Philippine-American Intersections and the Emergence of Transpacific Studies Traditional Panel
The last two years have witnessed shifting relations between the Philippines and the United States, nations still tethered by a unique bond of transpacific colonial history. Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte’s calamitous war on drugs, as well as his designation of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army as terrorist groups, have met with U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval and admiration. While the Obama administration sought to leverage Philippine alliance in a globalist “pivot to Asia,” it remains to be seen how the Philippine-American postcolonial relationship will be redefined in coming years. Acknowledging the rise of new populist regimes in both countries as effects of unequal globalization, this panel offers up analyses of past narratives of Filipino nationalism as key sites for emerging forms of resistance. In works spanning from Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo (1891) in the Spanish-colonized Philippines, to the U.S.-neocolonized Philippines of R. Zamora Linmark’s Leche (2011), impossible subjects emerge to critique these nationalist narratives and to issue alternative struggles toward actual liberation.