A study of Filipina literature in English is intergral to the study of women’s and feminist literatures, as well as Filipino American, Asian American, and American immigrant literatures. The writings of Filipinas demonstrate the struggle and mastery of the colonially imposed English language, and craft and politically driven decisions to integrate with native and vernacular languages. The writings of Filipinas demonstrate also the struggle and mastery of Western literary forms, oftentimes intersecting with the innovation of traditional Western and native forms.
In reading and analyzing Filipina literature, we will find that the Filipina’s historical and contemporary struggle as a body in colonial and transnational economies is a human struggle for personhood and voice.
Barbara Jane Reyes is an Oakland based poet and author. She received her BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and her MFA from San Francisco State University.