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Title:Education for Empire: Manual Labor, Civilization, and the Family in Nineteenth-Century American Missionary Education
Author(s):Schreiber, Rebecca McNulty
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Frederick Hoxie; Oberdeck, Kathryn J.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Native American Studies
Abstract:This dissertation traces the movement of ideas about manual labor education from manual labor boarding schools in American Protestant missions in Hawaii and the Creek Nation before the Civil War to the Hampton Institute in Virginia and the Carlisle Indian School after the Civil War. It probes changes in the goals of educators who advocated manual labor training as well as those of students who attended these schools. Missionaries intended manual labor training to speed the conversion and civilization of "heathen" populations, who would then be equal to whites. Native Hawaiians and Creeks attending these boarding schools sought the knowledge of whites to preserve their sovereignty and to adapt to the many upheavals that accompanied the colonization of their lands. When some native Hawaiians and Creeks put political sovereignty ahead of conversion, and others continued to engage in "illicit" sexual relations despite their conversion, missionaries adjusted their expectations concerning how quickly and how thoroughly racial others could be "civilized." This shift in expectation solidified in the postwar U.S., when educators at Hampton and Carlisle adapted some of the philosophies and techniques of manual labor education used in missionary schools. They touted manual labor education as a remedy for the supposedly innate moral deficiencies of African Americans and American Indians, but they differed over the terms on which these groups would be integrated into U.S. political, social, and economic life. Native Americans and African Americans at Hampton and Carlisle looked to manual labor education to help them navigate both the economic promise of expanding postwar industrialism and the limitations of a society increasingly defined by multiple hierarchies of race, class, and ability. Hampton and Carlisle played a key role in naturalizing the association between racial others and manual labor that pervaded white middle and upper class thought by the end of the century, but many alumni of these schools continued to believe in the promise of industrial education even as they disagreed with their former teachers over its ultimate goal.
Issue Date:2007
Description:296 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3270021
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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