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Prologue: Pasts and Futures of E. San Juan, Jr.

Charlie Samuya Veric


In this synthetic introductory essay, I consider the places of E. San Juan, Jr. as gleaned from the contributions to this special section: from San Juan’s childhood in Manila and early education at the University of the Philippines at a time when veterans of the 1898 Revolution were still alive and peasant-based insurgency was on the rise; to his implicit contribution to the study of popular culture in the Philippines in the context of the emergence of nationalist struggle in the 1960s; to his turning point as a materialist literary critic who wrote the study on Bulosan which coincided with his own decision to stay in the United States; to his participation in anti-Marcos organizing as an exile devoted to the radical future of his homeland; to his maturation as a theorist of race and racism in American institutions of higher education; to his contributions to the development of Filipino Critical Theory and environmental activism; to his systematic critique of Western capitalist modernity as a major scholar from the Third World; and finally, to his attempt to vernacularize international solidarity. I argue that San Juan’s body of work constitutes a decolonizing archive that records the unfulfilled projects of liberation struggles from the last century. I also suggest that such an archive is noteworthy because it reveals the direction of Third World revolutionary critique from decolonization to the crisis of globalization today.


Decolonization, E. San Juan, Jr.; globalization; revolution; Third World

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2016.02616