AAS 373
US Empire in the Philippines: Capitalism, Colonialism, and Revolution
Last Offered Fall 2023
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AMST 373
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

When the United States of America took official colonial control of the Philippines in 1898, Filipinos had already been fighting an anti-colonial struggle against Spain for several years. With the start of the Philippine-American War in 1899, that fight continued. Keeping the always-present possibilities of Filipino revolt in mind, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of U.S. empire-building in the Philippines from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. We will frame our understanding in terms of racial capitalism and the coloniality of power, with particular attention to the materiality of empire — infrastructure, architecture, financing, markets, and population management — and U.S. empire’s production of racial, gender, indigenous, religious, and sexual categories and difference. Our readings may be drawn from critical ethnic studies, gender & sexuality studies, American studies, postcolonial theory, Black studies, disability studies, and more. Topics include the military “management” of Muslim, Christian, and animist groups, the Katipunan society, interracial intimacies, and early 20th century Filipino migration to the United States. Students are expected to take an active role in discussion, but no prior knowledge of the Philippines is expected.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10-15
Class#: 1567
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on a semi-self-paced portfolio model: by two different points in the semester, students will be responsible for handing in a collection of 1-2 page response papers, discussion posts, discussion questions, and/or a paper analyzing a primary source or theoretical argument. The minimum requirement is a word count e.g. 3,000 words by 10/15, another 3,000 by 11/15. For the final, students will collect their work, revise at least 30% of it according to professor and peer feedback, and write a final reflection paper. In pairs, students will also lead discussion during one or more class sessions.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: First priority will go to AAS concentrators and AMST prospective and declared majors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 373 Division II AAS 373 Division II
DPE Notes: This course examines the creation and maintenance of racial, indigenous, religious, gender, sexual, and abilist categories in the context of world-historic systems of power, namely capitalism and colonialism. It tracks the unequal relations of power between American colonizers and Filipino colonized subjects, while keeping live the inherent power of Filipino people for revolt.
Attributes: AAS Core Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
AMST Space and Place Electives

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