[Blueboard] Kritika Kultura Lecture Series 2004

Department of English Department at admu.edu.ph
Mon Jan 5 16:24:33 PHT 2004


Kritika Kultura Lecture Series 2004


"Dignity - always dignity: Isolationism vs. Colonialism"


by 

DR. VICTOR BASCARA
Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin, Madison


7 January 2004
Wednesday, 4:00 p.m.
English Department
De la Costa bldg.


Abstract
 
Recent developments in American studies have well established the previously 
unacknowledged significance of U.S. colonialism in the Pacific at the turn of 
the century. Just as importantly, that scholarship makes a strong case for 
that unacknowledgment as perhaps the great amnesia of the American Century. 
Much path-breaking research has drawn that occluded history into visibility, 
at least for an American Studies with scales before its eyes. This current 
ongoing work explores the historical understandings and misunderstandings that 
cemented that amnesia, an amnesia that now, with current geopolitical crises 
and the overwhelming evidence of American colonialism brought to light by a 
generation of revisionism, seems too hard to believe ever could have existed. 
Toward tracking the receding of empire in American culture, Dr. Bascara is 
examining theperiod in which, for reasons that may be altogether plausible, 
American colonialism effectively disappeared. Part of a larger project on 
isolationism, the presentation considers how American popular culture texts of 
and about the 1920s and 30s, including Frank Capra's Prelude to War (1942), 
the adaptation of James M. Cain's Double Indemnity(1936, adapted for film in 
1944), and Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain (1952). Of particular importance 
to the latter two texts is the curious emergence and disappearance of Filipino 
migrant labor.


Brief CV

Dr. Victor Bascara has been Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin at 
Madison (English and Asian American Studies) since 2001. He received his B.A. 
University of California at Berkeley (English) 1992; M.A. Berkeley (English) 
1994; Ph.D. Columbia University (English and Comparative Literature) 2000. His 
book, Unburdening Empire: Asian American Cultural Politics and the Emergence 
of United States Imperialism, will be published soon by the University of 
Minnesota Press.

Among the courses he has been teaching are  "American Literature and 
Empire," "Survey of Asian American Literature," "Asian American Cultural

Politics," "Law, Literature, and Critical Race Theory," "Asian Americans and 
Popular Culture," "Violence and Legitimation: Comparative Asian American and 
African American Studies."



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Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University
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Philippines
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