Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University—in cooperation with Kagawaran ng Filipino—will be hosting a lecture by Robert Diaz titled “Reimagining Cultural Citizenship: Artistic Production in Filipino Canadian Lives.” The lecture will be on Feb. 23, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at SEC C 201, Ateneo de Manila University. The lecture is open to the public.
In this talk, Dr. Diaz reflects on the political, theoretical, and cultural significance of Visualizing the Intimate In Filipino Lives (Jan. 23, 2015-Feb. 15, 2015), an art exhibit that was held as part of Diasporic Intimacies. Diasporic Intimacies was series of groundbreaking events that brought together Filipino/a artists, scholars, and community members in Toronto to examine the contributions of marginalized Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society. Both the art exhibit and the larger event event prioritized the links between artistic, scholarly, and community-based forms of knowledge production. By focusing on this exhibit, and the nuances embedded in the work of Filipino Canadian artists, Diaz suggests that sexually marginalized and “othered” Filipinos unsettle the official policies of multiculturalism, which often define a very limited understanding of what Filipino participation in Canadian society means. He argues that these artists thus animate the power of diasporic intimacies, desire, and memories to produce more capacious and more complicated notions of cultural citizenship in Canada. They enact what the critic Isaac West calls “transformational” forms of citizenship, which rely on “the inventive capabilities of individuals to navigate and complicate the discursive terrains of recognition” that shape their daily lives.
Dr. Robert Diaz is an Assistant Professor at OCAD University, the largest and oldest art and design university in Canada. His teaching and scholarship focus on the intersections of Sexuality, Filipino, Asian, and Postcolonial Studies. Diaz is currently co-editing Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries (under contract with Northwestern University Press), which brings together artists, scholars, and community workers in order to examine the contributions of queer Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society. His first book project, Reparative Acts: Redressive Nationalisms and Queer Filipino/a Lives, examines how Filipino/a nationalisms from the 1970s onwards have also possessed a redressive valence. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in Signs, GLQ, Women and Performance, Journal of Asian American Studies, Filipino Studies: Palimpsest of Nation and Diaspora, and Global Asian Popular Culture.