This essay examines the significance of the developing Occupy movement within the United States, which emerged from a year of global protests (2011). It suggests that one way to broaden its vision of solidarity is to renew our critical practice (“conscientization and action” – borrowing from Brazilian educator Paulo Freire). A renewal of critical practice within the context of this essay involves examining the following more closely: 1) the dynamics of race and class in the United States and abroad, 2) the site of the academy (the politics of knowledge production), and 3.) the significance of our submerged histories of collective struggle for racial and economic justice. The essay asserts that the Filipino diasporic experience and ongoing struggle for self determination (Filipinos now constitute one of the largest—if not the largest—segment of the Asian American population) can offer useful theoretical tools for renewing our critical practice in the Occupy era. Two contemporary Filipino cultural texts, which reflect upon the dialectical relationship between Filipinos in the United States and in the Philippines, are examined: E. San Juan, Jr.’s Toward Filipino Self Determination: Beyond Transnational Globalization (2009) and Sari Lluch Dalena and Keith Sicat’s film Rigodon (2005). These texts provide theoretical concepts and methodological approaches for renewing our critical practice within and beyond the US academy: 1.) they encourage interdisciplinary fields, which have historical roots in movements for social justice from the 1960s/70s (Ethnic Studies, Asian American Studies), to renew their commitment to creating social change; 2.) they shed light on the unique contributions of Filipinos to movements for social justice.



Filipino Americans, Filipino Diaspora, US-Philippines relations, social justice movements and the academy

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)