Americanist Colloquium

Death and Dying in Diaspora
Nov 8, 2023, 4:30 pm6:00 pm



Event Description
Allan Punzalan Isaac

Filipino Time: Affective Worlds and Contracted Labor(2022) explores cultural productions around migrant practices that mark other ways of sensing, making sense of, and feeling time with others. Migrant subjects harness time and the imagination in their creative, life-making capacities to make communal worlds out of one steeped in the temporalities and logics of capital. In Filipino Time, Isaac examines how contracted service labor performed by Filipinos in the Philippines, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States generates vital affects, multiple networks, and other life-worlds as much as it disrupts and dislocates human relations.

Signaling his current research in this talk, Isaac explores live-streamed funeral vigils, a technological practice made necessary by Filipino diasporic life even before the pandemic, to highlight two Tagalog concept-words that map other ways to generate ecologies of communality and presence at a distance: pakiramdam (literally, to make oneself felt, or to feel a presence), affective engagement without immediate proximity; and kapiling, to be in someone's proximity or vicinity without direct interaction.

Allan Punzalan Isaac specializes in Asian American, comparative ethnic and postcolonial aspects of contemporary American literary and cultural studies. His first book American Tropics: Articulating Filipino America (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) is the recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies Cultural Studies Book Award. In 2003-04, he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at DeLaSalle University-Taft in Manila, Philippines. He received his B.A .from Williams College and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from NYU. He teaches a broad range of courses in theory and literature, Asian American studies, critical race theory, law and literature, and comparative race studies. His most recent book is Filipino Time: Affective Worlds and Contracted Labor (Fordham UP, 2022)

Department of English