Colonial education and the shaping of Philippine literature in English

Isabel Pefianco Martin

in Philippine English

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9789622099470
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207264 | DOI:
Colonial education and the shaping of Philippine literature in English

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When the Americans arrived in the Philippines in 1898, English was systematically promoted as the language that would “civilize” the Filipinos. It was the language that the colonizer introduced to the colonized so that the latter would be able to participate in a society determined by colonialism. Throughout the four decades of American public education, Filipino students were exposed to the Anglo-American canon of literature. This chapter argues that this literary canon would not have been as potent without the powerful partner of colonial pedagogy. Together, canon and pedagogy produced a certain type of language and literature education that created standards for Philippine writing. Cumulatively, canon, pedagogy, and the power of American public education in the Philippines resulted in the relegation of Philippine writing in English, as well as writing in the native languages, to the margins of the Philippine cultural experience.

Keywords: Americans; colonialism; American public education; Anglo-American canon; literature; literary canon; colonial pedagogy; Philippine writing

Chapter.  6637 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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