Cornell University
Effective immediately, all in-person, nonessential Cornell events must be postponed, cancelled or offered virtually at this time. More information.

Beauty Regimens: Disciplining Filipina Labor Under U.S. Empire

Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Kahin Center
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

3/11/2020 UPDATE: Cancelled and postponed to Fall 2020


Part of the Ronald and Janette Gatty series

Genevieve Clutario, Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of American Studies, Department of American Studies, Wellesley College

This talk investigates the formation of a transpacific industry of Philippine embroidery during the early twentieth century and focuses on four locations of modern imperial beauty regime: the American department store; home workshops in the Philippines; colonial industrial schools; and Bilibid Prison. During the 1910s, American consumers increasingly demanded "Philippine Lingerie" sold in catalogues and urban department stores throughout the continental United States. Exporting Filipina-made fine needle work relied on the adoption and adaptation of racial and gendered ideologies as well as already long-established labor practices in the archipelago. Such market forces were also inextricably tied to the making of a colonial state. From the 1910s to the 1930s, industrial schools and prisons, both of which fell under the jurisdiction of the director of education, instituted strict regimens touted as educational and reformatory modes of uplifting Filipino women and girls. An examination of this alliance between private industry and reformatory public institutions sheds light on the contradictions of their promises of uplift while relying on exploitative labor, as well as on the racial and gendered logics of beauty production and consumption in the making of liberal empire.

Co-sponsored by the American Studies Program.

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type



Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, American Studies Program, Southeast Asia Program, Asian American Studies Program



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

James Nagy

Contact Phone



Genevieve Clutario

Speaker Affiliation

Wellesley College

Open To


Recent Activity