Dr Nicole Cuunjieng Aboitiz

Subject: Intellectual and transnational history of Southeast Asia

Department/institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

Contact details: nec34@cam.ac.uk


Research interests:

Dr Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz is broadly interested in the intellectual and transnational history of Southeast Asia. Originally from the Philippines, she earned her PhD in Southeast Asian and international history at Yale University, with minor fields in empires and imperialism, and modern Japanese history. Her doctoral dissertation charted the employment of ‘place’ in the proto-national thought and revolutionary organising of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Filipino thinkers, and how their negotiations with, and constructions of, the place of ‘Asia’, and the spatial registers of race/Malayness, connected them to their regional neighbours undertaking the same work. In so doing, her dissertation illuminated the connections between the discourses of the political then proliferating across the countries that would become Vietnam and the Philippines.

The postdoctoral work Dr CuUnjieng Aboitiz is now pursuing employs the idea of ‘Asia’ within Philippine thought as a heuristic, using it to chart the global paradigm shifts of the twentieth century that repeatedly redrew the planes upon which transnational Asia and its models of regional solidarity could rest. Amid ‘benevolent’ American colonial tutelage, the Bolshevik Revolution, the rise of Japan, and regional decolonisation, she analyses Philippine Pan-Asianism’s transition into the more ethnically limited Pan-Malayism and the more transnational Third Worldism that would follow.


Select publications:

  • Nicole Elizabeth CuUnjieng, ‘Constructing Political Place: The International Philippine Revolution and Transnational Pan-Asianism, 1887-1912’, PhD diss., Yale University (2016)
  • ‘Cultures of Empire, Nation, and Universe in President Jose P. Laurel’s Political Thought, 1927-1949’, Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, 65:1 (2017), 3-30
  • ‘Book Review: Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and the Fate of South Vietnam’, Asian Studies, 51:2 (2015), 200-203
  • ‘Book Review: Women in Southeast Asian Nationalist Movements: A Biographical Approach’, Social Transformations, 2:1 (2014), 94-97