This course seeks to introduce students to the histories, cultures and politics of Filipinos and the Philippines. We will examine such topics as pre-colonial societies, the imposition and transformation of Spanish colonial rule, the rise of nationalism, the Revolution and the First Republic, the Filipino-American war, the period of U.S. colonial rule, the Japanese occupation, the postcolonial period leading up to Martial Law, the recurrence of peasant, communist and Muslim rebellions, the beginnings of the Filipino diaspora, the surge of popularly backed coups in People Power I and II, and the restoration of elite rule. It will also look at contemporary problems that arise from this long history amid changing conditions of neo-colonialism and postcolonial globalization.
Students will be expected to view all the video lectures, complete the readings, participate in topic discussions and write a four-page paper for the final exam. By the end of the course, the hope is that you will be able to understand the history of the Philippines. Such an understanding will supply you with the basic skills to analyze carefully and write persuasively about contemporary developments in that country as well as in other parts of Asia. For those who trace their roots to the Philippines, you’ll come to a critical appreciation of a part of your own, and your parents’ complex histories, as part of a much larger imperial and immigrant history.