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HSTCMP 205 A: Filipino Histories

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
MUE 153
Joint Sections: 
JSIS A 205 A
Professor Vicente Rafael
Vicente L. Rafael

Syllabus Description:

HIST 205A/ SISSE 205: Introduction to Filipino Histories

Winter 2019

Prof. Vicente Rafael,

TA: Brad Horst,

Office Hours: W, 2-3:30 pm & by appointment

Office: SMI 116A         Phone: 206 543 5699

Course Description:

This course seeks to introduce students to the histories, cultures and politics of Filipino people and the Philippine nation-state. We will examine such topics as pre-colonial societies, the imposition and transformations wrought by 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, the restoration of elite rule beginning with Cory Aquino, and the recent election of Rodrigo Duterte amid changing conditions of neo-colonialism and postcolonial globalization. This survey of key moments in the archipelago’s history will be guided by several questions: What is the relationship between colonialism and nationalism, between politics and religion, and between language and society? How can we understand the persistence of inequality, the structures of authority as well as the histories of rebellion, reform and restoration in the country?


1. Students are expected to complete all the readings, participate in discussions and attend all the classes.

2. There will be one mid term exam (worth 35%)

3. And one final exam (worth 65%).

Both exams will be take home, and will require you to write essays in response to a series of questions based on the readings and lectures. I will discuss the details in class.

The exams are scheduled as follows:

Feb. 21 : mid-term exam, 4-5 pages: due by e-mail to the TA, Brad Horst,

March 19 : Final exams, 8-10 pages: due by e-mail to

NOTE: Unexcused late papers will be graded down. Please contact me if you anticipate problems with submitting your paper on time.

Required Texts (available at the U Bookstore):

1. Abinales, Patricio and Amoroso, Donna. State and Society in the Philippines, Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield, 2005.

2. A Course Reader. A PDF copy will be available on the Canvas site for this class. If you prefer a hard copy, you can purchase the Reader at at Ram Copy on the corner of 42nd and University Way NE., phone: 206 6326630.

Recommended Texts (at the U Bookstore):

Rizal, Jose. Noli me tangere, (Berlin: 1887), trans. by Harold Augenbraum, New York: Penguin Classics, 2006.

Rizal, Jose. El Filibusterismo (Ghent, 1891). Translated by Harold Augenbaum, New York: Penguin Classics, 2009.

Curato, Nicole, ed. The Duterte Reader: Critical Essays on Rodrigo Duterte’s Early Presidency, Cornell Univ. Press, 2017.

Schedule of Classes:

Introduction. The Pre-colonial Period to Early Spanish Contacts.

Jan. 8: Introduction.

Start reading: *Reader, William Henry Scott, Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society, 1-34; 54-76; 189-242; 272-276.

Jan. 10: Continue with Scott above.

Read: Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, pp.27-40.

Jan. 15: continue with above.

The Early Colonial period; 18th and 19th century transformations; the roots nationalism.

Jan. 17: Continue with above.

Start reading: *Reader, John Leddy Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines: Spanish Aims and Filipino Responses, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1959, pp.53-89.

*Reader, Vicente L. Rafael, “Confession, Conversion and Reciprocity in Early Tagalog Society,” in Comparative Studies in Society and History, 29.2, 1987.

Jan. 22: Continue with above 

*Jan. 24: Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, pp. 41-101.

*Reader, Josep M. Fradera, “The Historical Origins of the Philippine Economy: Survey of Recent Research of the Spanish Colonial Era,” in Australian Economic History Review, 44.3, 2004.

Ilustrado nationalism: the critique of colonial society

Jan. 29: Read: *Reader, John Schumacher, “Rizal in the Context of 19th century Philippines” from The Making of a Nation: Essays on Nineteenth Century Filipino Nationalism, Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila Univ. Press, 1991, 16-34.

Highly recommended:

Jose Rizal, Noli me tangere, and El filibusterismo

From Reform to Revolution to Counter-revolution; the First Filipino Republic.

Jan. 31: *Reader, Milagros Guerrero and John Schumacher, SJ, “Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan,” in Kasaysayan: The Story of the Filipino People, 10 v., Manila: Asia Publishing v. 5

*Reader, Guerrero and Schumacher, “The Katipunan Revolution”.

*Reader, Ambeth R. Ocampo, “The Death of Andres Bonifacio,” ibid.

*Reader, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, “Women in the Revolution,” ibid.

Feb. 5:*Reader, Guerrero and Schumacher, “Surrender at Biak Na Bato,” in Kasaysayan.

*Reader, Ibid., “The Malolos Republic” ibid.

*Reader, Ibid., “Aguinaldo’s Government” ibid.

Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, pp.102-118.

The War with the United States and the onset of U.S. Colonial Rule.

Feb. 7: Read: *Reader, Guerrero and Schumacher, “The Filipino-American War”

*Reader, Thomas McCormack, “From Old Empire to New: The Changing Dynamics and Tactics of the American Empire,” in Al McCoy & Franco Scarrano, Crucible of Empire, Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2009.

*Reader, Walter L. Williams, “United States Indian Policy and the Debate Over Philippine Annexation: Implications for the Origins of American Imperialism,” The Journal of American History, v.66, n.4, March 190, 810-831.

*Reader, Milagros Guerrero, “The Americans Take Over,” in Kasaysayan

Arnaldo Dumindin, “The Philippine American War, 1899-1902,” [valuable web resource with lots of photos, statistics, etc on every facet of the war]

*Reader, Steffi San Buenaventura, “The Colors of Manifest Destiny: Filipinos and the American Other(s),” from Amerasia Journal, 24:3, 1998, 1-26.

*Reader, Scot Ngozi-Brown, “African-American Soldiers and Filipinos: Racial Imperialism, Jim Crow and Social Relations,” from The Journal of Negro History, Winter 1997, v.82, n.1, 42-53.

Political Economy and Cultural Politics under U.S. Rule to the Commonwealth

Feb. 12: Read: *Reader, Milagros Guerrero, “The Foundations of American Colonial Policy”

Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, pp.119-133.

Feb. 14: Mid-term questions to be given out on this day.

Read: *Reader, Guerrero, “The Nationalist Resistance”

*Reader, Ibid., “Playing with Independence”

*Reader, Ibid., “The Price of Free Trade”

*Reader, Ibid.,"Discontent in Peacetime”.

*Reader, Ibid., “Education and Language”.

*Reader, Purisma Katigbak, “The Fight for Women’s Suffrage” in Kasasayan The Japanese Occupation, return of the U.S., the Second Republic, social upheavals in the post-colonial period.

Feb. 19. Read: Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, 134-166.

*Reader, Rick Baldoz, The Third Asiatic Invasion: Empire and Migration in Filipino America, 1898-1946, New York: NYU Press, 2011, pp. 45-69; 113-155 “Transpacific Traffic: Labor, Migration and Settlement,” (45-69) and “’Get Rid of all the Filipinos, or We’ll Burn this Town Down’: Racial Revanchism and the Contested Color Line in the Interwar West,” (pp.113-155)

The Japanese Occupation, return of the U.S., the Second Republic, social upheavals in the post-colonial period.

Feb. 21: Mid-term exams due on this day, 3:30pm by e-mail to

Reader, Teodoro Agoncillo and Milagros Guerrero, “The Japanese Occupation;” “The Liberation,” from A History of the Filipino People,” Quezon City: R.P. Garcia Publishing Co., 1977, 401-437.

*Reader, Ma. Ceres P. Doyo, “Anything but Comfort,” from Kasaysayan.

*Reader, Ricardo T. Jose, “Recapturing the Capital,” ibid.

*Reader, Lourdes Reyes Montinola, “A Sorrowful Survival,”, ibid.

*Reader, Rick Baldoz, The Third Asiatic Invasion, “’Another Mirage of Democracy’: War, Nationality and Asymmetrical Allegiance,” (pp.194-236).

The rise of Marcos; the declaration of Martial Law.

Feb. 26: *Reader, Agoncillo and Guerrero, “Post-War Problems and the Republic,” from A History of the Filipino People, 441-454.

Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, pp.167-192.

Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, pp.193-229.

*Reader, Alex R. Magno, “The Turbulent Years” from Kasaysayan, v.9.

*Reader, Ibid., “The Plunder of Nature”

*Reader, Magno, “Life Under Marcos”, Kasaysayan.

The rise of student movements; the new Communist Party; the Muslim secessionist movement; People Power I.

Feb. 28: continue with above.

Read: *Reader, Magno, “The Moro Uprising”

Reader, Ibid., “The Longest Insurgency”

March 5: *Reader, Ibid., “The Aquino Assassination”

*Reader, Ibid., “The Road to EDSA”.

Film: TBA

After EDSA I: from Aquino I to Duterte: Globalization and the Filipino diaspora; the history of the future.

March 7: Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, pp. 230-265; 266-307.

*Reader, Marites D. Vitug, “The Great Filipino Diaspora,” in Kalayaan, v.9.

*Reader, Yen Le Espiritu, “Colonial Oppression, Labor Importation, and Group Formation: Filipinos in the United States,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, v.19, n.1, 1996, 29-47.

March 12:

Final Exam questions to be given out on this day.

Curato, Nicole, Politics of Anxiety, Politics of Hope: Penal Populism and Duterte’s Rise to Power, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 35, 3, 91–109.               

Reader. Sheila Coronel, “Murder as enterprise : police profiteering in Duterte's war on drugs,” in Nicole Curato, The Duterte Reader: Critical Essays on Duterte’s Early Presidency,” Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asian Studies Publications, 2017.] 

*Reader, Vicente L. Rafael, “The Sovereign Trickster,” Journal of Asian Studies, Feb., 2019.

              Film: TBA.

March 14: Continue with above. Summing up.

March 19: Final Exams due no later than 3:30pm.

Please submit your papers as e-mail attachments on a Word file to Brad Horst, 



Catalog Description: 
Introduction to histories, cultures and politics of Filipinos and the Philippines. Examines pre-colonial societies, Spanish colonial rule, nationalism and Revolution, Filipino-American war, U.S colonial rule, Japanese occupation, postcolonial period to Martial Law, continuing rebellions, and the Filipino diaspora. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 205.
GE Requirements: 
Diversity (DIV)
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:05pm