• 312 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 11 line drawings, 1 halftone
  • Price: $34.95
  • EAN: 9781439918562
  • Publication: Nov 2019
  • Price: $110.50
  • EAN: 9781439918555
  • Publication: Nov 2019
  • Price: $34.95
  • EAN: 9781439918579
  • Publication: Nov 2019

Campaigns of Knowledge

U.S. Pedagogies of Colonialism and Occupation in the Philippines and Japan

Malini Johar Schueller
  • The Filipino edition won the 2023 Philippines National Book Award in the category of Literary Criticism/Cultural Studies (English)

The creation of a new school system in the Philippines in 1898 and educational reforms in occupied Japan, both with stated goals of democratization, speaks to a singular vision of America as savior, following its politics of violence with benevolent recuperation. The pedagogy of recovery—in which schooling was central and natives were forced to accept empire through education—might have shown how Americans could be good occupiers, but it also created projects of Orientalist racial management: Filipinos had to be educated and civilized, while the Japanese had to be reeducated and “de-civilized.”

In Campaigns of Knowledge, Malini Schueller contrapuntally reads state-sanctioned proclamations, educational agendas, and school textbooks alongside political cartoons, novels, short stories, and films by Filipino and Filipino Americans, Japanese and Japanese Americans to demonstrate how the U.S. tutelary project was rerouted, appropriated, reinterpreted, and resisted. In doing so, she highlights how schooling was conceived as a process of subjectification, creating particular modes of thought, behaviors, aspirations, and desires that would render the natives docile subjects amenable to American-style colonialism in the Philippines and occupation in Japan.


Examining the cultures of U.S. colonialism and military occupation in the pedagogical formation of colonial subjects in the Philippines and in occupied Japan, Campaigns of Knowledge demonstrates not only the brute force of colonial domination but also its enforcement and contestation through culture, language, forms of kinship and household, and education. By illuminating the mechanisms of colonial schooling in the Philippines and Japan designed to inculcate ‘American’ national values, this book also sheds important light on the broader project of U.S. empire—from compulsory boarding schools for Native Americans to the cultural imperialism employed overseas in the Caribbean, the Pacific, and now the Middle East.”
Lisa Lowe, Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies at Yale University

Campaigns of Knowledge is unprecedented in its careful comparison of U.S. colonial educational efforts in the Philippines and Japan under American occupation. Focusing on the contrasting orientalization of ‘undercivilized’ Filipinos and ‘overcivilized’ Japanese by American planners, Schueller demonstrates how similar pedagogical techniques sought to produce independent individuals who were at the same time submissive to imperial authority. But in looking at the cultural productions of colonized subjects, including film and literature, Schueller also shows how these individuals seized on the lessons of colonial rule and sought to inflect, rearticulate, and undo its various aspects. This truly important book brings together the U.S.-occupied Philippines and Japan—and beyond—within an expansive comparative framework ranging across postcolonial educational studies, Asian studies, and Asian American studies.
Vicente L. Rafael, Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History at the University of Washington, Seattle

"Schueller examines sources from the colonial archive and cultural texts to illuminate how American educational reforms served as a technology of biopower to make 'racialized pedagogical subject(s)' in the Philippines and occupied Japan.... She shows the ultimate failure of colonial education, dramatized in scenes such as chaotic schoolrooms and subversive folklore, read as forms of 'decolonial knowledge' emerging from 'embodied material experiences.'... This book is most appropriate for graduate students and researchers working in cultural studies (especially those focusing on Asian American studies or US empire) and postcolonial studies. Summing Up: Recommended."

"(A) deeply analytical treatment of education in the U.S. occupations of the Philippines and Japan.... Schueller’s most valuable contribution (is) that the soft power of schooling so central to earlier American colonial projects remains as salient as ever in a neo- and post-colonial world."
Pacific Historical Review

"(C)ompelling and thoroughly researched.... Schueller provides an invaluable history of US pedagogical subjugation and the strategies of resistance produced by education as an imperial technology."
American Literary History

"Campaigns of Knowledge skillfully weaves together two stories of twentieth-century American empire, moving beyond a traditional political-military history of competing statehoods to elevate native voices through deep cultural analysis.... Schueller’s privileging of affect, of literary analysis, and of imagination—while sometimes uncomfortable for a historian—pushes the field forward."
American Historical Review

"(A)n invaluable contribution to postcolonial studies and the history of education.... Campaigns of Knowledge would be a welcome addition to courses focusing on comparative history, the history of colonialism, race and racism, and the history of education. Schueller’s ability to weave complex histories that rely on a number of different theoretical lenses produces a rich examination of an otherwise underemphasized element of the U.S. education project."
Philosophy and Global Affairs

About the Author(s)

Malini Johar Schueller is a Professor of English at the University of Florida. She is the author of Locating Race: Global Sites of Post-Colonial Citizenship, U.S. Orientalisms: Race, Nation, and Gender in Literature, 1790-1890, and The Politics of Voice: Liberalism and Social Criticism from Franklin to Kingston. She is also the director of the award-winning documentary, In His Own Home.

In the Series

Asian American History and Culture

Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.