Discrepant Histories

Translocal Essays on Filipino Cultures

Edited by Vicente Rafael
Book Cover

PB: $30.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-356-0
Publication: Mar 95

360 pages
6 x 9

Postcolonial issues of identity, social control, power, representation, and culture


This collection brings together essays on the Philippines written in the wake of the Cold War and the Marcos regime. Cross-disciplinary by vocation and affiliated by their common engagement with the intersections of power, representation, and agency, the contributors probe the discrepant histories that underlie the formation of the Philippine nation-state and translocal Filipino cultures: the mestizo social hierarchy, colonial medicine, penal colonies, nationalist desire, diasporic literatures, gay beauty pageants, ideas of everyday violence, and state bulimia in the age of global capitalism.

As Filipinos and non-Filipinos, these writers are alert to and intimate with the distance and difference of their own object of study; they intend their essays on the Philippines to translate, localize, and reassess the stakes in current debates around the study of colonial modernity, nationalism, and postcoloniality.


"(A) valuable corrective to the official American history of its colonial occupation of the Philippines. The essays, by both Western and Philippine scholars, range over a wide array of topics, from concepts of Philippine democracy to the symbolic value of gay beauty pageants."Asia Week

"Rafael’s well-crafted introduction (has) imaginative power and visionary focus…there is substantial knowledge to be gained from it about, among other things, American colonialism in the Philippines, bakla subcultures, and Filipino joking and humour (sic)." Inter-Asia Cultural Studies

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Introduction: Writing Outside: On the Question of Location – Vicente L. Rafael

Part I: The Routes of Power
1. Cacique Democracy in the Philippines: Origins and Dreams – Benedict Anderson

Part II: Technologies of Colonial Rule
2. Cholera and the Origins of the American Sanitary Order in the Philippines – Reynaldo Ileto
3. "Where Every Prospect Pleases Only Man Is Vile": Laboratory Medicine and Colonial Discourse – Warwick Anderson
4. "Nothing Without Labor": Penology, Discipline and Independence in the Philippines under United States Rule – Michael Salman

Part III: Nationalism and Diaspora
5. Nationalism, Imagery and the Filipino Intelligentsia of the Nineteenth Century – Vicente L. Rafael
6. Filipinos in the United States and Their Literatures of Exile – Oscar Campomanes
7. Speaking of AIDS: Language and the Filipino 'Gay' Experience in America – Martin Manalansan

Part IV: The Aesthetics and Politics of the Everyday
8. The Power of Appearances: Beauty, Mimicry and Transformation in Bicol – Fennella Cannell
9. Ideas on Philippine Violence: Narrations, Negations and Assertions – Jean Paul Dumont
10. Manila's New Metropolitan Forms – Neferti Xina Tadiar


About the Author(s)

Vicente L. Rafael teaches in the History Department at the University of Washington, Seattle.


In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.