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‘Like a Disembodied Shade’: Investigating Subjectivities through Contemporary Cultural Practices within the Filipino American Diaspora

De Lara, Marlo Jessica (2019) ‘Like a Disembodied Shade’: Investigating Subjectivities through Contemporary Cultural Practices within the Filipino American Diaspora. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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MDeLara2019PhDDissertation.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
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Abstract

The thesis began in a need to make visible Filipino American identities via diverse forms of cultural practices, in which I also have participated as an artist myself. By using a transdisciplinary analysis of psychosocial, performance, and cultural analysis, this project enhances the current discussion at the academic intersections of diaspora, race and ethnicity, postcolonial/post-imperial, and critical theory. As a result of the research, I became aware of the ways cultural subjectivities could be limited by simplistic collective narratives. How can the presence of a multitude of singular voices serve a greater understanding of complex diasporic subjectivities? How can the close reading of contemporary forms of narratives inform liberatory pedagogies? How can the use of situated knowledges reflect the complicated positionalities at play for the post-imperial Filipino American subject? Filipino Americans are the fourth largest migrant group in America and second largest Asian population in the United States. Migration from the Philippines is constant and has increased dramatically in the last sixty years. Filipino Americans participate as the ‘Asian American’ identity/race but the specificity of Philippine-US relations and migration pathways make this inclusion a misfit. As a former territory and with complex shifting migration policies, Filipinos have been considered by the American government to be an ambiguous population. Since the 1980s, a Filipino American cultural and artistic movement or moment has emerged. These works serve as narratives tending to a mutual heritage to the Philippine islands. By studying the film narratives of Jose Antonio Vargas and Ramona Diaz, I investigate how close readings of complex narratives serve as ways to disrupt hegemonic structures. Inspired by the work of bell hooks and Trinh T. Minh-há, I intentionally blur the lines between theory and practice in intersubjective query. By initially presenting my own creative processes as story and supported by feminist epistemologies, black feminist studies, and postcolonial theory, I conduct an investigation of how the sharing of complex narratives as a liberatory pedagogical practice can confront differences in cultural subjectivity in politically productive way.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Keywords: Filipino American, diaspora, Trinh T. Minh-há, feminist theory, postcolonial theory, documentary, art writing, Philippines, post-imperial, liberatory pedagogy
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr. Marlo De Lara
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 09:59
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2020 09:59
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26206

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