Colonial Connections: Comparison, Exchange, and Entanglement in the American Empire
Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 1
The first paper by Gregg French challenges beliefs in American exceptionalism and the Black Legend narrative by examining how American venerated Spain’s imperial past through the erection of monuments and planning of celebratory events in both metropolitan and colonial settings. Second, Patrick M. Kirkwood comparatively analyzes justifications for U.S. involvement in the Spanish-Philippine-American War and British involvement in the South African War. Shifting to Southeast Asia, Oliver Charbonneau concludes with a study of how Americans adopted and modified violent techniques from other empires to crush Islamic resistance in the Southern Philippines. Theresa Ventura of Concordia University will serve as both chair and commentator for the panel. Dr. Ventura’s research focuses on the medical, agricultural, and environmental aspects of U.S. colonial administration in the Philippine Archipelago during the first half of the twentieth century.
Collectively, the panel considers how, from the last quarter of the nineteenth century until the Second World War, American empire shaped and was shaped by supraregional connectivities. Each contribution suggests ways of studying the topic that incorporate the American experience into global histories of empire. This integrative approach allows our papers to eschew exceptionalist paradigms without obliterating nuance in the process, and contributes to the larger scholarly conversation about America in the world.