Tremlett, “Two shock doctrines”

Tremlett, Paul-Francois.  2012.  Two shock doctrines: From Christo-disciplinary to neoliberal urbanisms in the Philippines.  Culture and Religion 13(4): 405-423.

Abstract:  In this essay, I contrast two moments of shock to open Christianity in the Philippines to a spatial analysis. I begin by framing the Spanish colonial period and the Christianisation of the Philippines as a spatial shock. The Philippines was spatially transformed through colonial projects such as urbanism, intensive agriculture and resource extraction that, taken together, can be understood in the first instance as processes of unmapping, where environments once alive and animated by meaningful relations between peoples and places were reconfigured as empty, and in the second instance as the instantiation of a new sensorium with profound consequences for how Filipinos would, thereafter, experience the world. I dwell initially on Spanish urban practices and the optical power of the planned town as the emplacement of a Christo-disciplinary sensorium that rendered local populations legible and visible to colonial power, generating new types, compositions and combinations of subjects and establishing new points of coordination for Filipino bodies and minds. I then move ‘forward’ in time to consider a second and rather more contemporary spatial shock. Here, the organising logic of the Christo-disciplinary sensorium is under threat as a new urban morphology and a new mobile religiosity mark the emergence of a new, neoliberal sensorium.

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