Race, Sport, and the American Occupation of the Philippines

Wednesday, April 25 5:15 – 6:45 p.m.

Fromm Hall - FR 115 - Berman Room

This event is free and open to the public.

Featuring Dr. Gerald Gems, Professor of Kinesiology Emeritus, North Central College.

Dr. Gerald Gems

The USF Center for Asia Pacific Studies welcomes Dr. Gerald Gems to campus to explore themes from his book, Sport and the American Occupation of the Philippines: Bats, Balls, and Bayonets.

According to Gems, in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War of 1898 the U.S. acquired and occupied the Philippine Islands for nearly a half century in an attempt to install a democratic form of government, a capitalist economy, the Protestant religion, and a particular value system. Sport became a primary means to achieve such goals, fostered initially by the military, and then widely promoted in the schools and the YMCA. Competitive programs, including international athletic spectacles, channeled Filipino nationalism against Asian rivals rather than the American occupiers as guerrilla warfare ensued in the islands. The strategies learned in the Philippines, now known as “soft power” remain prominent factors in current American foreign policy.