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Global Healing

Literature, Advocacy, Care

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Karen Laura Thornber

In Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, Karen Laura Thornber analyzes how narratives from diverse communities globally engage with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions and advocate for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing.

The three parts of this book discuss writings from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania that implore societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones.

Thornber’s Global Healing remaps the contours of comparative literature, world literature, the medical humanities, and the health humanities.

Empirical Form and Religious Function

Apparition Narratives of the Early English Enlightenment

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Michael Dopffel

Empirical Form and Religious Function provides a fresh perspective on the rise of empirical apparition narratives in the Anglophone world of the Early Enlightenment era.
Drawing on both well-established and previously unknown narrative sources, Michael Dopffel here offers a fundamental reappraisal of one of the defining literary genres of the 17th and 18th century. Intricately connected to the evolving discourses of natural philosophy, Protestant religion and popular literature, the narratives portrayed in this work form a hybrid genre whose interpretations and literary functions retain the ambiguity of the apparitions. Simultaneously an empirically approachable phenomena and a religious experience, witnesses and writers translated the spiritual characteristics of apparitions into distinct literary forms, profoundly shaping modern conceptions of ghosts, whether factual or fictional, ever since.

Denver’s Chinatown 1875-1900

Gone But Not Forgotten

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Jingyi Song

Denver’s Chinatown 1875-1900: Gone But Not Forgotten explores the coming of the Chinese to the Western frontier and their experiences in Denver during its early development from a supply station for the mining camps to a flourishing urban center. The complexity of race, class, immigration, politics, and economic policies interacted dynamically and influenced the life of early Chinese settlers in Denver. The Denver Riot, as a consequence of political hostility and racial antagonism against the Chinese, transformed the life of Denver’s Chinese, eventually leading to the disappearance of Denver's Chinatown. But the memory of a neighbored that was part of the colorful and booming urban center remains.

Filipino American Transnational Activism

Diasporic Politics among the Second Generation

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Edited by Robyn M. Rodriguez

Filipino American Transnational Activism: Diasporic Politics among the Second Generation offers an account of how Filipinos born or raised in the United States often defy the multiple assimilationist agendas that attempt to shape their understandings of themselves. Despite conditions that might lead them to reject any kind of relationship to the Philippines in favor of a deep rootedness in the United States, many forge linkages to the “homeland” and are actively engaged in activism and social movements transnationally. Though it may well be true that most Filipino Americans have an ambivalent relationship to the Philippines, many of the chapters of this book show that other possibilities for belonging and imaginaries of “home” are being crafted and pursued.

Beyond the Legacy of the Missionaries and East Indians

The Impact of the Presbyterian Church in the Caribbean

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Jerome Teelucksingh

In Beyond the Legacy of the Missionaries and East Indians, Jerome Teelucksingh offers a revisionist perspective of the role of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad. He is particularly interested in social mobility as regards the Indo-Caribbean diaspora in the era following the First World War. He argues that the Presbyterian Church in the Caribbean was particularly interested in women’s rights. As such, he examines the dynamic between local expertise and Canadian missionary work in such social uplift processes.

Richard Price and Christopher D.E. Willoughby

Abstract

In 1857, Harvard professor and anatomist Jeffries Wyman traveled to Suriname to collect specimens for his museum at Harvard (later the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, founded in 1866 and curated by Wyman). Though his main interest concerned amphibians, he had a secondary interest in ethnology and, apparently, a desire to demonstrate current theories of racial “degeneration” among the African-descended population, particularly the “Bush Negroes.” This research note presents a letter he wrote his sister from Suriname, excerpts from his field diary, and sketches he made while visiting the Saamaka and Saa Kiiki Ndyuka. Wyman’s brief account of his visit suggests that Saamakas’ attitudes toward outside visitors (whether scientists, missionaries, or government officials) remained remarkable stable, from the time of the 1762 peace treaty until the Suriname civil war of the 1980s.

An Intolerance of Idleness

British Disaster “Relief” in the Caribbean 1831–1907

Oscar Webber

Abstract

Despite the fact that disasters, usually induced by hurricanes, were a near-annual experience in the nineteenth-century British-controlled Caribbean, the immediate response of white elites (plantation owners and colonial officers) to these events has remained largely underexamined. This article fills that lacuna by examining the concerns that, across the long nineteenth century, informed British responses to some of the most devastating nature-induced disasters in this period. Though the damages wrought by these events always necessitated some form of humanitarian relief, across the period 1831–1907 the survival of labor regimes and the plantation economy always remained the paramount concern of British officials. White elites viewed their minority control over colonies in the region as contingent on their ability to make African-Caribbean people labor for them. Consequently, because disasters so often destroyed plantations and other sites of labor, colonial responses to disaster were primarily informed by a desire to coerce the African-Caribbean population back to work. Reflecting a preoccupation with “idleness” that was mirrored in domestic poor relief and disaster relief throughout the British Empire, white elites often attempted to withhold needed foodstuffs and materials for rebuilding from the African-Caribbean population until they re-engaged in labor for the colonial state. This article, through showing that a preoccupation with idleness remained central to colonial disaster response, reveals an underexamined continuity between the eras of slavery and emancipation.

Kreyòl anba Duvalier, 1957–1986

A Circuitous Solution to the Creole Problem?

Matthew Robertshaw

Abstract

The Duvalier presidencies were a devastating chapter in the history of Haiti. There is, however, one aspect of Haitian society that went through unexpected progress in the midst of these despotic regimes. Haitian Creole has long been excluded from formal and written contexts, despite being the only language common to all Haitians. The debate over whether Creole should be used in formal contexts for the sake of the country’s development and democratization began in earnest at the start of the twentieth century but was far from being resolved when François Duvalier came to power in 1957. Surprisingly, perceptions of Creole changed drastically during the Duvalier era, so that by the time Jean-Claude Duvalier fell from power in 1986 the status of Creole had improved markedly, so much that it had become typical for Haitians to use the language, along with French, in virtually all contexts.

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Ryan Leano

Cultural workers have a vital role in making social change accessible to marginalized communities, through whatever art form. People may not connect with a theory-dense book on social change, but they will instantly connect to a song, a poem, or a visual art piece concerning social change. Art has the capacity to connect people, and the art cultural workers produce is passionately rooted in peoples’ struggles and hopes. It also gives relevance to marginalized communities’ struggles in ways that are accessible to them because they can identify with the stories and gives their struggles a voice.

Cultural workers view themselves as being deliberate in creating culture as an act of resistance to neocolonialism and imperialism, and much of the stories they tell though their creative work are not revealed in literature, society, and mainstream media. The concept of “cultural workers” is also to deconstruct the myth of artists working in isolation from the community. Cultural workers are not just artists, but more importantly are community organizers who are of and with the communities they work with.

One of the objectives for writing this chapter is to show how cultural work brings political consciousness to marginalized populations who do not have access to education, in other words, how cultural workers become educators of marginalized communities beyond the limitations of the classroom. Another objective is to show how cultural work is a tool for social change in the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, a social movement that goes beyond the borders of the Philippines.

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Joy Sales

Abstract

Bayan Ko (my people/country),” focuses on the Katipunan ng mga Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP), the first national revolutionary mass organization of Filipinos in the United States that was directly linked to the Philippine left. With the onset of the Marcos dictatorship, Filipinos and their allies articulated a diasporic vision that linked homeland and domestic politics, the positionality of Filipinos in the homeland and in the diaspora, and the diaspora’s responsibility in supporting movements in the homeland. Sales documents how young activists in KDP became politicized through understanding their lived experiences as post-colonial subjects of U.S. empire, and how activists transformed this newfound consciousness into action by promoting the National Democratic Movement in the Filipino community. Through various efforts, such as their involvement in the Pilipino People’s Far West Convention, the Political Prisoners Program, and their ties to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, KDP represented an important experiment of integrating overseas Filipinos into leftist movements in the homeland and testing radical transnationalism in the Filipino American community. Sales argues that KDP strived to make local/homeland politics legible and possible for the Filipino community.

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Armand Gutierrez

Abstract

While much of ethnoracial literature has explored interethnic and interracial divisions, they largely ignore intragroup boundaries, particularly along the lines of generational status. In this chapter, Gutierrez argues that second-generation migrants are raised within a social context that consistently reinforces the notion that their lives as Filipino Americans are vastly different from those that reside in and originate from the Philippines. The ways in which second-generation Filipino Americans develop their understanding of the country through various outlets, such as the familial context, transnational connections, media exposure, as well as educational and organizational resources, reinforce perceptions of the Philippines possessing cultural, social, economic and political conditions different from the conditions that respondents face in the U.S. While some identify as “Filipino” as a form of ancestral lineage, when asked for their race/ethnicity, their identification as Filipino as a form of national and cultural membership is less stable. Instead, many choose to identify as “Filipino American” to better encompass the ambivalence of their identification.

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Karen Buenavista Hanna

Abstract

This chapter offers a close analysis of two Filipina activist leaders, Ester Soriano-Hewitt and Prosy Abarquez Delacruz, who played pivotal roles in several Los Angeles-based activist organizations, including the National Committee for Restoration of Civil Liberties in the Philippines (ncrclp) Los Angeles Chapter, the Sunday Morning Group (smg) and the Alliance for Philippine Concerns (apc). It examines the role of Soriano-Hewitt, as a critical social network connector and democratic facilitator in the groups. Soriano-Hewitt acted as a “centerwoman” who paid attention to the needs of others, recognized potential interpersonal links, and forged connections. Delacruz, meanwhile, galvanized women of her Los Angeles apc chapter to take their husbands and male comrades to task for not undertaking their share of reproductive labor, particularly during what Hanna calls the “fourth shift” of care work that activist women typically provide men in their organizations. The chapter demonstrates that their interventions sparked what Hanna calls, “revolutionary intimacies,” or close bonds required for deeper political thinking and commitments. Hanna also offers an overview of transnational anti-imperialist Filipino organizing in Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s, arguing that their invisible labor was integral to the city’s synergistic proliferation of diasporic Filipino anti-martial law, civil rights, and internationalist political work during those decades.

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Edited by Robyn Magalit Rodriguez

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L. Joyce Zapanta Mariano

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This chapter begins with and builds upon American studies scholar Eric Estuar Reyes and his analysis of Rolling the R’s by R. Zamora Linmark to address developmentalism in Filipino American subject formation. It also examines developmentalism in the space and production of diaspora and Filipino American diasporic subjectivity. To extend Reyes’s analysis of Linmark’s commentary to the Filipino diaspora, the chapter reads Linmark’s second novel, Leche, in relation to Rolling the R’s. Less raucously funny than its predecessor, Leche is equally unrelenting and biting in its social and cultural commentary. The protagonist of Leche, Vicente De Los Reyes, was first introduced to readers as one of the pop-culture-loving Filipino youth in Rolling the R’s. As a boy having recently arrived in Honolulu from the Philippines, he was “Vicente” in Rolling the R’s. The time of Leche is 1991. Vicente is now “Vince,” a twenty-three-year-old college graduate, making his first return trip to the Philippines since he left in 1978 at age ten, when he and his siblings were sent to join their parents, who had been living and working in Honolulu since 1972. His is no simple homeland return, however. Through Vince’s entanglement of memories, dreams, and nightmares, Linmark reveals the anxieties of diasporic return, using multiple and simultaneous points of arrival and departure to call into question the categorical fixity and disconnection of migration and settlement. The chapter takes up an intertextual reading of the two novels to explore their broader resonance to diasporic developmentalism, which relies on an historical disconnect among these categories.

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Robyn Magalit Rodriguez

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Darlene Marie “Daya” Mortel Edouard

Abstract

Throughout the years, members of Habi Arts, a Filipinx arts collective based in Los Angeles, have created a number of murals. Their creation is unique in that they are often not the product of one artist. As a collective, there are several painters and muralists who participate in a collective mural making process. This chapter examines the collective mural making process of Habi Arts and how this process not only creates art, but as William Roy calls it, does culture. The members of Habi Arts used the collective mural making process to build community and model not only a new way to view and define art, but a collective lifestyle as well. Finally, through an analysis of one of the created murals, this chapter looks at how mural making participants partook in memory making, sharing certain memories with the FIlipinx community in the Philippines and the United States.

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Mark John Sanchez

Abstract

The alternative press played a formative role in the eventual overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos. In the Philippines, the “mosquito press”—which included publications such as We Forum, Malaya, Mr. and Ms., National Midweek, and many more—bravely covered the regime’s failings and outright lies. The underground press in the Philippines, including Ang Bayan, Signs of the Times, Balita ng Malayang Pilipinas, and many more, worked with activists outside of the Philippines to create a transnational press network. Through this network activists exchanged information regarding human rights abuses in the Philippines in order to draw international attention to the violences of the Marcos regime.

This chapter focuses on one small part of this remarkable history of press dissidence, the publication of Philippines Information Bulletin. Primarily organized by anti-imperialist activists in the Boston area, the Bulletin also relied upon the work of Filipino and Filipino American activists. Despite its short publication run, the Bulletin made space for discussing the complex politics of anti-imperialism, labor organizing, anti-authoritarianism, and diaspora. The publication’s history also brings together different components of the anti-Marcos movement in the United States, including the Katipunan ng Mga Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP), Friends of the Filipino People, and the Philippines Project at the Goddard-Cambridge School of Social Change. Ultimately, the publication was a space to work out what it meant to work on Philippine issues from outside of the Philippines and, for some, what it meant to be Filipino American.

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Michael Schulze-Oechtering Castaneda and Wayne Jopanda

Abstract

On June 1, 1981, Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two Filipino American labor activists in Alaska’s salmon canning industry were brutally gunned down in their Seattle-based union hall of the International Longshoremens’ and Warehousemens’ Union (ilwu) Local 37. Rather than focus on Domingo and Viernes’s tragic deaths, “Transpacific Freedom Dreams” centers their life-affirming activism. In particular, the authors pay attention to the ability of Domingo, Viernes, and other Filipino American cannery workers to productively fuse together two streams of radicalism within the Filipino diaspora: (1) the militant “old left” labor organizing of their “manongs” and (2) the revolutionary struggles of the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines. In our contemporary moment, when both the United States and Philippine ruling classes have taken an authoritarian turn, the authors make the case that the transpacific freedom dreams expressed in Domingo and Viernes’s organizing offers a useable history and a generative praxis of transnational activism that scholars and activists can learn from.

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Jerome Teelucksingh

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Jerome Teelucksingh

Marcus Braun and “White Slavery”

Shifting Perceptions of People Smuggling and Human Trafficking in America at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Kristofer Allerfeldt

Abstract

When the history of American abolitionist legislation is assessed—if it gets any consideration at all—the 1910 White Slave Act is often regarded as a flawed overreaction to a largely imagined, or at least exaggerated, problem. However, the law, usually known as the Mann Act, has arguably influenced US trafficking policy more than any other single law since the 13th Amendment. This article examines the career, ambitions and misfortunes of one of the leading figures behind the Act, the immigration investigator Marcus Braun, to show how the concept of slavery was manipulated. It also shows how the problem of trafficking evolved over the opening years of the twentieth century and how the legacy of the Mann Act has continued to affect American attitudes toward sex and morality and their ties to slavery ever since.

Thomas Mareite

Abstract

Chile’s abolition of slavery (1823) has commonly been framed within a self-congratulatory narrative that emphasizes the philanthropic role of republican elites and the peaceful nature of slave emancipation. The traditional narrative not only views abolition as an ideologically inspired gift from the elites, but also underscores Chile’s exceptionalism vis-à-vis other South American emancipation processes—in Chile, unlike in the rest of the continent, the eradication of slavery was supposedly both politically and socially insignificant. This article challenges two of this narrative’s assumptions: first, that consensus characterized the abolition of slavery in Chile, and second, that abolition was simply a philanthropic concession from the new nation’s republican elites. Instead, this study highlights how officials, slaveholders and enslaved people transformed slavery and its dismantlement into a contested issue. It also explores the proactive role that enslaved people played in undermining the institution of slavery throughout Chile, ultimately leading to its abolition.

Walking Capital

The Economic Function and Social Location of Babylonian Servitude

Seth Richardson

Abstract

This contribution looks at Babylonian slaves and servants as they appear in 322 Old Babylonian letters. This corpus has not been used for this purpose before, and now reveals that the primary economic functions of slaves had to do with information and credit in an economic environment of mercantilism, rather than with labor in the agricultural sector. Cuneiform letters, rarely mentioning work, instead emphasized the independent movement of slaves, their delegation as proxies to their masters to conduct business, and their capacity to serve as collateral for loans. The analysis of this evidence permits a deeper look at the ethics of care and control that conditioned the relations of masters and slaves, and what we can now say about the personhood of slaves and servants.

Binaries and Stereotypes

Cuba on the World Stage

Antoni Kapcia

Richard Price and Sally Price