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Positively No Filipinos Allowed

Building Communities and Discourse

Antonio Tiongson

Publication Year: 2006

From the perspectives of ethnic studies, history, literary criticism, and legal studies, the original essays in this volume examine the ways in which the colonial history of the Philippines has shaped Filipino American identity, culture, and community formation. The contributors address the dearth of scholarship in the field as well as show how an understanding of this complex history provides a foundation for new theoretical frameworks for Filipino American studies.

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

Writers, artists, and scholars—from Alfrredo Salanga, Angel Shaw, and Carlos Bulosan to Oscar Campomanes and Reynaldo Ileto—have commented that forgetting characterizes the Filipino encounter with the United States, both in the Philippines and in the United States. Nations, collectivities, and individuals have forgotten wars, eras of colonial rule, sojourns, settlements, sufferings, and...

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pp. xi

First and foremost, we want to thank the contributors for sharing their work and their patience throughout this process. It has been a privilege and pleasure working with all of you. Thanks also to those at Temple University Press who worked with us: Janet Francendese for her invaluable editorial advice, and Jennifer French for production assistance.We also thank series editor Michael Omi for his unwavering...

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Introduction: Critical Considerations

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pp. 1-14

For many Filipinos today, the phrase “positively no Filipinos allowed” continues to resonate, a reminder of the anti-Filipino practices and sentiments the manong generation encountered at a particular historical moment in the United States. Displayed prominently on doors of hotels and other business establishments throughout California in the 1920s and 1930s, it was a sign Filipinos frequently encountered...


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1. Patterns of Reform, Repetition, and Return in the First Centennial of the Filipino Revolution, 1896–1996

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pp. 17-25

Dr. José Rizal didn’t like the United States. Like most travelers who came from across the oceans to see the young North American nation, one that had recently celebrated its first centennial as a national republic (1876), the future national hero was certainly impressed by the vastness of the Nevada desert and the Nebraska prairie, or the gentle beauty of the New England countryside and...

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2. On Filipinos, Filipino Americans, and U.S. Imperialism: Interview with Oscar V. Campomanes

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pp. 26-42

OSCAR CAMPOMANES: To frame U.S. imperialism in terms of William Appleman Williams’s controversial thesis on “the tragedy of American diplomacy” (actually the title of his pathbreaking book published in 1959) or of the hegemonic and uncritical historiography on the U.S. Empire which draws from a protean and extended tradition of discoursing on “American exceptionalism” is, immediately, to capitulate...

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3. Filipino Bodies, Lynching, and the Language of Empire

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pp. 43-60

As a result of the Philippine-American War and their long history of labor migration, Filipinos, the second-largest Asian immigrant population in the United States, figured prominently in the U.S. popular imagination during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.1 In his autobiography, America Is in the Heart (1946), labor activist and writer Carlos Bulosan chronicles the lives of...

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4. “Just Ten Years Removed from a Bolo and a Breech-cloth”: The Sexualization of the Filipino “Menace”

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pp. 61-70

Contemplating power, Andrea Dworkin asserts that it is “men [who] have the power of naming, a great and sublime power. This power of naming enables men to define experience, to articulate boundaries and values, to designate to each thing its realm and qualities, to determine what can and cannot be expressed, to control perception itself.”1 Here, I employ Dworkin’s insight to aid...


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5. Losing Little Manila: Race and Redevelopment in Filipina/o Stockton, California

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pp. 73-89

Among Ilokana immigrant Carmen Saldevar’s happiest memories are those of her years as a pool-hall operator in Stockton, California’s densely populated Little Manila district, which occupied four downtown blocks. The former schoolteacher arrived in Stockton in 1952. “I was so happy!” she recalls. “The people walking around were all Filipinos! When I look at the street from the shop...

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6. Filipino Americans, Foreigner Discrimination, and the Lines of Racial Sovereignty

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pp. 90-107

In 1903, scholar and civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois in The Souls of Black Folk declared prophetically that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.”1 History has demonstrated DuBois’s prescience, and at the start of a new century, race and color continue to be major sources of demarcation in U.S. society. Indeed, racial justice often proves as elusive today as...


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7. On the Politics of (Filipino) Youth Culture: Interview with Theodore S. Gonzalves

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pp. 111-123

THEO GONZALVES: My name is Theo Gonzalves. My research interests concern Filipino American performing arts and Asian American culture and history. I am also interested in expressive forms of culture and how they inform Asian and American history. I’m particularly interested in performance as an exciting site for thinking about identities, how histories are compressed in performances, the kind of burden that these performances...

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8. Colonial Amnesia: Rethinking Filipino “American” Settler Empowerment in the U.S. Colony of Hawai‘i

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pp. 124-141

As a result of the countereducation afforded Hawai‘i residents by the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement, Hawai‘i’s history of conquest by the United States has resurfaced, exposing numerous contradictions and questions for those who claim Hawai‘i as their home. Previous studies of race relations and popular ways of imagining Native Hawaiians have employed a domestic “civil...


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9. “A Million Deaths?”: Genocide and the “Filipino American” Condition of Possibility

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pp. 145-161

More than a century after its genesis in the crucible of war and competing colonial hegemonies, the historical condition—in fact, the very possibility—of a “Filipino American” relation remains a vexing question. The process of creating and reproducing this relation has encompassed the discursive-material labors of mythmaking (the production of popular knowledge, a sense of shared history, the ideological...

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10. Reflections on the Trajectory of Filipino/a American Studies: Interview with Rick Bonus

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pp. 162-171

RICK BONUS: This question pokes at me every time I offer a course on Filipino American history and culture or give a crash course on it for a workshop or miniconference. Of course, each scholar will have a different take on it, but I’m positive we will probably also come up with several common points when given a chance to compare thoughts. Many of us have been in conversation with each other anyway informally...

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11. Do You Mis(recognize) Me: Filipina Americans in Popular Music and the Problem of Invisibility

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pp. 172-198

In the summer of 1997, a crowd of several hundred, mostly young and mostly Filipino American, packed onto an expanse of dry grass before an outdoor stage at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose. The audience had grown slowly during the hot and windless Saturday afternoon for Summer Fest ’97, a “veritable Filipinopalooza” (noted the local music press in a front-page feature) that celebrated...

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12. A Different Breed of Filipino Balikbayans: The Ambiguities of (Re-)turning

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pp. 199-214

Over the last decade, a marked shift has been noted in Filipino American youth’s orientation fromwhat has been a predominantly assimilationist mode of survival to one foregrounding their separate Filipino identity vis-à-vis the U.S. mainstream. Fueled by an opening (up) to formerly repressed cultural and historical memory, mainly through the instrumentality of a homeland discursive export called...


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pp. 215-243

About the Contributors

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pp. 245-246


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pp. 247-258

E-ISBN-13: 9781592131235
Print-ISBN-13: 9781592131228

Publication Year: 2006