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Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers
Unformatted Document Text:  Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers 2 answered the needs, at least for a time, of a government seeking to encourage a coalescing of diverse identities within the framework of national difference. This projection of domestic racial identity politics through a foreign prism took on a life of its own once projected onto the screen of American national identity. Here, two dominant strains of discourse, the commercial worldview advanced by, among others, the journalist and diplomat John Barrett, and the pseudo-scientific, racialized perspective offered by zoologist and colonial official Dean Conant Worcester, serve as prisms through which the management of popular knowledge about the new global frontier can be understood. Large forces may have dictated the contours of American popular knowledge about the world with which the United States was newly engaged, but individuals interacting with the marketplace at idiosyncratic angles played key roles in determining how Americans would come to understand the new domain. By examining the competition for position, prestige, and policy influence among some of the vigorous young men seeking leadership positions through claims to authority about the Philippines, it is possible to see how factors such as timing, location, connections, mode of authorship and communication, and orientation toward the world and its peoples played out in both personal trajectories and the broader patterns which they exemplified. Straddling government service and private sector work in the information trades, Barrett and Worcester contended at a distance for leadership of popular opinion about the Philippines, alternating in degree of influence and knowledge until the marketplace of ideas and images issued a verdict. Barrett, who focused on trade, was the first American to publish a national article on the Philippines, in early 1897. He was surpassed in influence by Worcester, who parlayed earlier research trips into a hastily assembled,

Authors: Vaughan, Christopher.
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Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers
2
answered the needs, at least for a time, of a government seeking to encourage a
coalescing of diverse identities within the framework of national difference. This
projection of domestic racial identity politics through a foreign prism took on a life of its
own once projected onto the screen of American national identity. Here, two dominant
strains of discourse, the commercial worldview advanced by, among others, the journalist
and diplomat John Barrett, and the pseudo-scientific, racialized perspective offered by
zoologist and colonial official Dean Conant Worcester, serve as prisms through which the
management of popular knowledge about the new global frontier can be understood.
Large forces may have dictated the contours of American popular knowledge
about the world with which the United States was newly engaged, but individuals
interacting with the marketplace at idiosyncratic angles played key roles in determining
how Americans would come to understand the new domain. By examining the
competition for position, prestige, and policy influence among some of the vigorous
young men seeking leadership positions through claims to authority about the
Philippines, it is possible to see how factors such as timing, location, connections, mode
of authorship and communication, and orientation toward the world and its peoples
played out in both personal trajectories and the broader patterns which they exemplified.
Straddling government service and private sector work in the information trades, Barrett
and Worcester contended at a distance for leadership of popular opinion about the
Philippines, alternating in degree of influence and knowledge until the marketplace of
ideas and images issued a verdict. Barrett, who focused on trade, was the first American
to publish a national article on the Philippines, in early 1897. He was surpassed in
influence by Worcester, who parlayed earlier research trips into a hastily assembled,


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