Constructing ‘Place’ in the Philippine Revolution—Asia and Transnational Malayness in the Philippine Political Imagination


April 4, 2016



Western imperial ideologies often justified rule of a foreign land by a distant power through the enshrinement of a certain idea as the first qualification to rightful sovereignty—the due earthly dominion of one’s religion, the civilizing mission, the principles and application of enlightened government, and the technological capacity to till the land and thus assume true ‘ownership’ over it have all variously underwritten imperialism. Meanwhile, many of imperialism’s fiercest refutations rested upon the paramountcy of place—even Edmund Burke’s internal critique of British Empire was premised on the legitimate, affective ties of place and group. This presentation features thinking from a work-in-progress chapter from Ms CuUnjieng’s dissertation on Southeast Asian transnational Pan-Asianism in the Philippine Revolution. It follows the emplotment of place in the proto-national and revolutionary thought of turn-of-the-century Filipino thinkers, and how its negotiations with and constructions of the place of ‘Asia’ and the spatial registers of race connected them to their regional neighbors undertaking the same work.

About the lecturer

Nicole Del Rosario CuUnjieng is a PhD Candidate in Southeast Asian and International History at Yale University and a Visiting Research Associate of the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC). She participated in the 2014 IPC International Summer School for Doctoral Researchers on the Philippines. She is currently working on her dissertation on Pan-Asianism and the Philippine Revolution. She also writes a monthly opinion column for The Manila Times and is co-founder of PAMPUBLIKO, a non-partisan think tank and public policy discussion lab that seeks to reorient the mainstream political conversation away from personality politics and towards substantive policy discussion. 

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