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The Philippines, Spain, and Globalization, Sixteenth Century to the Present: An International Conference

By 2021, 500 years would have passed since the initial encounter between the Philippines and Spain. Over 120 years have passed since the colonial relationship was severed, and today the Philippines and Spain have a thriving bilateral relationship as independent nation-states even as both states are positioned peripherally in a tightly integrated but unprecedentedly complex geopolitical world. At present over 115,000 individuals living in Spain are said to have dual citizenship, that is, they are citizens of both the Philippines and Spain. In the Philippines, since 2003, the Spanish legacy has been celebrated through an official Philippine–Spanish Friendship Day, which is held every 30 June.

What novel historical insights and theoretical lenses can we use to make sense of what transpired in the last 500 years? How can we look afresh at the colonial and postcolonial entanglements of the Philippines and Spain without negating historical injustices yet without lapsing to the oppositional binary between vicious colonizer and virtuous colonized—or, the reverse, virtuous colonizer and vicious colonized? What can we learn from analyzing Spanish rule in the Philippines from a global perspective?

This conference aims to gather historians and other scholars to present and discuss papers based on new research and perspectives that shed light on the complexity of the relationship between the Philippines and Spain in the context of globalization. Papers on a broad range of salient themes will be accepted. But papers that are explicitly comparative and those that employ a longue durée framework are most welcome, such as:

·         The Spanish conquest of the Philippines in view of the conquest of the Americas
·         Contact zones in the Philippines and other areas of European expansionism
·         Catholicism and worldviews of colonizer and colonized
·         Accommodation and resistance by islanders to the Spanish advance
·         The Reconquista and Spanish relations with Muslims in the Philippines
·         The Galleon Trade and transpacific flows of peoples, cultures, and commodities
·         The trade in silver, Ming China, and Spain in the Philippines
·         Spanish Philippines and the Dutch East Indies, sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries
·         The economic, political, cultural, and global implications of the Bourbon reforms
·         The Cádiz Constitution of 1812 and its ramifications in the Philippines
·         Export crop production and the global integration of the Philippines
·         The Austronesian languages in the Philippines and their transformations
·         Colonial state making in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia
·         The natural environment and modernist projects under Spanish rule
·         The Belle Époque, imperial rivalries, and native intellectuals in the Philippines
·         Dissent and economic change prior to and after the rise of nationalist consciousness
·         Transformations in the life course from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries
·         Ideologies and actual practices of family life and gender relations
·         Spain’s modernist reforms in the second half of the nineteenth century
·         Native intellectuals, cosmopolitanism, and models of European colonialism
·         Archives in Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, and elsewhere and the study of the Philippines under Spain
·         Visual, textual, and oral representations of the Spanish colonial period
·         Transitions from colonial to postcolonial relations between Spain and the Philippines

Selected papers that pass the refereeing system will be included in a special issue of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, the quarterly published by the Ateneo de Manila University since 1953. Articles in this journal are indexed in, among others, the Scopus Journal Citation Index (Elsevier), Emerging Sources Citation Index (ISI/Clarivate Analytics), Historical Abstracts (EBSCO), Bibliography of Asian Studies (EBSCO), and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (Proquest). The journal is included in the bibliographic databases of JSTOR, Project MUSE, EBSCO Host, and Informit e-Library.

Keynote Speakers

Xavier Huetz de Lemps is University Professor in Contemporary History at the University Côte d’Azur (Nice Sophia Antipolis). In 1994, he obtained his PhD degree from the University Bordeaux-Montaigne with a doctoral thesis on the urban history of nineteenth-century Manila. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters on the different facets of Manila’s urban history. He obtained the “habilitation à diriger des recherches” at the University of Aix-Marseille in 2003, with his research project focused on the history of administrative corruption toward the end of the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. Based on this project, he published L’archipel des épices. La corruption de l’administration espagnole aux Philippines (fin xviiie siècle – fin xixe siècle) (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez); the book is available online at He has since published at regular intervals various works on the history of corruption in the colonial Philippines. While maintaining his research interests on corruption and Manila’s history, he is currently undertaking research on clergy–state relations and Christian–Muslim conflicts during the nineteenth century.

René B Javellana, SJ, is Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts, Ateneo de Manila University. He held the Gasson Chair as visiting professor in Boston College, 2007–2008. In 2013, he was designated archivist of the Archives of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus. He is also chair of the Board of Trustees of Jesuit Communications. He has written scholarly and popular works on the arts, culture, and heritage conservation. He was assistant area editor and writer for architecture and the visual arts of the Encyclopedia of Philippine Art (1994) and area editor for the revised encyclopedia (2018) published by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. His La Casa de Dios: Filipino-Hispanic Churches in the Philippines was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in history. His latest book, Weaving Cultures: The Invention of Colonial Art and Culture in the Philippines, 1565–1850 (2017), uses the optic of communications theory and information design to understand the emergence of art and culture in the colonial Philippines. A member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the Philippines since 2010, he is currently working on a catalogue for the National Museum’s exhibition on religious art of the Spanish colonial era.

Inquiries can be addressed to:

Michael D. Pante, PhD <>
Associate Editor, Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints
School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University

Travel and Conference Subsidy

Participants are encouraged to seek funds for travel and conference participation from their home institutions. Paper presenters will arrange their own flight and hotel accommodations in Manila.

Registration Fee (inclusive of meals, refreshments, and conference materials)

Overseas                     Philippine-based
Participants                 Participants

Early bird rate                                                   US$100                        P5,000
(until 15 February 2020) Extended until 2 March 2020

Regular rate                                                      US$120                        P5,500
(16 February–30 June 2020)

Late/On-site registration                                     US$140                        P6,000
(After 30 June 2020)