People / Graduate Students

Graduate Students

Joshua G. Acosta


Asian American History, Colonialism, History of Medicine, Humanitarianism, Migration, Philippine and Filipino American Studies

Josh Headshot.jpeg


Bio & Research Interests

Joshua G. Acosta is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a third-generation Filipino American and grew up in Southern California. He is a recipient of the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship and was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and former California State University Sally Casanova Scholar. Joshua’s research interest involves the history of the U.S. colonization of the Philippines and the Filipino American diaspora. His project explores a cultural history of leprosy, decolonization, and transpacific American medical humanitarianism. He is also interested in researching disability and occupational health among Filipino migrant workers’ experiences in the early 20th century. Joshua served as chair of the Filipinx & Philippine Studies Working Group at the Townsend Center for the Humanities from 2022-23.


Acosta, Joshua G. “Anacleto Palabay in the Metropole: Public Health, Migration, and Deportation in the Case of a Filipino Leprosy Patient,” Nursing Clio, November 3, 2022,

Honors, Awards, Fellowships

Research Grant, Center for Race and Gender, University of California, Berkeley, 2023

Graduate Studies Enhancement Grant, Mellon-Social Science Research Council, 2022

Filipinx & Philippine Studies Working Group Grant, Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley, 2022

Research Grant, Asian American Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, 2021

Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, Graduate Division, University of California, Berkeley, 2021

Phi Beta Kappa, 2021

Research Experience

Graduate Student Researcher, “Watsonville is in the Heart: Mapping a Recuperative History of Filipino Farmworkers,” UCHRI Engaged Humanities Grant, Co-PIs: Drs. Kathleen Gutierrez, Steve McKay, and Catherine Ceniza Choy, Summer 2023

Graduate Student Researcher, “Exhuming Immigrant Voices from the Past: A Critical Archival Study of the Bancroft Library,” Peder Sather Grant, Co-PIs: Drs. Catherine Ceniza Choy and Linn Normand, Spring 2023


M.A., Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2023

B.A., History, magna cum laude, California State University, Long Beach, 2021