From Identity Formation to Social Transformation: A Dialogue on Filipino American Studies

Jeffrey Arellano Cabusao, Bryant University
Michael Joseph Viola, Saint Mary's College of California

Document Type Article


Jeffrey Arellano Cabusao provides an editorial introduction to his 2016 edited volume Writer in Exile/Writer in Revolt: Critical Perspectives on Carlos Bulosan (University Press of America, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield). This anthology gathers for the first time nearly sixty years of literary criticism by scholars in the United States and the Philippines on the first major Filipino writer in the United States – Carlos Bulosan. The editorial introduction will discuss how Writer in Exile/Writer in Revolt documents the unfolding of Bulosan’s radical literary imagination which straddle the colonial and neocolonial periods of U.S.-Philippine relations (from the pre-Pacific War period to the Cold War period). Six decades of literary criticism inventory Bulosan’s invaluable contributions to modern diasporic Filipino literature that, when historicized, reconceptualize concepts such as transnationality (border crossing), hybridity, and the binary opposition between Asian/Asian American literatures. In addition to discussing the significance of Writer in Exile/Writer in Revolt, the editorial introduction will reprint Cabusao’s dialogue piece (featured in the anthology) with distinguished Asian American scholars Lane Hirabayashi and Marilyn Alquizola on their groundbreaking research on Bulosan’s FBI files which reveal the transnational nature of political surveillance/repression and subaltern Filipino resistance that informed Carlos Bulosan’s life and work.