Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2014


In 1898, Spain ceded political control of the Philippine Islands to the United States. Although armed resistance by Filipinos did not officially end until 1902, the U.S. began conducting a study of the Islands in 1900 to determine whether they were ready for democratic self-rule and eventually determined that they were not. Food played an important role in Americans’ evaluation of the Philippines’ modernity and readiness for independence. This article examines the ways in which food was part of what Paul Kramer calls ‘fiesta politics,’ the displays of civilization that both Filipinos and Americans put on for each other as part of this evaluation process.


This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article published in Material Culture: the Journal of the International Society for Landscape, Place, & Material Culture.



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