Yeah, it’s that time, I’ve got to get this syllabus together, even though I am scheduled to teach Filipino American Literature in Spring 2011 (administrative and interdepartmental issues to be addressed and discussed). I have been given some guidelines from my department head. It will be a Philippine/Filipino American literature course, so that we are in line with our department’s transnational and diaspora themes.
In addition to suggesting such Philippines-based authors such as F. Sionil Jose, my department head has also informed me that I need to include the “standard” Filipino American authors such as Carlos Bulosan, Jessica Hagedorn, Barbara Jane Reyes. Yeah, that’s me. I’d not thought seriously of teaching myself, i.e. teaching my own work, though I understand very much that Poeta en San Francisco totally fits our department’s themes of transnationalism and diaspora. I think I can do this.
As far as the whole syllabus goes, some preliminary ideas I have for books (I won’t use all of these, so this is just my list of candidates):
- Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart.
- Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters or Gangster of Love?
- NVM Gonzalez’s Bread of Salt or Bienvenido Santos’s Scent of Apples, but not both.
- Luis Francia, Eye of the Fish.
- R. Zamora Linmark, Rolling the R’s.
- Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons.
- Merlinda Bobis, Banana Heart Summer or The Solemn Lantern Maker?
- Wilfredo Nolledo, But for the Lovers.
- Barbara Jane Reyes, Poeta en San Francisco.
- F. Sionil Jose, though I don’t know offhand which of his works to teach, given the above other titles.
- Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Growing Up Filipino II.
- Catalina Cariaga, Cultural Evidence.
I am thinking of short stories by Geronimo Tagatac, Michelle Cruz Skinner, Marianne Villanueva, and M. Evelina Galang. I am thinking also of poems by Sasha Pimentel Chacón, Bino A. Realuyo, Jaime Jacinto. I am wondering who writes non-fiction essay or creative non-fiction. Have any of you read Peter Jamero’s Growing Up Brown, or Pati Poblete Navalta’s The Oracles?
I am so interested in who are considered the “standard” Filipino American authors. I wonder if this means “canonical” Filipino American texts. Is there is such a thing as Filipino American literary canon? Does this help or forward our literature and our community? How do we determine which texts to include? What standards do we use? And finally, who is “we”?