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
  • 2017.  Aesthetic regime change: The Burnham Plans and US landscape imperialism in the Philippines. Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints 65(3): 315-356.

The book is American Colonial Spaces in the Philippines: Insular Empire.  Still working on it.


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).