Michael HawkinsMaking Moros: Imperial Historicism and American Military Rule in the Philippines’ Muslim South

Northern Illinois University Press, 2012

by Kristian Petersen on December 12, 2014

Michael Hawkins

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For many Muslim communities particular religious identities were formulated or hardened within colonial realities. These types of cultural encounters were structural for the various Muslim tribes in the southern Philippine islands of Mindanao and Sulu during the turn of the twentieth century. In Making Moros: Imperial Historicism and American Military Rule in the Philippines’ Muslim South (Northern Illinois University Press, 2012), Michael Hawkins, Assistant Professor of history at Creighton University, demonstrates the dramatic consequences of this short historical moment for Filipino Muslims. Between 1899-1913, professional ethnographers and military officers worked to represent Filipino Muslims as noble primitive warriors. Various communal identities were fused into a singular construction, the Moro. Moro identity was constructed in the American imagination to serve colonial civilizing agendas. Ultimately, this period served as a crucial moment for Filipino Muslim identity and is looked back upon with nostalgia. In our conversation we discussed imperial historicism, colonial legitimacy, taxonomy and classification, capitalism, slavery in American and Moro society, communal remembrance, frontiers, and Islamic authenticity.

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