The 1762 British Invasion of Spanish-Ruled Philippines: Beyond Imperial and National Imaginaries

Key information

9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Russell Square: College Buildings
Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)
Event type

About this event

The 2022 Annual Philippine Studies Conference website is up!

Full programme and speakers here .

Onsite guests are welcome and may register for free via this form .

We are also opening the conference to online guests. Register in advance for this webinar .

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


The historiographies of the British occupation of Manila and Cavite often inhabit two types of imaginaries. One is tethered to the narrow, inter-imperial wranglings between Great Britain and Spain, with their competing explorations of might or blame, haggling over unpaid ransoms and valuations over winning and losing. In the case of the Filipinos, this singular event is linked to a vague yet powerful sense of plunder and loss. Philippine websites, textbooks, historical markers of many of the churches in Luzon, persistently, and almost exclusively present the British occupation only as a culprit for the loss of beautiful architectural structures, precious religious art, rare artefacts, and objects of knowledge like maps, and manuscripts.

This year’s iteration of the SOAS Annual Philippine Studies Conference hopes to move beyond narrow or mythologizing narratives of this singular event. With an emphasis on the analysis and critical use of primary source materials, the conference will explore productive ways of historicizing the occupation by centering on issues of Philippine agency and resistance, non-European trans-imperial conditions and contexts, and on-the-ground repercussions, specially in relation to Philippine material culture, socio-economies, and local and pan-Asian histories. Through roundtable discussions, we also hope to shift towards more reparative approaches to dealing with the indisputable loss of lives and material culture that resulted from the British occupation.

With these shifts in methodology and focus, the conference hopes to contribute to a body of discourse that transcends the prevailing socio-historical and mythic narratives of power and loss.

Call for Abstracts

Topics relating to the British Invasion may include:

• Local histories of collaborations or resistances
• Key players - from the British and Spanish soldiers, officers, the religious orders, native militiamen, the Chinese and Indian sepoys.
• Effect of the event on Philippine material, architectural and visual cultures
• Philippine objects of knowledge and their dispersal
• Analysis of primary sources
• Inter-imperial realignments leading to and after the invasion
• Socio -economic reversals and new opportunities
• Transregional underpinnings and effects of the Invasion in relation to South and South East Asia
• The place of the Invasion in global history and the history of ideas

Proposals for presentations should include a title, an abstract (200 words), institutional affiliation, a bio sketch (100 words).

Call for Exhibitions

If you have creative work on or about the 1762 Invasion, send a sample or preview of your work with a 200 word description and a bio sketch (max. 100 words) Accepted works will be exhibited at the conference.

Deadline: 30 June 2022 for abstracts and art proposals

Please upload through the google form here.

Guests are welcome and may register for free via this google form.

**Photo Credit: Detail from Alegoría de la defensa de Filipinas por el alavés Don Simón de Anda y Salazar. 1762-1763
Museo del Prado. Deposited in the Museum of Fine Arts of Álava. Vitoria-Gasteiz. Used with permission.

Organiser: Dr Maria Cristina Juan with Prof William Gervase Clarence-Smith and Dr Christina Lee

Contact email: philippinestudies@soas.ac.uk

Sponsor: Philippine Stuides at SOAS with Princeton University