Our screening of This Bloody, Blundering Business resurrected some themes we’ve already encountered in VIAL: blackface and satire. I’m inclined to take a short detour into the history of the relationship between the Philippines and the United States not only because of this serendipitous echo, but for the more prosaic reason that 2,364,815 people in the United States claim Filipino descent according to the 2000 census of whom 40,072 live in the beautiful city of San Francisco. (Want to see how Asian America breaks down according to specific groups? Go here, but be advised it’s a pdf.)
Taking such a detour means that our reading schedule will change. Here’s what I propose:
Monday: Discuss Chapter 5 of Manliness and Civilization and This Bloody Blundering Business.
Wednesday: Discuss “African-American Soldiers and Filipinos: Racial Imperialism, Jim Crow and Social Relations” by Scot Ngozi-Brown in The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 82, No. 1 (Winter, 1997), pp. 42-53. You’ll need to go to JSTOR, download the pdf and print it out.
Friday: Open discussion focusing on issues of race, gender, civilization and empire from the Spanish-American War to the present.
Then next week (Nov. 3-Nov. 7) we’ll get into Thoreau.