IPC VRA lecture on “US Militarism, Local Power, and the Management of Interracial Intimacies in the Postwar Philippines”


April 27, 2017



Following the Second World War, over 800,000 American military personnel were sent to various regions of the Philippines assisting in projects of postwar reconstruction. This context allowed for the development of relationships between U.S. soldiers and Philippine subjects, especially in areas where major U.S. bases and military installations were located. The years following the war also saw a boom in the Philippine sex industry, exacerbating existing anxieties surrounding the spread of “venereal disease” and the morality of enlisted men and local women. Although diverse forms of intimate relations developed between American soldiers and Filipinas, interracial intimacies in this militarized context were often seen as immoral and suspect. The notion of “intimacies” in this project is therefore broadly construed to include all forms of interpersonal relationships such as friendship, marriage, sexual labor, and other interactions and exchanges that were discursively linked. This research analyzes the official and unofficial policies and procedures as well as the local cultural norms that regulated or “managed” the everyday lives of enlisted men and local women. As this work aims to demonstrate, a focus on intimate management is a means to understand not only the workings of “empire” in a post-independence context, but also local power and its biopolitical formulations. 

About the lecturer

Stephanie Fajardo is a Fulbright scholar in the Philippines for School Year 2016-17 and is a Visiting Research Associate at the Institute of Philippine Culture. She is completing her PhD in History at the University of Michigan and specializes in U.S. Empire Studies, Philippine Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

* For inquiries or confirmation of your attendance, please contact (+63 2) 426-6001 extension 4651 local 213, or email us at <ipc.soss@ateneo.edu>.