Events: Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Sarita Echavez See

September 12, 2018

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University—in cooperation with the Fine Arts Department (AdMU), Ateneo Art Gallery, UNITAS (UST), and Ateneo de Manila University Press—will host a lecture by Sarita Echavez See. The lecture—titled “The Filipino Primitive: Accumulation and Resistance in the American Museum” is on Sept. 25, 2018, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., at the Ben Chan ArtSuite, 2/f Arts Wing, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University. The event is open to the public.

About the lecture

Sarita Echavez See discusses works by the feminist Filipina American artist Stephanie Syjuco that deliberately ape, ironize and subvert the American imperial museum’s accumulative practices, what the cultural theorist Allan Isaac has called “acts of assimilation gone awry.” Syjuco’s oeuvre savvily critiques the act of acquiring the Philippines and collecting and displaying the Filipino both in the world of the art museum and the world of the anthropological museum. Exemplified by her multimedia installation “RAIDERS: International Booty, Bountiful Harvest (Selections from the Collection of the A____ A__ M_____),” Syjuco asks us to revisit the efficacy of the politics of a mimetic aesthetic when it is deployed as a critique of the accumulative tendencies of the imperial museum. See’s lecture draws on her new book The Filipino Primitive: Accumulation and Resistance in the American Museum (Ateneo de Manila University Press). The book argues that we must understand the idea of the Filipino primitive in the American museum and archive as part of the history of the American conquest and colonization of the Philippines. Moreover, while Karl Marx’s concept of primitive accumulation usually is conceived of as an economic process of land and labor expropriation, this interdisciplinary study departs from Marxian theory in order to argue that the accumulation of the racial primitive—the barbarian, the uncivilized, the savage—in imperial museum collections also must be understood as an epistemological and aesthetic phenomenon. 

About the lecturer

Sarita Echavez See is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California Riverside. Her research and teaching interests range across the interdisciplines of postcolonial studies, critical race studies, and minoritized cultural production. She is the author of the monographs The Decolonized Eye: Filipino American Art and Performance and The Filipino Primitive: Accumulation, Resistance and the American Museum. She was one of the core organizers of the 2011 conference "Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide" at UC Riverside, and she was a member of the editorial collective for the anthology Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader. She now is at work on a book project on visual culture methods and methodology.

About Kritika Kultura

Kritika Kultura is acknowledged by a host of Asian and Asian American Studies libraries and scholarly networks, and indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Clarivate), Scopus, EBSCO, the Directory of Open Access Journals, and the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP). For inquiries about submission guidelines and future events, visit or email

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