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Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz – “The Idea ‘Asia’ in Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century Philippine Political Thought and Action”

November 1, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 520


This talk will excavate the Philippine nation’s cosmopolitan and transnational Asian intellectual moorings, in order to reconnect Philippine history to that of Southeast Asia, from which it has been historiographically separated. It argues that turn-of-the-twentieth-century Philippine Asianism was crucial to the concept of the Filipino nation that the ilustrados (educated elite) constructed, to the ilustrado-led Propaganda Movement’s political argumentation against Spain, and to the political mobilization and organizing of the Katipunan and the First Philippine Republic. It incorporates the “periphery” into our understanding of Pan-Asianism to correct our exclusively intellectual historical and Northeast-Asia-centric understandings of Pan-Asianism. It shows that the revolutionary First Philippine Republic’s foreign collaboration represents the first instance of fellow Pan-Asianists lending material aid toward anti-colonial revolution against a Western power (rather than overthrow of a domestic dynasty) and harnessing transnational Pan-Asian networks of support, activism, and association toward doing so.

Originally from the Philippines, Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz is a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, in the UK, and the Executive Director of the Toynbee Prize Foundation. Prior to Cambridge, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. She earned her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian and International History at Yale University. Her first book, Asian Place, Filipino Nation: A Global Intellectual History of the Philippine Revolution, 1887-1912, published by Columbia University Press in June 2020, charts the emplotment of ‘place’ in the proto-national thought and revolutionary organising of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Filipino thinkers. Her broad research interests center on global intellectual history and Southeast Asian environmental, cultural, and social history.

Free and open to the campus community and the public. This event is presented by the Center for World History.


November 1, 2022
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Humanities 1, Room 520
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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