Tonan Talk by Dr. John D Blanco on January 10

Date &Time: January 10, 2019, Thursday 16:00-18:00
Venue: Tonan Tei (room 201) Inamori Memorial Foundation Building Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

Manila, Mexico: Deculturation and Reculturation in the Colonial Philippines (16th-18th Centuries)

by John D Blanco, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Literature University of California at San Diego

Moderator: Dr. Hau Caroline, Professor, CSEAS

In Max Weber’s famous sociological essay, Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, the author established a correspondence between religious values and economic ones at the putative birth of western European capitalism and the political system of interstate sovereignty. Yet one of the particularly misleading aspects of his account is the way he willfully diminishes to the point of disavowal that other world movement taking place seemingly outside yet running alongside the philosophical and historical discourses of Eurocentric economy and society between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries: the transoceanic expansion and imperial aspirations of the Iberian kingdoms from the Americas to Asia. “Manila, Mexico” charts the implications of this observation as it grew out of the intersection between the birth of world trade with the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade; and the attempted “spiritual conquest” of the Philippines. This historical conjuncture, I argue, led not to the consolidation of world-empire under the pretension of a Monarchia Universalis, but rather the proliferation of modern frontier cultures throughout the archipelago. The resulting “Anarchia Universalis” led to what I call “traditions of invention” as symptomatic of hegemony without domination.

About the speaker:
John “Jody” Blanco teaches the literatures and cultures of early modern globalization under the Spanish Empire (Philippine, Latin American, and Asian) and modern Philippine, Latin American, and Asian-American literatures at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Frontier Constitutions: Christianity and Colonial Empire in the Nineteenth Century Philippines (University of California Press 2009; University of the Philippines Press 2010). His current book manuscriptengages in a comparative study of missionary and indigenous collaboration and conflict in the reinterpretation of the Conquest in the Philippines between the 16th-18thcenturies. His articles have appeared in the Radical History Review, Postcolonial Studies, Southeast Asian Studies(Kyoto), and Amerasia, as well as various book anthologies. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies.