Trump, Bullets, and Pig's Blood: Mythologizing the Violence of American and British Counterinsurgency in the 19th and early 20th Century

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 12:20 pm to 2:00 pm
Campus: 
Dayton
Millett Hall Atrium
Audience: 
Future Students
Current Students
Faculty
Staff
Alumni
The public

A Public talk delivered by Dr. Kim Wagner (Senior Lecturer in British Imperial History, Queen Mary, University of London) titled, "Trump, Bullets, and Pig's Blood: Mythologizing the Violence of American and British Counterinsurgency in the 19th and early 20th Century."

During the election of 2016, Donald Trump told a story of how the Americans used bullets dipped in pig's blood to effectively fight Muslims in the Philippines a little more than a century ago; a narrative suggesting that the key to fighting radical Islam in the twenty-first century may be found in the lessons of America’s early imperial experience. While historians have been quick to dismiss the anecdote as fictitious, it is in fact more accurate than most would be prepared to acknowledge. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Americans did engage in a type of cultural warfare – crucially, the inspiration was derived from British executions and practices of colonial violence in South Asia. This talk unravels the many layers of Trump’s story, revealing how cultural knowledge has in the past been weaponized within the British and American empires – to deadly, though perhaps not exemplary, effect.

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