1. Insular empire

This research explores the scientific, architectural and cartographic construction of American colonial spaces in the Philippines during the early twentieth century, asking how these spaces were produced as new models of U.S. global engagement, both the standard bearers for an emerging “Insular Empire” and the object lessons of American democracy.  Based on international archival research that was supported under an NSF grant in Geography and Science, Technology, and Society (BCS-0518213).


  • 2011.  “Object Lessons: War and American Democracy in the Philippines” pp. 203-225.  In Kirsch, S. and Flint, C. (eds).   Reconstructing Conflict: Integrating War and Post-War Geographies.  Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
  • 2016.  Insular territories: US colonial science, geopolitics, and the (re)mapping of the Philippines.  The Geographical Journal 182(1): 2-14.  (via academia.edu)
  • 2017.  Aesthetic regime change: The Burnham Plans and US landscape imperialism in the Philippines. Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints 65(3): 315-356.

2.  Subic Bay digital atlas project

Focusing on Subic Bay/Olongapo, Philippines, around the site of a former US naval base that served as a key staging ground and ‘R&R’ setting for the US war in Vietnam (Second Indochina War), the project seeks to creatively develop digital media – and to utilize the lens of place – to offer a “local history of geopolitics” through Subic, a setting that is once again returning to global prominence on the edge of the contested South China Sea.  The Subic Bay digital atlas is a collaboration with colleagues from the Geography Department of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.  It will draw on historical and contemporary visual culture content in photography, cartography, film, and other media, to be developed as a set of free pedagogic resources within a broadly accessible digital humanities framework, and engage students in critical geographic concepts as well as in the dynamics of changing local and regional contexts. Development has been supported under a Carolina Asia Center Jimmy and Judy Cox Asia Initiative Award.


  • 2015.  West Philippine Sea? ASEAN Sea?  What’s in a NameGeography Directions (online publication, Royal Geographical Society), posted October 22, 2015.
  • 2016 (with Joseph Santos Palis and and Lourdes Benipayo) Subig transect: Developing a digital atlas of place, geopolitics, and gender. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, March 29, 2016.
  • 2017 (with Michael Hawkins and Joseph Santos Palis). Port of call. Base conversion, rounds of investment, and the division of labor in Subic Bay, Philippines.  Presented to the Feminist Geography conference, Chapel Hill, NC, May 18-20, 2017 .

3. Technology: a keyword

On technology’s cultural politics:


Map source: “The Filipinos’ Answer to the Wood-Forbes Report” Remarks of Hon. Jaime C. de Veyra of the Philippine Islands in the House of Representatives January 5, 1922 (Washington: US Government Printing Office).