The relationships between the political and the spiritual, hostage-taker and victim, friends and enemies, the US and the Philippines are shaped and contested in the light of journalistic accounts of the Burnhams’ hostage crisis in 2001, and in particular Gracia Burnham’s reconstruction of it in her memoir. The following four distinct but related contexts are used as lens to explore the binarisms: 1) the psychosocial dynamics and literary traditions of captivity; 2) what used to be billed the “special” but has more recently and perhaps more accurately been called the “entangled” relationship between the United States and the Philippines; 3) the geopolitics of the “War (of and on) Terror” that broke out with full force during the Burnhams’ hostage days, and/or of the longer-term “clash of civilizations,” as it is sometimes called, between militant Islam and the globalizing Judeo-Christian West; and 4) the historic resurgence, in many areas of the world, of religion in personal and public life.


Abu Sayyaf, In the Presence of My Enemies, religion, terrorism, US-Philippines relations

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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)