Excavating the Bulosan Ruins: What is at Stake in Re-Discovering the Anti-Imperialist Writing in the Age of US Global Terrorism?

E. Jr. San Juan

Abstract

Based on research in the unpublished papers of Sanora Babb at the Harry RansomCenter, University of Texas, this essay uncovers new information about Bulosan’srelations with Sanora and her sister Dorothy Babb, the two American women whovirtually “made” him into a writer. Given his intimacy with both women, activein leftwing and Communist Party activities in Los Angeles during the formativeyears of Bulosan’s life, as well as his association with leftist union leaders inSeattle, Bulosan’s radical affiliations are no longer in doubt, even without FBIdocumentation. Apocryphal Bulosan manuscripts such as All the Conspirators arebound to emerge since the whole colonial and neocolonial contexts of Bulosan’sgenealogy are usually ignored by those applying an immigrant-success-storyframework (practically all would-be Bulosan experts). Hence the need to revalidatethe focus on his full-length novel The Cry and the Dedication and his links withAmado V. Hernandez and the progressive national-popular movement (Huks) inthe Philippines as a US colony and neocolony.

Keywords

Framework of intelligibility for Bulosan’s ethico-political project; Immigrant assimilationist paradigm in Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies; Sanora Babb archive – Harry Ransom Center Library at the University of Texas;

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/1885