We congratulate Professor Stephanie Marie Coo, an Integrated Member of CEDIS and carrying out a post-doc at NOVA School of Law under the supervision of Professor Armando Marques Guedes, for winning the prestigious IIAS-ICAS International Book Prize 2021 for her monograph “Clothing the Colony: Nineteenth century Philippine Sartorial Culture, 1820-1896, as the Best Book in Humanities English Language Edition.


The Prize

The biennial ICAS Book Prize (IBP) was established by International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS), a biennial meeting platform established at the initiative International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) – based in Leiden, the Netherlands, and part of a global academic network that includes dozens of leading universities – which enables individuals and institutions from around the world to come together to discuss and share new insights on Asia and Asian Studies in a multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral context.

Organised every two years, together with the ICAS conference, the IBP has grown from a small experiment (50 books and 5 dissertations in 2005), to the leading Book Prize in the field of Asian Studies, with 600 books and 150 dissertations submitted for the 2019 edition.


The Book

Out of 247 entries from all over the world, “Clothing the Colony” was shortlisted at 5, then at 10 and, finally, the prize was awarded unanimously.


“This book is, to date, the most comprehensive and rigorously-researched study on the forms of dress worn by almost all types and classes of inhabitants of the Philippines under Spain from 1820 to 1896. Using an interdisciplinary approach, it systematically and perspicaciously shows the inextricable links between these attires and the rapidly changing economic, political, religious, and social conditions of the nineteenth century, which, among others, witnessed the opening of the islands to international trade, the consequent rise of a mestizo elite, and the formation of groups of Filipinos who would eventually assert their identity through the ideology of reform, and later, revolution at century’s end. Written in a lucid style and appropriately documented with prints and photographs of the period, this work is an indispensable source book for all artists who design for theater, film, television, and the fashion industry, as well as historians of all persuasions and Filipinophiles of all nations.” – NICANOR G. TIONGSON, PhD, professor emeritus University of the Philippines-Diliman




The Author

Stephanie Marie Coo is Assistant Professor at the Department of History of the Ateneo de Manila University, where she served as Chair of the Internationalization Committee/ Coordinator for Internationalization between 2018 and 2019. She completed her PhD in History (summa cum laude) at the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, having been unanimously conferred the highest distinction in the French university system. Currently, she is a Marie Curie Postdoctoral fellow at the Universidad de Granada in Spain and NOVA School of Law – Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, in Portugal.

Born and raised in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, she trained under prominent Philippinists in Europe. In France, her doctoral studies were supervised by Professor Baron Xavier Huetz de Lemps (author of “L´Archipel Des Epices: La Corruption de L´Administration Espagnole Aux Philippines, Fin XVIII-Fin XIX Siecle“). In Spain and in Portugal, her postdoctoral project is supervised by Dr. Ana Ruiz Gutierrez (author of “El Galeon de Manila“) and Professor Armando Marques Guedes (Full Professor, Director of CEDIS; former President of the Portuguese Diplomatic Institute). She is working on a book anthology on “The Politics of Dress” with Dr. M.L. Pat Chirapravati (Yale-NUS/Sacramento State University) and is co-authoring a book about the Philippine collections found in German archives with Professor Armando Marques Guedes.