This analysis will explore colonial interactions within two U.S. foreign involvements through the lens of Borderlands History: the Philippines and Hawaii. Using the lens of interaction as a category of analysis, I will talk about how sexual and racial anxieties experienced by populations outside of North America have been in ongoing tension and unremitting negotiation with the American nation. By intentionally placing the Philippines and Hawaii into the realm of borderlands, scholars can further explore the transnational nature of borders, imperialisms, and societies.
As Julian Go contends, U.S. imperialism in the Philippines was singular for many reasons: the 1898 Treaty of Paris ceded the archipelago to the Americans rather than to Filipinos, and the terms of appropriation involved the “legally codified establishment of direct political domination over a foreign territory and peoples.” Island occupation spoke to the larger phenomenon surrounding the emergence of modern empires, such as the U.S., Japan and the U.K., as well as their shared goal in the acquisition of land. Their distant location and increasing western interests made the islands not only “exceptional,” but also illustrative of efforts to colonize societies located far beyond the continent. Continue reading