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Vicente Rafael

Professor, History

Contact Information

(206) 543-5699
Office Hours: 
Wednesdays, 2:00-2:30 or by appointment Fall 2016


Vicente L. Rafael is professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies. He was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, obtained his BA from Ateneo de Manila University and  received his MA and PhD from Cornell University. After teaching at the Univ. of Hawai'i in Manoa and the University of California in San Diego, Rafael joined the UW in 2003. He has had post-doctoral fellowships at the Univ. of California, Irvine, the Stanford Humanities Center and has been a Guggenheim and a Rockefeller fellow. His research and teaching include areas in the history of the Philippines, comparative colonialism and nationalism, language and power, translation and the historical imagination and more recently on the comparative formation of the post-colonial humanities. Rafael is the author of several works, including the books Contracting Colonialism, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History, The Promise of the Foreign, and has edited Discrepant Histories and Figures of Criminality in Indonesia, the Philippines and Colonial Vietnam. He is currently finishing a book, Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid the Wars of Translation, published, like all of his earlier books, by Duke University Press.