Recipes for Revision: Digesting American Empire in the Philippines via Filipina Literature in Spanish

Adam Lifshey

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/

Abstract

This essay investigates the intersections of American empire and American feminism via literature by Filipinas in Spanish. Texts written in Manila by hispanophone Filipinas who were also American subjects and American nationals present a defamiliarizing phenomenon that casts anew standard historical-literary accounts of the 20th century United States. The literary output of Maria Paz Zamora, for instance, reveals an America that emerges on shores not commonly taken to be American at all and yet are more indicative, arguably, of the modern United States than any other. Paz Zamora was the first Asian woman to produce a short story collection in Spanish (Mi obolo, 1924), the co-author of a bilingual cookbook (Everyday Cookery for the Home, 1930 and 1934), and the only Filipina known to have published a World War II memoir in Spanish. Like all Filipinos during the American colonization of the archipelago, however, Paz Zamora was also an American subject designated by the United States as an American national. This essay analyzes her oeuvre within the contexts of early Filipina literature in general and within the gender politics of the Spanish-language press in Manila of her day, but argues ultimately that a principal reason for studying her is to seek a globalized revision of what has been, ever since 1898, a globalized America.


Keywords

El Debate, Guillermo Gómez Windham, José Rizal, Maria Paz Zamora Mascuñana, Pedro Paterno, Sofia Reyes de Veyra

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

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Jan Baetens
Professor
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)

Faruk
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)