The status of Cebuano literature in the Philippine literary field has been relegated to a marginalized position due to the outbreak of the Second World War and the implementation of English and Filipino as “Mediums of Instruction.” As a consequence, the development of Cebuano literature was thwarted. However, prominent Cebuano scholars exerted valuable effort to overcome the marginalized status of Cebuano literature through translation. Through translation, Cebuano literature started to be recognized in the Philippine literary field as translation projects of Cebuano literature were published and canonized. This study looks at the politics of translation and how it influences the production and canon formation of translated Cebuano literature. In doing so, this study traces the historical events from the 1970s to the 2010s to situate the narrative of the production process of Cebuano literature translation projects. Using the postcolonial translation theory of Andre Lefevere, this study identifies the constituencies that control the production process and investigates the agenda behind the production of Cebuano literature translation projects. Lastly, this study utilizes John Guillory’s theory of the canon, Barbara Herrnstein Smith’s contentions of “value/evaluation,” and Lawrence Venuti’s translation and canonization theory to elaborate how translation has influenced the formation of an alternative canon of Cebuano literature. Finally, this study draws its overall analysis on the material examination of Cebuano literature translation projects and on interviews with the constituencies (translators and publishers) to present the political issues in the production and canon formation of translated Cebuano literature.


alternative canon, history, patronages, publication, professionals within the system, selection process, translation projects

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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)