[The statement of purpose I'm using for my MA Review at UCI. Please leave comments and suggestions, especially before my exam (on 15 Feb)!]
My main interest is in political economy. I am interested in the ways in which material scarcity (real and imagined) leads to some kind of system or regime, a certain way of working with desired materials that claims to be efficient (minimum cost) and effective (maximum effect) or to have some acceptable purpose. This political direction of limited conditions involves subjects in relations in which one is able to or makes another do something. I am interested, in other words, in how the configuration of the economy is political (the maintenance of working conditions is the maintenance of the social hierarchy, informed by the interests of certain groups) and how the economy deploys political effects (e.g. economic consideration motivates political action). I take as given that there are material conditions that delimit individuals and their social relations. I likewise recognize, however, that the determination of which material realities have value, in what ways, and how they condition the state of things is a constitution of an economy that is thoroughly and instantly political. This implies that the study of what is material necessarily entails inquiry into rhetoric, culture, literature, i.e. into texts.
The dynamics of political economy are shaped by geography: an economic activity takes place somewhere; this space delimits the activity. Correlatively, political economy manifests on a geography: activities result in a particular organization of space, e.g. uneven geographical development characterized by unequal mobility; this configuration enables the system to function and, as in the case of capital, to persist. In studying political economy, my more specific interest is in its geographical manifestations and limits. More precisely, I am interested in how territories are accumulated (state formation, business incorporation, internal and external imperialism), which leads to a system of interrelated states (world order) or a unified economy (globalization), and the decolonizing responses (liberation and independence movements, fascisms, fundamentalisms) this incites and the lingering heritage it leaves behind (postcolonialism, in social structure, in logic, in libido …). These dynamics operate in the context of a varied and diverse geography, which means that different places actualize this geographical, political, and economic constellation in its own way.
Studying geopolitical economy necessarily entails looking into the use of and changes in nature. “Nature,” after all, is the fundamental ground of geography and of the economy, not to mention the first object of imperialism. Especially pertinent to geopolitical economy are mechanisms that demonstrate the interdependence between human and natural communities (the ecological/paranoid doctrine, “Everything is connected”), the anthropocentric conceptualization of nature as man’s environment, and transcendentalist/univocal ontologies that claim that economies are but sections of ecosystems and that humans undergo the same processes as other creatures, in fact other things, on earth, only in different time-scales. I am interested in particular in elements of “nature” grounded on or in the earth that are either territorialized (becomes the center around which human settlement develops) or extracted (natural resources). My interest in ecology is thus more narrowly an interest in geology.
I would like to study these geographical, political, economic, and ecological dynamics by reading theoretical precedents and literature in which these dynamics are manifest. My reading of literature is theoretically informed. My goal, however, is not to apply theory to literature or illustrate theory through particular literary instances. Rather, I would like to hold theory and literature in conversation. In a way, I read literature as a theoretical text. Theory and literature are, of course, different discursive forms, characterized by different styles. Literature (and, for that matter, theory) conveys something not only through what is directly said (content) but also through devices employed in certain ways (style). Style is thus of prime importance in considering a literary work, revealing the ways in which fiction is political (both anchored in reality and distant from it, critiquing what’s presently real, imagining alternatives, or recovering buried histories precisely by being grounded in real conditions). My interest in literature, however, is not primarily aesthetic. Rather, I take style as part of the work’s content, an element, like what is explicitly said, through which something is conveyed. It is this content—its philosophy, as it were—that I am primarily interested in, philosophy that can be extracted or, better yet, assembled from literature as much as from theory. I would like to take theory and literature, then, as philosophical materials through which I hope to develop a way of thinking about geopolitical economy/ecology. In the process, I hope to produce insightful readings of theory and literature.
There is, in my opinion, no more pointed reflection of a political economy (America) exercising hegemony (imperialism requiring no direct colonization) over a globalized world order (post-WWII geography), especially through the dialectic between its supposedly universal prospects/promises (American independence and democracy) and its actual internal conditions (discontents of the American dream), than American fiction after 1945, arguably a golden and diverse age in literature. At the other end of the geopolitical economy, Filipino fiction foregrounds poverty, crime, religion, immigration, broken families, working children, feudal provinces, the sprawling urban landscape in which, amidst the traffic, one inevitably encounters strangers and/or pickpockets, a geography that perhaps serves as a metaphor for the country’s crowded yet stalled political arena made up not so much by public servants as by mercenaries and sycophants. These conditions are considered quintessentially Filipino; in fact, they are the consequences of the Americanized economy and education system and of the social values preached by the Catholic Church, i.e. lingering effects of the former American (and Spanish) colony’s past.
Beyond pointing to the geopolitical and cultural connection between these two territories, I argue that more complex theoretical tools would be developed and richer interpretative resources could be mined if inquiry was also directed to a third site, the American West. I would like to engage with the idea of the West as the site of Americanization, the place where what it means to be American was developed, the source, as it were, of original American character. While my interest in the West is on this idea, rather than taking me away from geography, this leads me closer it. After all, the idea of the West as American is grounded and made to be manifest on the natural and material realities of a geographical region (primarily the Western United States). It does not, however, limit me to one geography. Part of what makes the West so pertinent to my project is that it is a place that is not only “real” and definitely located on the map; it is at the same time ideologically constructed as ever mobile (at first just a day’s ride from the coast …), hence displaced, appropriated, and applied to more than one geographical location. This mobility of its geography is part of what makes the idea of the American West not only pertinent to my project but, more importantly, potent in its geopolitical effects.
Americanization through the West took place through a certain interpretation of its incorporation into the United States, its experience and the character it supposedly developed ideologically constructed as what is American. In its development, the West was represented as a site of masculinity (of prospectors, farmers, cowboys, outlaws, lawmen, Pinkertons) wandering across and working the grand landscape (land that is not only vast and empty, but full, fertile) in which, through the rugged individualism and democratic strength of character supposedly fostered in this fatal environment, the “American” is thought to successfully incorporate the wild or the “savage” (nature, Indians, foreign workers, emancipated slaves) into civilization, into the economy, with (at least initially) no established laws that dictated how he would do so and with there always being further frontiers, primitive conditions, for him to (re)turn to, further opportunities to start anew. Through the West, then, what is American gained a specific, unique character, closely identified with the American dream.
These material and ideological processes endure. The development of the West contributed in significant ways to the consolidation of Gilded Age capitalism that continues to run America. The success of this territorial accumulation, moreover, materially enabled and was ideologically used to justify American imperialism: first in the form of direct colonization, as in the Philippines, in which the colonized were represented as “little brown brothers”; and then in the form of neoliberal globalization, the principles of which derive directly from the American character constituted in the frontier.
American and Filipino culture and political economy, then, are linked to and via the West because they were both, if to different degrees, Americanized, a process that took place through the West. Americanization through the West, in other words, is a foundational ideological (and imperialist) process that shaped both America and the Philippines, a process they are still grappling with and responding to, to which, in important ways, they (at times the Philippines more so than the United States) are still prone (as post-Americans, post-American subjects?). My claim is not that what is American was truly developed in the West. I am not interested in making such definitions. I am, however, interested in what the ideological construction called “American”—but one particular definition of what holds “America” together, if the most lasting and powerful—is able to accomplish geopolitically, economically, and ecologically, especially internally, in American society, and in one of America’s first colonies and for a time its Asian model of democracy, the Philippines.
This process of Americanization necessarily has an other side. The West as national fountainhead (of character, of opportunities, of dreams) and imperial model (the frontier is gone, conquer the new frontier) has incited radical discontents both within the Western United States (in the radical struggles of anarchists, populists, progressives, and Wobblies, not to mention the “Native Americans”) and “outside,” e.g. in the Philippines (in the struggle of Filipinos for independence from their “liberators”). In fact, what makes the West so imperially potent (its mobility) and the process by which it was accumulated (i.e. through military conquest, capitalist development, and its mythologizing as America’s manifest destiny) has, ironically, set the conditions for the deconstruction of what it supposedly constructs (America, the American, the American geopolitical economy). In this other side, the West proves yet again to be fundamentally consistent with American and Filipino culture.
The West does not only share with the Philippines the recurring presence in its (economic, political, cultural) landscape of land, nature, religion, underdevelopment, nomads, the mountains …—arguably premodern, antimodern, or nonmodern forces or impulses. Likewise, the West does not only share with mainstream, “sophisticated” American culture (mostly from the East) presupposed belonging to the same entity. More importantly, the West, I argue, is (1). postmodern before the letter, constituted by tendencies associated with the cultural movement long before it was assembled in mainstream American culture; (2). imbued with political radicalism, not only as a response to the burden of national definition unduly placed on it, but as its presupposition (even if it is short-circuited); and (3). postcolonial even before the Philippines was colonized, in fact uniquely so, occupying a special place in the American imperial project. Studying the West would thus not only clarify the geopolitical and economic dynamics at work in America and the Philippines; it could also shed light on radical responses to the geopolitical economy, including the ways in which they fail.
[Revision 2011.03.12: I have since had my MA exam and with the help of my committee, rather than being overly ambitious, I realized that I need to gain sharper focus. Instead of trying to cover three separate (even if related) fields, I decided to pick two and think more elaborately about how I'm connecting them. For this reason, I am deferring the American West part of the project in order to develop more the notion of the connection between Filipino and American fiction after 1945 in terms of the margins/minor and fictional performativity. The following paragraphs thus supersede the discussions of particular literary traditions above (they are meant to replace the paragraphs that come after "There is, in my opinion ..."). I also reorganized and made some changes on the tentative lists.]
There is, in my view, no more pointed reflection of a political economy (America) exercising hegemony (imperialism requiring no direct colonization) over a globalized world order (post-WWII geography), especially through the dialectic between its supposedly universal prospects/promises (American independence and democracy) and its actual internal conditions (discontents of the American dream), than American fiction after 1945, arguably a golden and diverse age in literature. At the other end of the geopolitical economy, Filipino fiction foregrounds poverty, crime, religion, immigration, broken families, working children, feudal provinces, the sprawling urban landscape in which, amidst the traffic, one inevitably encounters strangers and/or pickpockets, a geography that perhaps serves as a metaphor for the country’s crowded yet stalled political arena made up not so much by public servants as by mercenaries and sycophants. These conditions are considered quintessentially Filipino; in fact, they are the consequences of the Americanized economy and education system and of the social values preached by the Catholic Church, i.e. lingering effects of the former American (and Spanish) colony’s past.
By choosing to study America and the Philippines through their fictions, I do not mean to posit between them a necessary and unique link. Such links are prone to the dangers of essentialism, as when the two sites are defined in terms of a common process like Americanization (in different ways, of course, in which they occupy different positions in the hierarchy). This, I have come to feel, reduces the complexity of the Philippines imagined in Filipino novels (as somehow necessarily related to imperial powers, specifically America) as well as the issues/problems it is dealing with (as automatically caused by the colonial past or its postcolonialism), not to mention the reduction of America (and what is “American”) itself, when the diversity of its fiction indicates otherwise. I would like to more simply think of America and the Philippines as cases, each positioned in the geopolitical economy differently (internal or home base v. periphery and former colony, each actualizing the political economy in its own way), but intricately, intimately.
Deconstructing essential links between America and the Philippines does not, of course, imply that there are no links or commonalities at all, which would be inconsistent with the invoking of a geopolitical economy/ecology. The commonality that I propose between the two sites, however, is generic and minimal (although more specific and pointed than merely pointing out that both sites are in the geopolitical economy). I propose that American fiction after 1945, with the emergence of postmodernism (at first seemingly non-historical and apolitical) and the opening up of the field to minority voices, are written about, at, from, or by the margins of mainstream modern/capitalist/American society. This, I argue, is similar to the way in which Filipino fiction from its inception is written at the border/margins of (the Spanish/American) empire (or the postcolony maintained by the favored local elites), which, in contrast to American fiction, is openly socio-historical and political.
I find these fictions especially pertinent in the way that they depict/explore survival through precarious conditions, the hierarchy of and oppression in work, gilded peace repressing class/race/social conflict (or, more generally, the struggle of differences), mobility and territoriality, colonization and imperialism, resistance/defiance/rebellion, the escape from and radical alternatives to modern civilization—dynamics of political economy playing out in individual lives and social communities. The lives portrayed in these texts are, of course, fictional; there is thus a need to consider the disjunct between actual history/politics and imagined unfoldings. Nonetheless, while this gap may lead to some distortions, even distortions, I argue, especially literary ones found in the best of fictions, are potentialities, enabling literature to go beyond, perhaps against, actual material, in an act in which literature performs something in and to the “real world.” “Fictional histories and politics” are thus both the manifestation and critique of political economy. It is in this way that, I believe, fiction presents a potent response to the geopolitical economy, among which those found in America and the Philippines, I argue, have something to offer to other sites. As I study the valence of these local fictional responses, I hope to shed some light as well on why histories are reenacted (differently, more personally) and politics are reterritorialized in fiction, and what function/potential there (still) is for fiction—and for writing itself—in a world in which, perhaps precisely because, it is no longer dominant.
Theory: Geopolitical Economy and Ecology
Theoretical readings focusing on or allowing intersections between political economy, geography, and ecology, with particular attention to the formation and legitimation of regimes of power, exploitation, repression/oppression, poverty, territorialization and movement, imperialism and decolonization, resistance and defiance, nature and culture, and landscape.
Philosophy, Political Theory
Marx, Karl (1818-1883). Grundrisse: Foundations on the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft). 1857-1858; 1953. Trans. Martin Nicolaus. 1973.
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844-1900). The Will to Power. 1907, 1910-11. Trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale. 1967.
Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939). “The Uncanny.” 1919.
Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939). Civilization and Its Discontents. 1930.
Gramsci, Antonio (1891-1937). The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935. Ed. David Forgacs. 2000.
Adorno, Theodor W. (1903-1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895-1973). Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. 1947. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. Ed. Gunzelin Schmid Noerr. 1972; 2002.
Bataille, Georges (1897-1962). The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy. Volume I: Consumption. 1949. Trans. Robert Hurley. 1988.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1908-2009). Tristes Tropiques. 1955. Trans. John Weightman and Doreen Weightman. 1973.
Althusser, Louis (1918-1990). Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. 1969. Trans. Ben Brewster. 1971.
Clastres, Pierre (1934-1977). Society Against the State. 1974. Trans. Robert Hurley. 1987.
Lefebvre, Henri (1901-1991). The Production of Space. 1974. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. 1991.
Lyotard, Jean-François (1924-1998). Libidinal Economy. 1974. Trans. Iain Hamilton Grant. 1993.
Foucault, Michel (1926-1984). Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France. 1975-1976. Ed. Mauro Bertani and Alessandro Fontana. 1997. Trans. David Macey. Ed. Arnold I. Davidson. 2003.
Foucault, Michel (1926-1984). The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France. 1978-1979. Ed. Michel Senellart. 2004. Trans. Graham Burchell. Ed. Arnold I. Davidson. 2008.
Deleuze, Gilles (1925-1995) and Félix Guattari (1930-1992). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 1972. Trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane. 1984.
Deleuze, Gilles (1925-1995) and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 1980. Trans. Brian Massumi. 1987.
Bonta, Mark and John Protevi. Deleuze and Geophilosophy. 2004.
Thoburn, Nicholas. Deleuze, Marx and Politics. 2003.
Guattari, Félix (1930-1992). The Three Ecologies. 1989. Trans. Gary Genosko, Paul Sutton, and Ian Pindar. 2000.
Negri, Antonio (1933-). Revolution Retrieved: Selected Writings on Marx, Keynes, Capitalist Crisis and New Social Subjects, 1967-83. Trans. ? 1988.
Negri, Antonio (1933-). Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons on the Grundrisse. 1979. Trans. Harry Cleaver, Michael Ryan, and Maurizio Viano. Ed. Jim Fleming. 1984.
Hardt, Michael (1960-) and Antonio Negri (1933-). Empire. 2000.
Balibar, Etienne (1942-) and Immanuel Wallerstein (1930-). Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. 1988. Trans. Chris Turner. 1991.
Virilio, Paul (1932-) and Sylvère Lotringer. Pure War. 1997. Trans. Mark Polizzotti. ?
Butler, Judith (1956-). Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? 2009.
Brewer, Anthony. Marxist Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey. 1980.
Goldberg, David Theo (1952-). The Racial State. 2002.
Galbraith, John Kenneth (1908-2006). The New Industrial State. 1967.
Harvey, David (1935-). The Limits to Capital. 1982, 2006.
Smith, Neil. Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space. 1984.
Postone, Moishe. Time, Labor, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx’s Critical Theory. 1993.
Wallerstein, Immanuel (1930-). The Modern World-System, Volume I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century. 1974.
Wallerstein, Immanuel (1930-). The Modern World-System, Volume II: Mercantilism and the Consolidation of the European World-Economy, 1600-1750. 1980.
Amin, Samir (1931-). Unequal Development: An Essay on the Social Formations of Peripheral Capitalism. 1973. Trans. Brian Pearce. 1976.
Amin, Samir (1931-). The Liberal Virus: Permanent War and the Americanization of the World. 2004.
Castells, Manuel (1942-). The Rise of the Network Society, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Volume I. 1996, 2000.
Agnew, John A. Geopolitics: Revisioning World Politics. 1998, 2003.
Scott, Allen J. Geography and Economy. 2006.
Norton, R. D. and J. Rees. “The Product Cycle and the Spatial Decentralization of American Manufacturing.” Regional Studies. 41.1 (2007): S61-S71.
Mackenzie, Donald, Fabian Muniesa, and Lucia Siu, ed. Do Economists Make Markets?: On the Performativity of Economics. 2008.
Bateson, Gregory (1904-1980). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. 1972.
Marx, Leo (1919-). The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. 1964.
Guha, Ranajit (1923-). “Radical American Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third World Critique.” Environmental Ethics 11.1 (1989): 71-83.
Sessions, George, ed. Deep Ecology for the Twenty-First Century: Readings on the Philosophy and Practice of New Environmentalism. 1995.
Warren, Karen and Nisvan Erkal, ed. Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature. 1997.
Bennett, Michael and David Teague. The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. 1999.
Foster, John Bellamy. Ecology Against Capitalism. 2002.
Armbruster, Karla M. and Kathleen R. Wallace, ed. Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism. 2001.
Buell, Lawrence. The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination. 2005.
Morton, Timothy. Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics. 2009.
Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. 2009.
Primary Field: Filipino Fiction
Synoptic coverage of the Filipino novel, with emphasis on works that explore the conflict between tradition (with Rizal as the model) and foreign/American presence/influence (in both content and form), socio-historical and political novels, and recent experimental trends. Includes writings from the Philippines and from the Filipino diaspora in America.
Paterno, Pedro (1858-1911). Ninay. 1885.
Rizal, Jose (1861-1896). Noli me Tangere. 1887. Trans. Ma. Soledad Lacson-Locsin. 1996.
Rizal, Jose (1861-1896). El Filibusterismo. 1891. Trans. Ma. Soledad Lacson-Locsin. 1997.
Santos, Lope K. (1879-1963). Banaag at Sikat. 1906, 1959.
Aguilar, Faustino. Pinaglahuan. 1907.
Arsciwals, Juan. Lalaking Uliran o Tulisan. 1914.
Rosario, Deogracias. Bulaklak ng Bagong Panahon. 1926.
Francisco, Lazaro. Maganda pa ang Daigdig. 1955.
Francisco, Lazaro. Daluyong. 1962.
Reyes, Franco Vera. Bagong Kristo. 1932.
De Los Angeles, Servando. Ang Huling Timawa. 1932.
Pineda, Macario. Ang Ginto sa Makiling. 1947, 1990.
Fabian, A. C. Ang Timawa. 1953.
Fabian, A. C. Ang Mga Dayupay. 1961.
Cruz, Andres Cristobal. Ang Tundo Man ay May Langit Din. 1959.
Hernandez, Amado V. (1903-1970). Luha ng Buwaya. 1962.
Hernandez, Amado V. (1903-1970). Mga Ibong Mandaragit. 1969.
Santos, Bienvenido N. (1911-1996). What the Hell For You Left Your Heart in San Francisco? 1987.
Bulosan, Carlos (1913-1956). America is in the Heart. 1946.
Tiempo, Edilberto (1913-1996). Cry Slaughter! 1957.
Gonzales, N. V. M. (1915-1999). The Bread of Salt and Other Stories. 1993.
Joaquin, Nick (1917-2004). The Woman Who Had Two Navels. 1961.
Javellana, Esteban (1918-1977). Without Seeing the Dawn. 1947.
Batungbakal, Brigido. Mapagpalang Lupa. 1960.
Reyes, Edgardo M. Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag. 1967.
Guzman-Lingat, Rosario de. Kung Wala Na Ang Tag-araw. 1967.
Arceo, Liwayway (1920-1999). Canal de la Reina. 1985.
José, F. Sionil (1924-). My Brother, My Executioner. 1973.
José, F. Sionil (1924-). Ermita. 1988.
Sicat, Rogelio (1940-1997). Dugo sa Bukang-Liwayway. 1964, 1997.
Mirasol, Dominador. Ginto ang Kayumangging Lupa. 1975.
Bautista, Lualhati (1945-). ‘Gapo. 1980, 1988.
Bautista, Lualhati (1945-). Dekada ’70. 1988.
Rosca, Ninotchka (1946-). State of War. 1988.
Brainard, Cecilia Manguerra (1947-). When the Rainbow Goddess Wept. 1994.
Hagedorn, Jessica (1949-). Dogeaters. 1990.
Dalisay, Jose, Jr. (1954-). Killing Time in a Warm Place. 1992.
Perez, Tony. Cubao-Kalaw Kalaw-Cubao: Mga Premyadong Katha. 1995.
Linmark, R. Zamora. Rolling the R’s. 1995.
Lucero, Rosario Cruz. “The Death of Fray Salvador Montano, Conquistador of Negros.” 2001.
Alfar, Dean Francis (1969-). Salamanca. 2006.
Yapan, Alvin B. Ang Sandali ng mga Mata. 2006.
Samar, Edgar Calabria (1981). Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog. 2009.
Syjuco, Miguel. Ilustrado. 2010.
Criticism and Commentary
Rafael, Vicente L. White Love and Other Events in Filipino History. 2000.
Rafael, Vicente L. The Promise of the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish Philippines. 2005.
Reyes, Soledad (1946-). Nobelang Tagalog 1905-1975: Tradisyon at Modernismo. 1982.
San Juan, E. The Radical Tradition in Philippine Literature. 1971.
San Juan, E. The Philippine Temptation: Dialectics of Philippines-U.S. Literary Relations. 1996.
San Juan, E. Toward Filipino Self-Determination: Beyond Transnational Globalization. 2010.
Mojares, Resil B. Waiting for Mariang Makiling: Essays in Philippine Cultural History. 2002.
Hidalgo, Cristina Pantoja and Priscelina Patajo-Legasto. Philippine Post-Colonial Studies: Essays on Language and Literature. 1993.
Gonzales, Andrew. Language and Nationalism: The Philippine Experience Thus Far. 1980.
Arcellana, Francisco (1916-2002). Poetry and Politics: The State of Original Writing in English in the Philippines Today. 1977.
Lim, Jaime. Literature and Politics: The Colonial Experience in Nine Philippine Novels. 1993.
Tadiar, Neferti X. M. Things Fall Away: Philippine Historical Experience and the Makings of Globalization. 2009.
Bascara, Victor. Model-Minority Imperialism. 2006.
Isaac, Allan Punzalan. American Tropics: Articulating Filipino America. 2006.
Manalansan, Martin F., IV. Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora. 2003.
See, Sarita Echavez. The Decolonized Eye: Filipino American Art and Performance. 2009.
Gonzales, N. V. M. (1915-1999). Work on the Mountain. 1993.
Joaquin, Nick (1917-2004). Culture and History: Occasional Notes on the Process of Philippine Becoming. 1988.
José, F. Sionil (1924-). Termites in the Sala, Heroes in the Attic: Why We Are Poor. Ed. Alejandro D. Padilla. 2005.
Morales, Alfredo T., ed. F. Sionil José and His Fiction: The Filipino’s Journey to Justice and Nationhood. 1989.
De Quiros, Conrado. Tongues on Fire. 2007.
Secondary Field: Minor American Fiction After 1945
American fiction after 1945 by White males, women, queers, Blacks, Asian-Americans (more on the Filipino Fiction list), Latino/as, Native-Americans, and an Arab-American, especially those that reflect and critique what it means to be American, with emphasis on the border/margins of the mainstream (of corporate life, of politics, of social acceptability), the minor.
Coles, Nicholas and Janet Zandy, ed. American Working-Class Literature: An Anthology. 2006.
Stegner, Wallace (1909-1993). Angle of Repose. 1971.
Ellison, Ralph (1914-1994). Invisible Man. 1953.
Burroughs, William S. (1914-1997). Naked Lunch. 1959.
Burroughs, William S. (1914-1997). Cities of the Red Night. 1981.
Burroughs, William S. (1914-1997). The Place of Dead Roads. 1983.
Burroughs, William S. (1914-1997). The Western Lands. 1987.
O’Connor, Flannery (1925-1964). “Everything that Rises Must Converge.” 1965.
Morrison, Toni (1931-). Sula. 1974.
Morrison, Toni (1931-). Beloved. 1987.
Roth, Philip (1933-). American Pastoral. 1997.
Rechy, John (1934-). City of Night. 1963.
McCarthy, Cormac (1933-). Suttree. 1979.
McCarthy, Cormac (1933-). Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West. 1985.
McCarthy, Cormac (1933-). All the Pretty Horses. 1992.
McCarthy, Cormac (1933-). The Road. 2006.
Momaday, N. Scott (1934-). House Made of Dawn. 1968.
Vizenor, Gerald (1934-). Bearheart: The Heirship Chronicles. 1990.
Didion, Joan (1934-). We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live. 2006.
DeLillo, Don (1936-). White Noise. 1985.
Pynchon, Thomas (1937-). The Crying of Lot 49. 1966.
Pynchon, Thomas (1937-). Gravity’s Rainbow. 1973.
Pynchon, Thomas (1937-). Mason & Dixon. 1997.
Pynchon, Thomas (1937-). Against the Day. 2006.
Anaya, Rudolfo (1937-). Bless Me, Ultima. 1972.
Reed, Ishmael (1938-). Mumbo Jumbo. 1972.
Kingston, Maxine Hong (1940-). China Men. 1980.
Welch, James (1940-2003). Fools Crow. 1986.
Anzaldúa, Gloria (1942-2004). Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 1987.
Acker, Kathy (1947-1997). Blood and Guts in High School. 1984.
Gibson, William (1948-). Necromancer. 1984.
Silko, Leslie Marmon (1948-). Ceremony. 1977.
Price, Richard (1949-). Clockers. 1992.
Erdrich, Louise (1954-). The Plague of Doves. 2008.
Cisneros, Sandra (1954-). The House on Mango Street. 1984.
Wojnarowicz, David (1954-1992). Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration. 1991.
Franzen, Jonathan (1959-). Strong Motion. 1992.
Abu-Jaber, Diana (1960-). Crescent. 2003.
Wallace, David Foster (1962-). Infinite Jest. 1996.
Danielewski, Mark Z. (1966-). House of Leaves. 2000.
Danielewski, Mark Z. (1966-). Only Revolutions. 2006.
Murphy, Timothy S. (1964-). Wising Up the Marks: The Amodern William Burroughs. 1997.
Holloway, David. The Late Modernism of Cormac McCarthy. 2002.
Guillemin, Georg. The Pastoral Vision of Cormac McCarthy. 2004.
Ellis, Jay. No Place for Home: Spatial Constraint and Character Flight in the Novels of Cormac McCarthy. 2006.
Cant, John. Cormac McCarthy and the Myth of American Exceptionalism. 2008.
Patell, Cyrus R. K. Negative Liberties: Morrison, Pynchon, and the Problem of Liberal Ideology. Ed. Donald E Pease. 2001.
Mattessich, Stefan. Lines of Flight: Discursive Time and Countercultural Desire in the Work of Thomas Pynchon. 2002.
Smith, Shawn. Pynchon and History: Metahistorical Rhetoric and Postmodern Narrative Form in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon. 2009.
Staes, Toon. “‘Quaternionist Talk’: Luddite Yearning and the Colonization of Time in Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day.” English Studies 91.5 (2010): 531-47.
Pöhlmann, Sascha, ed. Against the Grain: Reading Pynchon’s Counternarratives. 2010.
Special Topic: Fictional Histories and Politics at the Borders/Margins of Modernity/Capitalism/America
Reenactment of socio-historical conditions in Filipino and American fiction, which in the late twentieth century seems to be a repository not only of a particular history but for all the nation’s history (and folk tales). Imagined political responses, different in strategy (critique v. radicalism) in the two sites but directed to the same target (capitalism, imperialism, and the corruption of power). Emphasis on the border between those in power and those subjected or on subjects inhabiting the margins of the world order (minorities, subcultures, rebels, tribals in relation to citizens, ilustrados, foreigners, mercenaries, sycophants, chameleons, opportunists). Historical context, especially the intertwining of American and Philippine history and politics and the disjunct between history as recorded and as fictionalized. Theory of the novel, the performative, and postcolonialism.
Vološinov, Valentin / Bakhtin, Mikhail (1895-1975). The Dialogic Imagination. 1930s. Includes “Discourse in the Novel.” 1934-1935. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Ed. Michael Holquist. 1981.
Adorno, Theodor W. (1903-1969). The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture. Ed. J. M. Bernstein. 1991.
Adorno, Theodor W. (1903-1969). Can One Live after Auschwitz?: A Philosophical Reader. 1997. Trans. Rodney Livingstone and others. Ed. Rolf Tiedemann. 2003.
Marcuse, Herbert (1898-1979). One-Dimensional Man. 1964.
Derrida, Jacques (1930-2004). Dissemination. 1972. Trans. Barbara Johnson. 1981.
Derrida, Jacques (1930-2004). Margins of Philosophy. 1972. Trans. Alan Bass. 1982.
Deleuze, Gilles (1925-1995) and Félix Guattari (1930-1992). Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. 1975. Trans. Dana Polan. 1986.
Latour, Bruno (1947-). We Have Never Been Modern. 1991. Trans. Catherine Porter. 1993.
Jameson. Fredric (1934-). Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. 1991.
Jameson. Fredric (1934-). Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. 2005.
Butler, Judith (1956-). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. 1997.
Mariani, Philomena, ed. Critical Fictions: The Politics of Imaginative Writing. 1998.
Arkenberg, Megan et al. Crimethink: Politics and Speculative Fiction. 2010.
Scheingold, Stuart A. The Political Novel: Re-Imagining the Twentieth Century. 2010.
MacDonald, Bradley J. Performing Marx: Contemporary Negotiations of a Living Tradition. 2006.
Merrifield, Andy. Magical Marxism: Subversive Politics and the Imagination. 2011.
Postcolonialism in Relation to Language, Nationhood, and Modernity
Fanon, Frantz (1925-1961). Black Skin, White Masks. 1952. Trans. Richard Philcox. 2008.
Fanon, Frantz (1925-1961). The Wretched of the Earth. 1963. Trans. Richard Philcox. 2004.
Glissant, Édouard (1928-). Caribbean Discourse: Selected Essays. 1981. Trans. J. Michael Dash. 1989.
Said, Edward W. (1935-2003). Orientalism. 1978.
Anderson, Benedict (1936-). Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination. 2007.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o (1938-). Decolonising the Mind. 1986.
Guha, Ranajit (1923-). Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India. 1983.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1942-). A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present. 1999.
Chatterjee, Partha (1947-). Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World. 1986.
Bhabha, Homi K. (1949-). The Location of Culture. 1994.
Ahmad, Aijaz. In Theory: Nations, Classes, Literatures. 1992.
Radhakrishnan, Rajagopalan (1949-). Diasporic Mediations: Between Home and Location. 1996.
Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization. 1995.
Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies. 2002.
Derrida, Jacques (1930-2004). Monolingualism of the Other or The Prosthesis of Origin. 1996. Trans. Patrick Mensah. 1998.
Mbembe, Achille (1957-). On the Postcolony. 2000. Trans. Various. 2001.
Pennycook, Alastair. Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows. 2007.
History: American Imperialism, Philippine Nationalism
Slotkin, Richard (1942-). The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in an Age of Industrialization 1800-1890. 1985.
Welch, Richard E., Jr., ed. Imperialists vs. Anti-Imperialists: The Debate over Expansionism in the 1890s. 1972.
Ileto, Reynaldo. Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines, 1840-1910. 1979.
Quibuyen, Floro C. A Nation Aborted: Rizal, American Hegemony, and Philippine Nationalism. ?, 2009.
Romulo, Carlos P. (1899-1985). Mother America: A Living Story of Democracy. 1943.
Sison, Jose Maria (as Amado Guerrero) (1939-). Philippine Society and Revolution. 1971.
Francia, Luis H., ed. Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream 1899-1999. 2002.
McFerson, Hazel. Mixed Blessing: The Impact of the American Colonial Experience on Politics and Society in the Philippines. 2001.
Kaplan, Amy. The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture. 2002.
McCoy, Alfred W. Francisco A. Scarano, ed. Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State. 2009.
Kramer, Paul A. The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines. 2006.
Hoganson, Kristin L. Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars. 2000.
Go, Julian and Anne L. Foster, ed. The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives. 2003.
Go, Julian. American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite Political Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico During U.S. Colonialism. 2008.
Wesling, Meg. Empire’s Proxy: American Literature and U.S. Imperialism in the Philippines. 2011.
Kerkvliet, Benedict J. Tria. Everyday Politics in the Philippines: Class and Status Relations in a Central Luzon Village. ?, 2002.
McKenna, Thomas M. Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines. 1998.
Fujita-Rony, Dorothy B. American Workers, Colonial Power: Philippine Seattle and the Transpacific West, 1919-1941. 2002.
Bello, Walden (1945-). Dark Victory: The United States and Global Poverty. 1999.
Bello, Walden (1945-). The Anti-Development State: The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines. 2004.
McCoy, Alfred W., ed. An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines. 2009.
Sidel, John T. Capital, Coercion, and Crime: Bossism in the Philippines. 1999.
Quimpo, Nathan Gilbert. Contested Democracy and the Left in the Philippines after Marcos. 2008.