In the years preceding the Philippine Revolution of 1896, José Rizal wrote publicly about the problems and injustices of the Spanish colonial administration in the Philippines. In addition to his political writings and his famous incendiary novels, he also produced scholarship about the history, peoples, languages, and cultures of the Philippines. This work won him accolades from some of the most important scholarly circles of Europe. Yet Rizal was just one of a cadre of young Filipino scholars who created similar intellectual works. Scholar Megan Thomas explores Rizal’s scholarly interests in relation to other late nineteenth-century Filipino intellectuals and the political, social, and intellectual context in which they lived and worked.
Megan Thomas is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Orientalism, Propagandists, and Ilustrados: Filipino Scholarship and the End of Spanish Colonialism (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming) and was a Short-Term Resident Fellow at the Newberry Library in 2007-2008.
Recorded Saturday, June 18, 2011 at the Newberry Library.