Scheffler, Frauke (2019). Producing Citizens: Infant Health Programs in the Philippines, 1900-1930. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

Scheffler_Dissertation KUPS.pdf - Accepted Version

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Shortly after the U.S. occupation of the Philippines following the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, Filipinos and Filipinas began to establish private medical and educational initiatives in order to reduce the high infant mortality rate in the Philippines. Those initiatives were the starting point for a pervasive pronatalist movement that culminated in the establishment of approximately 300 infant health clinics during the 1920s. Medicine – and infant health in particular – became a way for modernizing the Philippines and preparing for eventual independence. This dissertation focuses on the role of colonial elites and medical personnel as contributors to transnational knowledge production and circulation and investigates how medical knowledge resurfaced and was modified in different contexts. It explores how practices of population control and improvement were adapted to imperial settings and how both medical discourse and infant health practices shaped the establishment of the colonial state. Analyzing the emergence of the different divisions of welfare work in the Philippines helps to understand the formation of the colonial state, as well as the agency of Philippine social reformers, health care professionals and philanthropic organizations. It sheds a light on the uneven, multidimensional and often contradictory ways in which different actors shaped the colonial state and the emerging nation. Moreover, the infant health movement provides a lens for examining and understanding the overlapping and intersecting transnational discourses of health, science and medicine, as well as how they were shaped due to formations of race, class and gender. This framework complicates the binary construction of the colonizer and the colonized towards more nuanced assessments of colonial contact, transnational and transimperial networks and knowledge. Especially ideas of biopower could be mobilized in different political contexts and within different sets of power relations. With the analysis of infant health programs in the U.S. occupied Philippines, this dissertation contributes to this line of research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Scheffler, Fraukefraukescheffler@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-249425
Date: 2019
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 6: Geschichte > Abteilung für Nordamerikanische Geschichte
Subjects: English
Geography and history
Uncontrolled Keywords:
United StatesEnglish
Postcolonial StudiesEnglish
Date of oral exam: 22 May 2019
NameAcademic Title
Finzsch, NorbertProf. Dr.
Berressem, HanjoProf. Dr.
Ortlepp, AnkeProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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