The Cosmopolitans: Filipino Inter(national) Students and the American Empire in 1917 and 1921

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Current scholarship on international students is sparse and tends to focus on contemporary crises and possibilities, but that limited scope neglects the long chronological impact of international students and the importance of the U.S. Empire in the development of international education. My dissertation will use digital humanities tools and historical methods to analyze the significance of international students to American universities, especially those students from the U.S. Empire such as Filipinos and Puerto Ricans, from the Antebellum Period to the onset of COVID-19. This sweeping chronological timeframe will allow me to contextualize the growth of the international student movement in temporal and geographic perspective. I will use case studies of specific students to balance the long durée and broad geographic scope of my work with the intimate details and everyday struggles of individuals. My dissertation will center the agency of colonial nationals, the development of anti-colonialism, the interpenetration of nongovernmental and state organizations, and the creation of the modern higher education system in the United States with ties to both state and corporate bodies. In this HASTAC project, I have focused on visually representing the data of the Institute of International Education and the 1917 and 1921 cohorts of Filipino students in the United States through mapping on ArcGIS to demonstrate the geographic scope of the international student movement and the change over time in the early to mid-twentieth century.





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