Postcolonial Configurations: Dictatorship, the Racial Cold War, and Filipino America
postcolonolism; Filipino America; Cold War; dictatorship
Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States
Copyright © 2023 The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States
The recent fiftieth anniversary of the 1972 declaration of martial law by Ferdinand Marcos provides an opportune moment to engage Josen Masangkay Diaz’s Postcolonial Configurations: Dictatorship, the Racial Cold War, and Filipino America, which offers an interdisciplinary framework for remembering the Marcos dictatorship and the myriad ways in which Filipino artists, activists, and educators have “talked back.” Diaz provides a deconstructive reading of the authoritarian nationalism of the Marcos regime as inextricably interconnected with Western (imperial) liberalism—the “rise of the United States as the leader of the postwar free world required the legitimatization of necessary violence throughout Asia in an effort to contain leftist insurrection and communist encroachment” (17). Comprised of four chapters, an introduction, and a conclusion, Diaz’s theoretical intervention joins a body of postcolonial approaches to Philippine history, culture, and society—from Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo and Priscelina Patajo-Legasto’s Philippine Post-Colonial Studies: Essays on Language and Literature (1993) to Charlie Samuya Veric’s Children of the Postcolony: Filipino Intellectuals and Decolonization, 1946-1972 (2020).