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Febe Dalipe Pamonag
Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL 61455-1390)
Patients' Activism in the Culion Leper Colony, Philippines, 1905-1930s

A book-length study of the leper colony on Culion Island, the Philippines, during the period of American governance, 1898-1950

This project will advance our understanding of Filipino leprosy patients' engagement with American colonial officials, an understudied theme in the literature on empire and public health policy, and U.S. occupation of the Philippines. In 1905, American health authorities established a leper colony in Culion, an isolated island in Palawan. Suspected lepers were forcibly removed from their homes and relocated to Culion. Most scholarship on Culion highlights its role as a laboratory for civic experimentation and how it was embroiled in major political issues of the day. In this project, I consider the views and practices of leprosy patients to show their resistance, as well as adaptation and accommodation of certain regulations in order to improve their daily lives on the island. This project also addresses such issues as the criminalization of disease and the degree to which individual rights may be compromised in the name of public health, all of which have contemporary resonance.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
History, Other; Women's History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016