Session Abstract: Eighteenth-century Philippine history is being reimagined as new transregional and global histories challenge us to question accepted narratives of empire, the emergence of the nation, and the rise of capitalism in the archipelago. This panel presents new historical research that demonstrates that the early modern Philippines was far from a stagnant backwater, and its commercial, religious, and administrative institutions were composed of complex assemblages of the local, regional, and global.
The panel begins with an exploration of the Philippine’s heterogeneity in the eighteenth-century. The first paper shows that the Catholic church structures and the art that adorned them were the products of native and mestizo design and artistry, reflecting the diversity of artisans and church officials in the islands. The second paper also analyzes material culture, using a rare inventory of goods that British seized from a Manila galleon to explore Anglo-Hispanic inter-imperial clashes and the violent and contested character of the process of forging connections in this era. The panel concludes with two papers that shed new light on the development and transformation of Manila’s inter-Asian trade and diplomatic ties, revealing the roles played by official ambassadors and foreign Asian merchant-spies in this complex process.
These papers illustrate several interconnected realities that composed the eighteenth-century Philippines, from the local, regional and global perspectives, highlighting local and regional actors in the profound transformations of the century.
Paper Presenter: Regalado Jose – University of Santo Tomas
Paper Presenter: Kristie Flannery – Australian Catholic University
Co-author: Guillermo Ruiz-Stovel – KU Leuven
Paper Presenter: Birgit Tremml-Werner – Linneus University
Paper Presenter: Cristina Martinez-Juan – School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)