The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST3375 The Philippines and Trans Pacific Connections

Semester 2 (2020-2021)

Lecture TimeMonday, 04:30pm - 06:15pm



Lecturer Ian MORLEY ((852) 3943 7116 /

Teaching Assistant MONTERO Claudia Isabelle Violeta (



Course to be taught online during the add/drop period. Please contact course teacher for Zoom log in details.

Course Description

HIST3375 offers an examination of the evolution of Philippine society from the onset of Spanish colonization in the mid-1500s to the start of World War Two in Asia (in 1941). Granting an opportunity to grasp the development of the Philippines under Spanish and American colonial rule, the course places attention upon the nation’s capital city, Manila, a place where life has also been historically shaped by Chinese, Japanese, and native cultural influences. Focusing on elements of cultural, political, and urban history the course endeavours to explain how ‘the Philippine nation’ has historically unfolded, and why Manila, today a metropolis with a population in excess of 13 million people, has come to play such a dominant role in determining the nature of Philippine society prior to the country being granted independence in the late-1940s. Utilizing innovative teaching methods to enable students to critically understand the physical as well as cultural character of the city, and so the nation at large, a multidisciplinary approach is fostered so as to encourage learners to recognize and explain factors that have influenced Philippines civilization as it progressed from the “traditional” to the “modern”. Encouraging learners too to identify connections between the country and places elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, ultimately the course places the evolution of life in the Philippine Archipelago within the greater Asia-Pacific region. Taught by two professors at Brown University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong the curriculum is cut into two distinct sections: The Philippines pre-1898; The Philippines post-1898. Where possible a comparative analysis with the colonial development of Hong Kong will be provided so as to demonstrate, and explain, the different types and natures of colonial rule, culture, and development that took place in East Asia prior to the end of World War Two.

The course is designed with a number of expected learning outcomes:

  1. The learners to articulate in written form the association, both direct and indirect, between colonial governance and the nature of Philippine society.
  2. Students to convey how contexts both external and internal have shaped the narrative of development in the Philippines
  3. To recognize the alliance between the evolution of life in a capital city and the nature of society at large.
  4. To utilize eLearning so as to grant broad learning experiences.
  5. To train to use primary sources, including maps and other visual sources, in order to come to terms with how the form of urban environments reflect various cultural and political processes operating within Philippine society.
  6. To permit students opportunities to compare the nature and evolution of colonial societies in East Asia, namely to compare and contrast the Philippines with Hong Kong.



The curriculum for HIST3375 is as follows:

Week 1 Introductory Class
Week 2 The Philippines and the Arrival of the Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish
Week 3 Building the State: Spanish Colonization and Ethnic Groups
Week 4 (e-Learning Class) Spanish Manila: A Transpacific Maritime Enterprise and America’s First Chinatown
Week 5 The Rise and Ending of the Galleon Trade
Week 6 (e-Learning Class) Understanding the Binondo, Manila’s Chinese Quarter
Week 7 Nationalism inside the Spanish Empire: All Change in 1898: The Spanish-American War, The Rise of American Imperialism and the US Purchase of the Philippines
Week 8 American Perceptions of the Philippines and the Building of the American Colonial State – with e-Lecture by Ms Nelly Fung
Week 9 Redesigning Manila: The Role of City Beautiful Urbanism
Week 10 Modernity in East Asia
Week 11 The Virtual Fieldtrip of Manila, and Filipinization and the Widening Structure of the Colonial Government
Week 12  Reading Week! NO CLASS!
Week 13 The Road to Independence, and the Road to World War Two
Week 14 The Post-Colonial and the Legacies of the Colonial Ages


Assessment & Assignments

Students shall be given a term score based on:

  1. Participation – 30% of the total term score. This grade is given in relation to:
    • Attendance of lectures and tutorials
    • Participation (e.g. taking the course’s virtual field trip, the asking of questions in classes, engagement with online discussions in the Facebook group, etc.)
  2. Short paper (a review exercise of about 2000 words) – 30% of the term grade.
  3. Take-home examination (2500-3000 words) – 40% of the term grade.

The tutorials grant students the chance to discuss the topics introduced in the lectures, and in addition they bestow opportunities to help resolve any problems in understanding course content that the students may have. To prepare for these classes materials will be given out beforehand. To provoke debate during the tutorials students will be asked to undertake short presentations, and participate in question and answer sessions. The purpose of this is straightforward: to allow for student involvement, active learning, and where possible deeper learning and thinking.

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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