So I will be back at SFSU next semester after all. Last week, as I was guest speaking in Valerie Soe’s class, I decided to drop in on Lorraine Dong, the Asian American Studies Dept. Chair, just as Allyson was also walking into Lorraine’s office. I told them I was available and interested. And this week, I’ve got rehiring paperwork in my in box. I love it when it happens like this.
The class I taught last year has grown (broadened?) from a literature course to this multi-disciplinary course which is almost the opposite of what I do at USF, where Pinay Lit is a fairly specific focus. Well, that specificity only opens up the problem of “representative” literature, of which I am trying to do the opposite.
So at SFSU then, with this larger, less focused course title, I’ve decided that rather than kick my own ass trying to cram more and more material into the syllabus, I would instead hone it down to a select number of themes instead of trying to do the broad historical sweep. As literature is my strength, I remain focused on it, and branch out into other forms from there. So here’s my preliminary list of required texts for next semester:
- M. Evelina Galang, One Tribe (New Issues Press, 2006)
- Barbara Jane Reyes, Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005)
- Ronaldo V. Wilson, Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008)
- R. Zamora Linmark, Leche (Coffee House Press, 2011)
- Rafe Bartholomew, Pacific Rims (NAL Trade, 2011)
- Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons (Sasquatch Books, 2005)
I’m rather pleased with myself today, as I’m curating the June Eth-Noh-Tec salon, and this is who I’ve got lined up:
- Nara Denning, filmmaker, who recently spoke to my Fil Am Arts course earlier this semester after I showed her black and white silent film Madalien the Small.
- Aileen Ibardazola, poet whose first book is traje de boda, published by Meritage Press.
- Ron Quesada, the multi-instrumental musician behind Kulintronica.
- Sean San Jose, actor and co-founder of the theater company Campo Santo.
In addition, Eth-Noh-Tec’s Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and Nancy Wang will perform. So, each artist has 15 minutes, then the conversation/Q&A with the audience. It’ll be a very good evening.
Belated Happy New Year to you all. I’ve been online, though mostly in work and research mode. I’ve been trawling the USF Gleeson Library online databases for my spring semester course, finalizing my syllabus, downloading readings (articles, literary work) from Project MUSE et al, and uploading these into Blackboard. I’ve been contacting local Filipino American artists and arts orgs. I should also say that my syllabus transformed itself from a dense and disorganized outline o’ stuff into something manageable, interesting, and hopefully fun; this has happened because I’ve been thinking about Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales and Valerie Soe, both of whom have taught the Community Arts course in SFSU’s Asian American Studies Department.
So this is what my course is becoming, a series of discussions of the work of local arts orgs and mostly local artists, in order to think about Fil Am arts advocacy and activism, at the same time, to engage the works for their historical and cultural themes (i.e. as historical documents), and to engage them as art (i.e. created by artists with some amount of education/training and technical expertise in their respective fields). Filipino American artists as cultural historians — that thing again, about how we can’t simply be “artists,” or “Artists,” that we must always create art that is relevant, accessible, and affirming to our communities, that our art must always be an autobiographical statement, that our art must always be historically and ethnically correct.