Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Member

Dr. Cynthia Haynes, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. G. Jeff Love

Committee Member

Dr. Cameron Bushnell

Committee Member

Dr. Akel Kahera

Abstract

This project studies the fragments of the everyday lives of Filipino Americans, captured and interpreted via vernacular video. Read through three modes of estrangement (translation, nostalgia, and transition), Filipinoness is rendered as unheimlich or “homeless” to open multiple interpretations of this cultural identification. Filipino racial and cultural formation in the United States is often concealed by categories that tend to homogenize Asian American experience and disregard the specificity of the colonial relationship between America and the Philippines, flouting Filipino and Filipino Americans' struggles against a simultaneous ambiguity, invisibility, and strangeness as hybrid persons of color. Through an interpretive reading of Filipino Americans' everyday encounters with Filipinoness, a quotidian rhetorics emerges to provide a framework with which Filipino American videos are read as a way for creatively working through and improvising with multiple identities against persistent stereotypes and a frequent displacement in historical and cultural narratives. Referencing episodes in the colonial history of the Philippines and the United States, this study links the forgotten struggles of Filipinos/Filipino Americans with audio-visual representations of their estrangement from cultural artifacts, language, and images of Filipinoness. Emancipatory discourses are revealed in the strategic use of hybridity, and engagements with fragments of language and memory. As a movement that foregrounds their struggle for homeliness in the elasticity of multiple identities and historical discourses, estrangement as unheimlich provides Filipino American videographers (as well as Filipinos) with opportunities to (re)write narratives of emancipation that emerge from encounters with Filipinoness and Filipino American presence and struggle in everyday life.

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