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Educating the Empire
American Teachers and Contested Colonization in the Philippines

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Part of Cambridge Studies in US Foreign Relations

  • Date Published: April 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108597357

$ 24.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • This book examines how education contributed to the creation of US empire in the Philippines by focusing on American teachers and the Filipinos with whom they lived and worked. While education was located at the heart of the imperial project, used to justify empire, the implementation of schooling in the islands deviated from the expectations of the colonial state. American teachers at times upheld, adapted, circumvented, or entirely disregarded colonial policy. Despite the language of white masculinity that imbued imperial discourse, the appointment of white women and black men as teachers allowed them to claim roles and identities that transformed understandings of gender and race. Filipinos also used the American educational system to articulate their own understandings of empire. In this context, schools were a microcosm for the colonial state, with contestations over education often standing in for the colonial relationship itself.

    • Fills a gap in existing literature by focusing solely on colonial education in the Philippines
    • Provides a new perspective by focusing on the experiences of teachers rather than on pedagogy or colonial policy
    • Draws on research in twenty-one archives in the United States and the Philippines
    Read more


    • Finalist, 2020 Mary Nickless Prize, Organization of American Historians

    Reviews & endorsements

    'In Educating the Empire, Steinbock-Pratt carefully details the collaborations, conflicts, and dashed expectations that shaped the US colonial state's public education program in the Philippines. Rich in original research, Educating the Empire is an important contribution to histories of US colonialism in the Philippines.' Colleen Woods, University of Maryland

    'In this definitive and unique book, Steinbock-Pratt illuminates the experiences of the American men and women, both African-American and white, who traveled to the Philippines to educate, endure, and endorse the empire. In so doing, she tells a gripping tale about gender, race and power in the everyday institutions of imperialism; and the hopes, complexities, and limits of American empire.' Julian Go, Boston University

    'An impressively researched account of US teachers in the Philippines from the turn of the twentieth century to the 1930s.' Kristin Lee Hoganson, University of Illinois

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108597357
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Creating a catalog of colonial knowledge
    2. A civil empire: determining fitness for colonial education
    3. Professionals and pioneers: teachers' self-depiction in empire
    4. Recreating race: evolving notions of whiteness and blackness in empire
    5. A political education: Americans, Filipinos, and the meanings of instruction
    6. All politics is local: American teachers and their communities
    7. Speaking for ourselves: dignity and the politics of student protest

  • Author

    Sarah Steinbock-Pratt, University of Alabama
    Sarah Steinbock-Pratt is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama.


    • Finalist, 2020 Mary Nickless Prize, Organization of American Historians
    • Honorable Mention, 2020 Outstanding Book Award, History of Education Society

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