New videos and articles related to Imagining Manila

To promote my new book Imagining Manila: Literature, Empire and Orientalism, I’ve uploaded the following videos to YouTube:

Imagining Manila: Literature, Empire and Orientalism (Book Launch) – YouTube

Call of Duterte: Complicity, Moral Inequivalence and Western Liberal Reporting on the Philippines – YouTube

You can read a popular summary of the book’s main themes here:

An honest picture of the Philippines includes Western abuses | Morning Star (

Imagining Manila front cover

9781788318310_cov_front (1)

Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris have come up with this natty front cover for my next book, Imagining Manila, due to be published in April 2021.

What’s it about?

The city of Manila is uniquely significant to Philippine, Southeast Asian and world history. It played a key role in the rise of Western colonial mercantilism in Asia, the extinction of the Spanish Empire and the ascendancy of the USA to global imperial hegemony, amongst other events. Imagining Manila examines British and American writing on the city, situating these representations within scholarship on empire, orientalism and US, Asian and European political history. Through analysis of novels, memoirs, travelogues and journalism written about Manila by Westerners since the early eighteenth century, Tom Sykes builds a picture of Western attitudes towards the city and the wider Philippines, and the mechanics by which these came to dominate the discourse.

This study uncovers to what extent Western literary tropes and representational models have informed understandings of the Philippines, in the West and elsewhere, and the types of counter-narrative which have emerged in the Philippines in response to them.