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Although his fame has faded over the years, there was a time when Dean Conant Worcester (1866-1924) was a very influential—and equally controversial—individual (fig. 57). A physically imposing man with an abundance of energy and self-confidence, Worcester’s career path went from scientist to colonial administrator to successful businessman. He was one of the many players who helped usher the United States into its position of global dominance in the twentieth century. His representations of the Philippines in writing and images were instrumental in the debates within the United States about the future of its most far-flung colony. Indeed, as one biographer has written, Worcester “was the foremost creator and popularizer of American notions about the Philippines” in the first two decades of the twentieth century.1


This chapter was published in: Object Lessons and the Formation of Knowledge:The University of Michigan Museums, Libraries, and Collections 1817–2017, Edited by Kerstin Barndt and Carla M. Sinopol, and published by University of Michigan Press, 2017.

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