JoAnna Poblete is a professor of history at Claremont Graduate University. Her research interests connect studies of colonialism and empire, migration and labor, oral history, comparative ethnic studies, Asian-American and Pacific Islander studies, Caribbean Studies, indigenous history, environmental history, identity, and 20th-century U.S. history.
Having received her PhD in history from UCLA, Poblete has taught at several academic institutions, including UNC Chapel Hill, University of Wyoming, and UCLA. At CGU, she has taught courses in oral history methodology, Pacific worlds, 20th-century U.S. identities, 19thcentury expansionism, comparative histories, and immigration, as well as environment and indigeneity. In 2018, Poblete received the Faculty Diversity Award for Outstanding Teaching given to one faculty member among the seven Claremont Colleges each year.
Her first book, Islanders in the Empire: Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘i, has been praised by many for its comprehensive study of U.S. empire in the Pacific and the Caribbean. Of this book and of Poblete, Rick Bonus, a professor at the University of Washington, has written, “I know of no scholar who has tackled the histories of Filipino and Puerto Rican labor in Hawai’i in one cohesive and extensive volume, and with such intensity in its comparative scope.” For this work, Poblete received the Best Book Award in History from the Filipino Section of the Association for Asian American Studies in 2018.
Poblete continues to examine the in-between spaces that U.S. imperialism imposes on colonized groups, specifically the history of fisheries and colonialism in her second book Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Sāmoa. This book is open-access as a free downloadable PDF through the Mellon Foundation-funded Sustainable History Monograph Project. Paper copies of her book are available through University of Hawai‘i Press. A podcast interview about this book is available on the New Books Network.
Poblete also has articles in American Quarterly, the Pacific Historical Review, and the Puerto Rican Health Science Journal, with forthcoming essays in Cambridge History of America and the World and Filipinx American Studies: Reckoning, Reclamation, and Transformation. Poblete’s third book project focuses on women’s roles in relation to the oil refining industry on St. Croix in the unincorporated territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Poblete published an article on this topic in the Spring 2021 issue of Women, Gender, and Families of Color.
Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Sāmoa. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2020.
Islanders in the Empire: Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘i. The Asian American Experience Series. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2014.
“The S.S. Mongolia Incident: Medical Politics and Filipino Colonial Migration in Hawai’i.” Pacific Historical Review 82, no. 2 (2013): 248–78.
“Tenuous Colonial Leadership: Filipino and Puerto Rican local community ethnic mediators in Hawai‘i, 1900–1940.” In Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific, edited by Camilla Fojas and Rudy Gueverra, Jr., 291–314. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2012.
“Bridging Indigenous and Immigrant Struggles: A Case Study of American Sāmoa.” American Quarterly 62, no. 3 (2010): 501–22.
Intro to Oral History Methodology
20th-Century US Identities: Third Spaces of Being
Environment & Indigeneity