Dialectics of Philippines--U.S. Literary Relations
Author: Epifanio San Juan
Publisher: Temple University Press
Category: Literary Collections
In this incisive and polemical book, E. San Juan, Jr., the leading authority on Philippines-U.S. literary studies, goes beyond fashionable postcolonial theory to bring to our attention the complex history of Philippines-U.S. literary interactions. In sharp contrast to other works on the subject, the author presents Filipino literary production within the context of a long and sustained tradition of anti-imperialist insurgency, and foregrounds the strong presence of oppositional writing in the Philippines. After establishing the historical context of U.S. intervention and Filipino resistance, San Juan examines the work of two very significant writers. The first, Carlos Bulosan, a journalist and union activist, became in the author's words a "tribune" of the people. Bulosan's writings which combine critique and prophecy do not allow us to forget the atrocities inflicted on the Filipino people. The other, José Garcia Villa, lapsed into premature obscurity on account of the complexity of his writings about the Filipino predicament. Read through San Juan's eyes, these writers are revealed as multifaceted thinkers and activists, not stereotypical ethnic artists. San Juan goes beyond literary studies and contemporary debates about nationalism and politics to point the way to a new direction in radical transformative writing. He uncovers hidden agendas in many previous accounts of U.S.-Philippine relations, and this book exemplifies how best to combine activist scholarship with historically grounded cultural commentary. Author note:E. San Juan, Jr.is Fellow of the Center for the Humanities and Visiting Professor of English, Wesleyan University, and Director of the Philippines Cultural Studies Center. He was recently chair of the Department of Comparative American Cultures, Washington University, and Professor of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He received the 1999 Centennial Award for Literature from the Philippines Cultural Center. His most recent books areBeyond Postcolonial Theory,From Exile to Diaspora,After Postcolonialism, andRacism and Cultural Studies.