Toward Filipino Self-Determination

Beyond Transnational Globalization

By E. San Juan Jr.

Subjects: Postcolonial Studies, Politics, Ethnicity, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies
Series: SUNY series in Global Modernity
Paperback : 9781438427249, 200 pages, July 2010
Hardcover : 9781438427232, 200 pages, July 2009

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Table of contents

1. Imperial Terror in the Homeland
2. In the Belly of the Beast
3 Subaltern Silence: Vernacular Speech Acts
4. Revisiting Carlos Bulosan
5. Emergency Signals from the Shipwreck
6. Trajectories of Diaspora Survivors
7. Tracking the Exile’s Flight: Mapping a Rendezvous

Examines the project of Filipino self-determination in the context of capitalist globalization.


Granted formal independence in 1946, the Philippines serves as a battleground between the neoliberal project of capitalist globalization and the enduring aspiration of Filipinos for national self-determination. More than ten million Filipino workers—over one-tenth of the country's total population—work as contract workers in all parts of the world. How did this "model" colony of the United States devolve into an impoverished, war-torn neocolonial hinterland, a provider of cheap labor and raw materials for the rest of the world? In Toward Filipino Self-Determination, E. San Juan Jr. explores the historical, cultural, and political formation of the Filipino diaspora. By focusing on the work of significant Filipino intellectuals and activists, including Carlos Bulosan and Philip Vera Cruz, as well as the issues of gender and language for workers in the United States, San Juan provides a historical-materialist reading of social practices, discourses, and institutions that explain the contradictions characterizing Filipino life in both the United States and in the Philippines.

E. San Juan Jr. is Director of the Philippines Cultural Center in Storrs, Connecticut. He is the author of more than sixty books, including Hegemony and Strategies of Transgression: Essays in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, also published by SUNY Press; From Exile to Diaspora: Versions of the Filipino Experience in the United States; and In the Wake of Terror: Class, Race, Nation, Ethnicity in the Postmodern World.


"E. San Juan reminds us that we are all located within arenas of battle 'between humanity and barbarism, between oppressed third world peoples fighting for survival and the rule of a dehumanized global capital.' In this historic struggle new ideas, imaginations and strategies are needed that enable us to transform the world in which we live. This transformation requires understanding, and such understanding can be furnished with theory." — Against the Current