Global History Seminar no. 93
Time & Date: 16:30-18:30 (JST) Friday 20 Nov 2020
Venue: Meeting ID: 881 9209 5665
Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz
(Clare Hall, University of Cambridge)
Philippine Asianist thought and Southeast Asian Pan-Asianist action in the "periphery" of Asia at the turn of the twentieth century
Dr. Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz is a Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, working on global intellectual history and Southeast Asian cultural-environmental history. She holds a PhD in Southeast Asian and International History from Yale University and was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Her first book, Asian Place, Filipino Nation: A Global Intellectual History of the Philippine Revolution, 1887-1912 was published by Columbia University Press in 2020. She is the Executive Director of the Toynbee Prize Foundation, the premiere organization for global history.
In the Philippines from 1872-1912, one sees an early instance of the transition of power that would take place in the region—from the Old World, European imperial powers to the emerging, New World, American global power and the rise of Japan. Indeed, the turn of the twentieth century was a turning point for imperial and Southeast Asian history, with imperial subjugation and incorporation hardening empires and firing local resistance across the entire region. Yet, this transnational and regional historical setting has barely been incorporated into the locally and Western-orientated historiography of the Philippine Revolution. What impact did the Revolution have in Southeast Asia, and what intellectual threads in the Philippine political discourses connected it to the corollary anti-imperial and positive political imaginings of its Asian neighbors? The important global moment of the late nineteenth century—with all the changes in technology, sovereignty, human exchange, and ideology that it wrought—is too often apprehended in Asian historiography through a bilateral framework privileging relation with the West. Asian Place, Filipino Nation charts the employment of ‘place’ in the proto-national thought and revolutionary organizing of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Filipino thinkers, and how their Pan-Asian political organizing and their constructions of the place of ‘Asia’ and of the spatial registers of race/Malayness connected them to their regional neighbors undertaking the same work. It unearths precisely what ground the Philippine nation has built itself upon intellectually, excavating its neglected cosmopolitan and transnational Asian moorings in particular, in order to reconnect modern Philippine history to that of Southeast and East Asia, from which it has been historiographically separated. It does so with an eye toward Vietnam and contemporaneous scholar-gentry Asianist political thought and organizing.
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