Maternal Diasporas and Posthuman Subjectivity in Hagedorn's Dream Jungle and Roley's American Son

Title:
Maternal Diasporas and Posthuman Subjectivity in Hagedorn's Dream Jungle and Roley's American Son
Authors:
Suarez, Harrod
Abstract:
In this essay, I argue that two recent Filipina/o American novels enable us to perceive an alternative diasporic politics through two women whose subversions are illegible to nationalism and globalization. If diasporic nationalism has relied on a humanist discourse to structure the lives of overseas Filipina workers—training them to be compliant and docile, which fulfills narratives of colonialism, race, and gender in order to facilitate their exploitation—these characters resist the temptation to find liberation through humanism, which other characters attempt to impose on them. Instead, these characters identify with animals in their respective narratives, revealing strong and intersubjective connections that suggest posthumanist alternatives. I emphasize that the distinction between humanism and posthumanism here is a material one, driven less by abstract metaphysics and more by historical contexts and efforts to stage liberation through the nation- and human-form. Such liberation narratives become the goals of Filipino male characters and white female characters, but the two diasporic Filipinas I analyze forge alternative subjectivities that do not rely on the same humanist elements—voice and cultural-political visibility—opting for silent and absent presences that nevertheless impact their lives in decidedly beneficial ways. I insist that such claims must play a role in how we think about and mobilize around the highly exploitative conditions that confront overseas Filipina workers.
Citation:
Suarez, Harrod. 2015. "Maternal Diasporas and Posthuman Subjectivity in Hagedorn's Dream Jungle and Roley's American Son." MELUS 40(2): 74-95.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press for the Society for the Study of Multi-ethnic Literature of the United States
DATE ISSUED:
2015-05-04
Department:
English
Type:
Article
PUBLISHED VERSION:
10.1093/melus/mlv009
Additional Links:
http://melus.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/doi/10.1093/melus/mlv009
PERMANENT LINK:
http://hdl.handle.net/11282/594380

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorSuarez, Harroden
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-19T19:06:07Zen
dc.date.available2016-01-19T19:06:07Zen
dc.date.issued2015-05-04en
dc.identifier.citationSuarez, Harrod. 2015. "Maternal Diasporas and Posthuman Subjectivity in Hagedorn's Dream Jungle and Roley's American Son." MELUS 40(2): 74-95.en
dc.identifier.issn0163-755Xen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11282/594380en
dc.description.abstractIn this essay, I argue that two recent Filipina/o American novels enable us to perceive an alternative diasporic politics through two women whose subversions are illegible to nationalism and globalization. If diasporic nationalism has relied on a humanist discourse to structure the lives of overseas Filipina workers—training them to be compliant and docile, which fulfills narratives of colonialism, race, and gender in order to facilitate their exploitation—these characters resist the temptation to find liberation through humanism, which other characters attempt to impose on them. Instead, these characters identify with animals in their respective narratives, revealing strong and intersubjective connections that suggest posthumanist alternatives. I emphasize that the distinction between humanism and posthumanism here is a material one, driven less by abstract metaphysics and more by historical contexts and efforts to stage liberation through the nation- and human-form. Such liberation narratives become the goals of Filipino male characters and white female characters, but the two diasporic Filipinas I analyze forge alternative subjectivities that do not rely on the same humanist elements—voice and cultural-political visibility—opting for silent and absent presences that nevertheless impact their lives in decidedly beneficial ways. I insist that such claims must play a role in how we think about and mobilize around the highly exploitative conditions that confront overseas Filipina workers.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherOxford University Press for the Society for the Study of Multi-ethnic Literature of the United Statesen
dc.identifier.doi10.1093/melus/mlv009en
dc.relation.urlhttp://melus.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/doi/10.1093/melus/mlv009en
dc.subject.departmentEnglishen_US
dc.titleMaternal Diasporas and Posthuman Subjectivity in Hagedorn's Dream Jungle and Roley's American Sonen_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalMELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United Statesen
dc.identifier.volume40en_US
dc.identifier.issue2en_US
dc.identifier.startpage74en_US
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United Statesen
All Items in The Five Colleges of Ohio Digital Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.