaspora and its intersections with labor and student activism in both the Philippines and the United States. This project is a social history that investigates the historical formation of diasporic politics among Filipino immigrants and Filipino Americans, and the ways these politics changed activism across the Pacific. She argues that the Filipino diaspora and its allies formed the Filipino American Left through a practice of transnational activism grounded in complex relationships with the Philippine and U.S. left, as well as a vision of genuine democracy in the Philippines and United States. Her research has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

As a scholar-activist, Joy believes in education as a tool of empowerment, particularly for young people of color. She cultivated this philosophy as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and History/German double-major at Grinnell College. She also practiced this philosophy in the classroom by developing a course entitled, “Asian American Activism,” which she has taught as a visiting professor at Grinnell College in 2016 and for the History department and Asian American Studies program at Northwestern in 2018.

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