N.M. Sy MA (Nicholas)
External PhD candidate - Department of History, Art History and Classics
External PhD candidate - Radboud Institute for Culture and History
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Nicholas Sy (1988) is assistant professor at the Department of History, University of the Philippines Diliman. He is an early modernist whose work has been focused on demographic history and social institutions. Nicholas was born in Manila of Chinese descent and graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a major in History and minor in Hispanic studies in 2010 and an MA in History in 2017. He joined the University of the Philippines in 2018 after a half-decade in archival research for heritage foundations, art galleries, and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
On study leave, Nicholas is pursuing his doctorate at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands under the supervision of Prof. dr. Jan Kok and dr. Dries Lyna. His project looks statistically and culturally at slave experiences from the sixteenth through mid-eighteenth centuries and problematizes the reductive views with which scholars have conceptualized slavery in the Philippines and the global Spanish Empire. In the Fall of 2023, he goes to Princeton University as a Visiting Student Research Collaborator for the project “A Digital Repatriation of a Lost archive of the Spanish Pacific: The Library of The Convent of San Pablo (Manila, 1762)” under Dr. Christina Lee of Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Cristina Martinez-Juan (SOAS University of London).
- Radboud Group for Historical Demography and Family History
- Sy, Nicholas. 2021. Producing “idolatry:” Indigenous knowledge production via colonial investigations into animism, Luzon, 1679–1687. In Philippiniana Sacra 56(167, Jan.-Apr.): 99–130. Full text
- Sy, Nicholas. 2020. Ambos difuntos: Demographic constraints on parental authority over marriage, San Pablo, Laguna 1853–1854. In The Journal of History 66: 90–113.
- Sy, Nicholas. 2019. Did municipal elites intermarry? A case study of marriage practices among the political elites of San Pablo, Laguna, 1853–1854. In Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints 67(2): 151–80. Full text
- Sy, Nicholas. 2018. John Taylor’s Philippine insurrection against the United States: A preliminary digital interrogation of the archivist. In Philippine Social Sciences Review 70(1): 52–74. Full text
- Aguilar, Filomeno V. Jr. and Nicholas Sy. 2017. Horacio de la Costa, foreign missionaries, and the quest for Filipinization: The church in the age of decolonization. In Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints 65(3): 267–314. Full text
Research grants and prizes
- 2023 - Mendel Visiting Fellowships, Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington More information
- 2023 - Research grant, Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund More information
- 2022 - w/ Dries Lyna, RICH Small Research Grant, Radboud University
- 2017 - Research grant, Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund More information
- 2011 - Research grant, Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation, Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport
- 2019 - The Philippines, 1565-1898 (headed by Prof. Emeritus Maria Serena I. Diokno, funded by the University of the Philippines).