Reconsidering Filipina/o American Periodicals

Happy to announce that Abraham Ignacio is now collaborating with me on The Commonwealth Cafe project to promote the collection and study of Filipina/o periodicals and writing in the early to mid 20th c. Abe is the author (w/Enrique de la Cruz, Jorge Emmanuel, & Helen Toribio) of The Forbidden Book: The Philippine American War in Political Cartoons. I’m in the process of updating information and articles on the site. Glad to have Abe on board!

This change has prompted me to reconsider and perhaps broaden the scope of this website. I’ve rewritten the introduction, especially in relation to how Filipina/o print media of the early 20th century is relevant to the changing ethnic media of the 21st century. Let me know what you think…

The materials posted about here raise any number of cross-disciplinary and transnational/local questions, for example:

  • What was the relationship between the Philippine press–its editors, publishers, and writers–and the Filipina/o American press pre-WWII?
  • How does the study of advertising in early print media contribute to our understanding of Filipina/o American communities and their allies – then, and now?
  • What has been the relationship between Filipina/o reportage and literature?
  • What was/is the role of testimonio in Filipina/o periodicals?
  • What role did early 20th century ethnic newspapers and journals play in stimulating and supporting literary production among minority writers?
  • What can we learn from examining the modes of material production (e.g. types of presses, staffing, promotion and subscription drives, relationships between local printers and publishers) of early ethnic newspapers?
  • How did gender figure in determining whose writing appeared, and in what context and form, in the periodicals?

The relevance of these materials to our 21st century experience should also be explored: How can the study of 20th century Filipina/o American periodicals contribute to our understanding of the more fluid production, dissemination, and content of diasporic Filipina/o reportage and digital media in the 21st century? To what extent is there continuity between the activism of Filipina/o American newspapers of the past and today’s digital media? What has been gained, and what has been lost?