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Made in the USA: Knowledge Construction and Social Action

Manila, Philippines

Term Offered: 
Filipino protesters
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
June 20, 2011 to August 19, 2011
Application Deadline: 
April 1, 2011

The Made in the USA  program will examine the idea of United States exceptionalism. One of the ideals of United States exceptionalism is Manifest Destiny, which refers to America’s natural right to expand and use the land in the name of human progress and freedom. In the period between the mid-1800s until the beginning of the twentieth century the United States gained a number of overseas islands and territories. In this course we will examine American exceptionalism and utilize the Philippines’ experience as a model. 

The program will be based in the University of the Philippines in Metropolitan Manila.  Program director, local scholars, educators, and community organizers will teach the course both in Seattle and in Manila beginning with the two credit Pre-departure Seminar during Spring Quarter 2011 and thirteen credits during Summer 2011 in the Philippines. Students will also participate in a collaborative project that has a strong emphasis on direct community involvement.

Students will have the opportunity to focus their projects on other aspects of Filipino society that have been pre-approved by the program director, such as community organizing aspects or public education.


CHID 472A: Made in the USA: Knowledge Construction and Social Action (5 credits)
The students in this course will have the opportunity to study and critically analyze the topic of American exceptionalism and the vestiges of colonialism as the outcome of this ideology on everyday life. Furthermore, the students will examine this particular period in American history and make connections on the outcome of United States jurisdiction implemented in the Philippines.  This course will also broaden students’ framework and concept of civic engagement from community based organizations in the Philippines.

The students in this course will also have the chance to dialogue with University of the Philippines graduate and undergraduate students in one of College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) courses offered to further develop a deep understanding of the implications and legacy of United States colonial era in the Philippines. This exchange of ideas would help students particularly American students of color to draw comparisons on how Filipino students negotiate in the continuous pursuit of reconstructing their identity.

CHID 498: Filipino Peoples (Kickin’ it) (5 credits)
This course focuses on Philippines as a site for exploring an archipelago as it and its people negotiate a global milieu. Through historical texts, western and indigenous theory, art, music and local travel we will explore what it means to live in this place. We will also engage with local organizations such as Gabriela Network, which is actively involved in awareness campaigns to prevent the trafficking of women and girls from the Philippines. Its strategies consist of seminars and information dissemination to NGOs and government agencies and awareness campaigns at the community level. We will also engage with BAYAN, which is predominantly youth national democratic movement in the Philippines comprising of over 1 million members. Bayan conducts education campaigns on the country's basic problems and how to solve them in ways that are democratic and people-oriented. Moreover, Bayan initiate and/or promotes socio-economic relief and rehabilitation projects in support and defense of the democratic rights of internal refugees and other victims of militarization and natural and man-made calamities, especially among the peasants and national minorities in the countryside.

CHID 472B: Engaged Community Learning (Island Hopping) (3 credits)
Students will investigate how indigenous and non-indigenous Filipinos respond to the legacy of American colonization/exceptionalism and the living conditions it created through community organizing, arts, music, and education. We will attend events, conferences, meetings, and discussions that reflect the discourse, legacy, and the implications of American exceptionalism.

Please note:  During spring quarter 2011, all participants will be required to attend a 2 credit pre-departure seminar (CHID 298), meeting approximately once per week for two hours.

Total Program Fees: 

The program fee will cover instruction costs, housing, and transportation for required field trips.

The program fee does not cover: $250 IPE fee, airfare, meals, insurance or personal travel and expenses.

Make sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal page for information on paying for your trip.