Faculty Directory

Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
  • Affiliations Science & Justice Research Center
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, 539
    • Remote for Fall 2020
  • Office Hours Fall 2020: Wednesdays 1pm - 3pm and by appointment via Zoom
  • Mail Stop History Department
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise The Philippines, Southeast Asian Studies, History of Science, Colonialism, Science Studies
  • Courses Winter 2021: HIS 143: History of the Philippines, 1815 - Present; HIS 149: Plants, People, and the Making of Modern Southeast Asia; Spring 2021: HIS 81: Science in the Colonial World; HIS 194K: Topics in the History of Southeast Asia: Technoscience and Medicine

Summary of Expertise

Philippine history, science and technology studies, Southeast Asian studies, history of colonial botany  

Research Interests

Modern and contemporary Philippines, plant studies, comparative Spanish and U.S. colonialisms, weaving and textile technologies, botanical nomenclature, scientific labor, botanical illustrations, environmental humanities, postcolonial STS, Southeast Asian environmental studies, Cold War, science and the Marcos dictatorship

Biography, Education and Training

I am interested broadly in the politics of plant life and the agentic role of flora in modern histories of the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Currently, I am developing a book manuscript, Sovereign Vernaculars: Philippine Botany at the Dawn of New Imperial Science, drawn from my dissertation that centers the role of local botanical nomenclature in the history of Philippine nationalism, colonial science, and imperial botany's internationalist direction at the turn of the century.

My next project, tentatively titled The Cold War Philippines in Five Plants, examines five plant species (e.g. the Tricyrtis imeldae, named after former First Lady Imelda Marcos) as lenses into the plant sciences in the Cold War Philippines and the neighboring decolonized states of Southeast Asia. I build on literature that has prioritized U.S. foreign policy, the Marcos dictatorship, and civil unrest to contend that plants—and the scientists behind their study—were also instrumental to the political maneuvering of the era.

I pursue interdisciplinary collaborations with scholars in the United States and abroad. Previous collaborations have led to field research among northern Philippine textile weaving and dyeing communities and herbarium plant collecting. I welcome practice-oriented fieldwork that can expand and challenge the historical questions I bring to my scholarship.

Ph.D. South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

with a Designated Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies and a Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 

M.A. South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

B.A. Public Health and South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Honors, Awards and Grants

Mellon Fellowship, Humanities Institute of the New York Botanical Garden, 2021

Dibner Fellowship in the History of Science and Technology, The Huntington Library, 2019

Bordin-Gillette Research Fellowship, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, 2018

Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 2017

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 2017

RISE Leadership Award, Gender Equity Resource Center, U.C. Berkeley, 2017

Usha Mahajani Memorial Prize, Association for Asian Studies, 2014

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education - Spanish (2015) and Filipino (2014)


Selected Publications

"Cycas wadei and Enduring White Space." In Empire and Environment: Confronting Ecological Ruination in the Asia-Pacific and the Americas, edited by R. Garcia Chua, H. Hong, J. Santa Ana, and X. Zhou (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

"Botanical Knowledge within Itneg Weaving and Dyeing: Tracking Contemporary Negotiations with Plant-based Technologies." In Anthropological, Mathematical Symmetry and Technical Characterisation of Cordillera Textiles Project, edited by A. Salvador-Amores, 67-88 (Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2019).

"Diospyros embryopteris by Emina Vidal Jackson y Zaragoza, Philippine botanical illustrator." In Women in the History of Science: A Liberating the Curriculum Sourcebook, edited by R. Martin, F. Lawrence-Mackey, S. Harrison, E. Jone, and H. Wills (London: University College London Press, forthcoming).

"Rehabilitating Botany in the Postwar Moment: National Promise and the Encyclopedism of Eduardo Quisumbing's Medicinal Plants of the Philippines (1951)." Asian Review of World Histories 6, no. 1 (2018): 33-67.

"What's in a Latin Name? Cycas wadei and the Politics of Nomenclature." Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology 12, no. 2 (2018): 24-35.


Teaching Interests

Southeast Asian studies, area studies, Philippine history, science and technology studies, colonial world, science and empire, environmental history, academic writing and research, pedagogy