lecture #6: America is in the Heart

• TONIGHT! 6:30pm CSB 002 – screening of History and
• Films will be available in 24 hours at course reserves
• Highly suggested to finish Citizen 13660 for Tuesday
• February events on campus:
• Feb. 4, 2-4pm - History of Chinese in San Diego @ Geisel
Seuss Room
• Feb 6, 5-8pm – CCC presents Not in Our Town at the
Multipurpose room in the Student Services Center.
• Weekend of Feb 19 – CCC & Eveoke Dance Company
Lecture #6: Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart
• Nov 24, 1913 – born in the province of
Pangasinan, Philippines
• July 22, 1930 – arrived in Seattle
• 1935 – started involvement in workers
movement and labor organizing
• UCAPAWA – United Cannery and Packing
House Workers of America
1936 – hospitalized for tuberculosis
1944 – Laughter of my Father
1946 – America is in the Heart
1950 – blacklisted for membership in CPUSA
1956 – died of tuberculosis in Seattle
Carlos Bulosan
• Genre - form of a text
• Text - something that a society produces
that one can analyze to learn about the very
society that produced it. Ex: literature,
visual art, film, music, etc
• Autobiography – narrative of one’s life;
backward glance from the present moment;
implication of progress and linearity
• Memoir – narrative of recollections from
one’s life
• Novel – imagined/fictional narrative of
events and characters
• Why would Bulosan transgress and blur
Autobiography? Memoir? Novel?
• History or histories?  Can
anything ever be objectively told?
• Ex: Philippine Insurrection vs
Filipino American War
• History versus memory  In
telling “history,” how do we insist
on what is and is not remembered?
• America is in the Heart = text
• Author = Carlos Bulosan
• Narrator = Allos
histories & memory
• Destruction of the family vs Hope in writing (56-57):
• dispossession of the father
• resilience of the mother yet tragedy of the sisters
• arrivals and departures of the brothers  Leon, Amado,
Marcario, Luciano
• Ch 1  connections between Leon & Allos as
connection between US imperialism & Filipino
• Destruction of gendered bodies foreshadow violence
against Filipino immigrant in US
• Leon’s wife attacked because of lack of virginity (7)
• Narrator witnesses prostitution in Manila right before his
departure (93)
Part 1: destruction & hope
Descriptions of the process of racialization and its psychological
• P. 67 – the lady photographer in Baguio
• P. 98 – “half-naked savages”
• P. 121 – “it was a crime to be a Filipino in California”
• Criminalization of his brothers
• Changing of narrator’s name indicating effects of racialization
Re-visioning America – Marcario’s speech (187)
• America as epitome of civilization…
• America as disembodied ideal…
• America born from the efforts of the brutalized and marginalized…
Part 2: racialization & re-visioning
• The violence of hypersexualization
• P. 208 – near lynching of narrator and Jose for labor
• Sacrificial & platonic love between Filipino and white
• P. 209 – Marian
• P. 68 – Mary Strandon
• P. 235 – Alice & Eileen Odell
• Narrator as Christ-like figure:
• 261 – Marcario’s sacrifice
Part 3: love & sacrifice
“It came to me that no man – no one at all – could destroy my
faith in America again… It was something that grew out of
the sacrifices and loneliness of my friends, of my brothers in
America and my family in the Philippines – something that
grew out of our desire to know America, and to become a part
of her great tradition, and to contribute something toward her
final fulfillment. I knew that no man could destroy my faith
in American that sprung from all our hopes and aspirations,
ever.” (326-327)
Which America is in his heart – the racist and marginalizing
nation or the revolutionary vision? Why allow for ambiguity?
Part 4: America is in the heart?
• TONIGHT! 6:30pm CSB 002 –
screening of History and Memory
• Questions to consider:
• Why does the director interweave
Hollywood films and military
propaganda with the oral
testimonies of her family members?
• How would you categorize the
film? Is it a documentary?
• Why does the image of her mother
filling a canteen reoccur
constantly? What does that image
mean to the director?
History & Memory

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