Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

Clark Center Grant Recipient Defends Dissertation on Spain's Asian Empire

Sat, June 29, 2019
Clark Center Grant Recipient Defends Dissertation on Spain's Asian Empire

Kristie Flannery, who harks from Sydney, completed her PhD in History at the University of Texas at Austin in May. Her dissertation, titled “The Impossible Colony: Piracy, the Philippines, and Spain’s Asian Empire,” explores the history of Spanish colonial rule in the Pacific world.

As a UT student, Kristie carried out extensive research in libraries and archives in the Philippines, Mexico, Spain, the USA, the UK, and Australia, tracking down and sifting through dusty documents that shed light on how Spain built an empire in an archipelago that was far from centers of imperial power, and surrounded by a sea of enemies, including the expanding British empire. She found that Spanish colonial officials, missionaries, and indigenous and Chinese mestizo Filipinos united to fight against the waves of pirates that attacked the Philippines in the age of sail. “As an Australian, it is interesting and important to learn about how the Asia Pacific region was shaped by colonization. Today the legacies of empire continue to have an impact on Australia.”

The Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies supported Kristie to complete her graduate studies. In 2014, the Center awarded Kristie a grant to travel to Australia to present her preliminary findings at the Fifth University of Sydney International History Graduate Intensive. Kristie says that “this workshop, hosted by the Laureate Research Program in International History, was an excellent opportunity to receive feedback on my ideas at a crucial, early stage of my research. It also allowed me to build connections with Australian scholars working on the Pacific.” During this visit, Kristie also did research at Sydney’s State Library of New South Wales, and the National Library of Australia in Canberra.

Kristie will be leaving Texas to take up a prestigious two-year Killam postdoctoral fellowship in the History Department at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

 

Pictured: Dr. Kristie Flannery and her advisor, Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra.   

 

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