Kritika Kultura, the refereed e-journal of language and literary/cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University—in cooperation with American Historical Collection, Rizal Library—is holding a book forum by critic Epifanio San Juan Jr. The forum—titled “Filipino American Futures: Carlos Bulosan and the Imagination of the Class Struggle by E. San Juan, Jr.”—revaluates San Juan’s book, and will be held on 3 Mar. 2014, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., at the 4/f Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University.
In Carlos Bulosan and the Imagination of the Class Struggle (1972), San Juan introduces and assesses the major works of the diasporic author Carlos Bulosan (1911[?]-1956), whose “singular achievement,” for San Juan, lies in articulating the “historical imagination, the faculty of envisaging the inner contradictions of society as the pivotal center of its growth. San Juan’s groundbreaking study illuminates how Bulosan’s aesthetic—his method, procedure, and style of embodying experience in “its dynamic wholeness and density”—was demonstrated throughout his fiction, poetry, and essays. For San Juan, therefore, Bulosan’s work allows readers to “perceive the nature and direction of the class struggle in the Philippines.”
Epifanio San Juan, Jr. is a retired professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Ethnic Studies from several universities, among them the University of Connecticut and Bowling Green State University. He was previously chair of the Department of Comparative American Cultures, Washington State University; Fulbright lecturer at Leuven University, Belgium; and fellow of the Rockefeller Study Center, Bellagio, Italy. In Spring 2008 he was visiting professor of English & Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines. Among his recent books are Racism and Cultural Studies (Duke), Working through the Contradictions (Bucknell), In the Wake of Terror (Lexington/Rowman Littlefield), US Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines (Palgrave), and Balikbayang Sinta: An E. San Juan Reader (Ateneo de Manila).
This Book Forum commemorates the 42nd anniversary of the book’s publication. Moreover, it aims to contextualize and assess Bulosan’s work and San Juan’s analysis for a contemporary audience, considering their work with respect to the history of class relations in the Philippines, the formal and political undergirdings of proletarian literature, and the present and future prospects for the practice of social criticism. Forum respondents are Allan Derain (Kagawaran ng Filipino, AdMU), Gary Devilles (Kagawaran ng Filipino, AdMU), Leo Angelo A. Nery (Department of History, AdMU), and Michael D. Pante (Department of History, AdMU).