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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Call for Papers

Towards an Oceanic Filipinx Studies 

Co-Editors: Demiliza S. Saramosing (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), Katherine Achacoso (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) and Roderick N. Labrador (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa) 

Publication Date: Fall 2022 

Submission Requirements: 300-500 word abstracts due January 29, 2022; Full submissions 5,000-7,000 words due May 1, 2022 to 

In recent years, there has been a swell in Filipinx scholarly, community, and popular culture engagement with the idea of oceans/seas to anchor our histories, cultures, and politics. For instance, consider the name of this journal and the recent announcement of Wave into the Marvel Universe. As co-editors and scholars engaged from the vantage point of Hawaiʻi, we invite academics, activists, and artists to examine how “the oceanic,” can open new possibilities for understanding the experiences of Filipinx in diaspora. We theorize “the oceanic” as having two primary meanings: first, it refers to the series of islands and oceans that make up roughly half of the Earth’s surface and is often configured as the geopolitical region of Hawai‘i and the Pacific and second, it uses the ocean as both practice and metaphor/analytic for flow, movement, specificity and expansiveness, relationality, mobility, nonlinearity, and congruence. 

The move to the oceanic and oceans is tied to the limitations of the AAPI framework, which has been critiqued as a homogenizing discourse that conflates and thus erases Native Pacific Islander voices within the broader umbrella of Asian American community organizing and scholarship (Kauanui and Diaz 2001; Diaz 2004; Hall 2015; Wright and Labrador 2011; Teves and Arvin 2018). More trenchantly, Filipinx scholars and community organizers have been critiqued for claiming Pacific Islander heritage through various performances of Indigeneity and anthropological mappings of the Pacific, that fail to attend to the political, genealogical, relational, familial relationship that Native Pacific peoples maintain to the broader moana nui. While we acknowledge that in certain contexts in Oceania, Filipinx may be considered Pacific Islanders, we shift our inquiry to ask how a transoceanic approach might expand and re-route/re-root a more relational and critical place-based conversation between Critical Filipinx Studies and Native Pacific Studies. Therefore, drawing inspiration from and thinking alongside the Kanaka Maoli scholar Noelani Goodyear Kaʻōpua’s work on “Indigenous Oceanic Futures,” (2018), this special issue questions how submerging settler, militarized, and racial capitalist regimes within transoceanic currents might inform decolonial and abolitionist Oceanic futures. 

Our Oceanic turn examines how oceans are the first sites of violent inequality, exploitation, and clashing histories and how they are also sites of intimacy, fluidity, movement, connectivity, and co-resistance. For instance, Filipinx who live in Oceania, often (but not always) are positioned as settlers vis-a-vis their histories of war, racialized labor migration, land dispossession, colonialism, military, and education mobility. Yet, Filipinx living in and/or being from Oceania can provide an oceanic lens to unmake settler-Indigenous binaries through 1) situating place-based Filipinx positions in relation to other differently displaced peoples who are, in their own ways, struggling for decolonial and abolitionist justice and 2) the co-creation of land and ocean/water alter/Native place-based ways of recognizing one another beyond the state(s). We aim for an Oceanic Filipinx lens that hones in on the historical, social, political, and economic formation of the Filipinx/a/o identity category in its respective place-based contexts. (Alegado 2000; Linmark 1995; Saranillio 2008; Labrador 2015; Cachola et al., 2019; Gonzalez 2013; Compoc 2019). We anticipate submissions that bridge our rich traditions of resistances rooted in the lands, waters, languages, and cultures of the Philippine archipelago and routed in our Filipinx diasporas to one another and to that of other differently displaced communities we encounter. We look forward to works that connect Filipinx and the Native Pacific across time, space, politics, and cultures for the cultivation of transoceanic cultural resurgences and solidarities. We consider how an Oceanic Filipinx studies can help us trouble our understandings of structures, relations, institutions, and systems of power while maintaining our commitments to social justice and community praxis. 

What are the possibilities of an Oceanic Filipinx Studies? What does it mean to be Filipinx in Oceania? What might be the (dis)continuities between Oceanic Filipinx Studies and Filipino/Philippine studies? How might Filipinx experiences in Oceania inform different approaches to Philippine, Filipinx American, and Filipinx Diaspora Studies? How might we remap the relationship between Philippine, Filipinx American, Filipinx Diaspora, and Oceanic Filipinx Studies? How do Filipinx experiences in Oceania differ from the continental U.S. (Turtle Island) and in the homeland? How do Filipinx experiences of migration differ in Pacific geographies outside of the U.S. empire? How are Native Pacific movements for decolonization, sovereignty, and resistance and Critical Filipinx scholarship and activism informing one another? How might land-based, ocean/water-based scholarship allow us to think differently about the heterogeneity, multiplicity, and complexity of diasporic Filipinx migration and identity formation in and outside the Philippines? How can oceanic articulations of Blackness (as a cosmology; racialization; resistance; solidarity) and anti-Blackness inform an Oceanic Filipinx Studies? 

We invite submissions to reflect on, criticize, or celebrate our theme. We welcome diverse forms of engagement ranging from essays, articles, creative nonfiction, first person accounts, poetry, visual and multimedia arts. We encourage contributors living in and/or from Oceania, especially places such as Aotearoa, Samoa, Tonga, the Marianas, Guåhan, Palau, and Australia, to submit. Submissions must adhere to the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. More specific submission guidelines can be found on the Alon website. Original non-article submissions will be handled on a case-to-case basis. Please contact the guest editors via for questions and/or information.

Possible topics: Decolonizing Indigenous-Settler Relationalities through a (trans)oceanic lens 

● Filipinx Ecologies of the ocean and climate change 

● Filipinx reflections on (Anti)Blackness in Oceania 

● Filipinx reflections on anti-immigrant racism in Oceania 

● Filipinx participation in cultural revitalization in Oceania 

● Filipinx activism and community organizing in Oceania 

● Transoceanic cultural resurgence through the arts, music, poetry, performance 

● Filipinx feminist and queer engagements with Oceanic Feminisms (i.e. Mana Wahine / Mana Tamaʻitaʻi) ● Filipinx Labor migration to, within and across Oceania 

● The construction, heterogeneity, and multiplicity of the Filipinx/a/o identity category with regard to timing of migration, region, language, social class, religion, and nationality (i.e. second generation, working-class Ilokanos in Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i)

● Indigenous Philippine perspectives on living in and/or being from Oceania 

● Filipino/Philippine perspectives/ (dis)continuities of Oceanic Filipinx Studies 

● Demilitarization Struggles in the Philippines and Oceania 

● Filipinx and Pacific Islander debates on sovereignty 

● Mixed raced Filipinx experiences in Oceania 

● Alternative historical mappings of travel and mobility between the Philippine archipelago and Oceania 

● Remapping Comparative transoceanic perspectives between the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Oceania 

● Rethinking the limitations of AAPI 

● Filipinx American and Pacific Islander community organizing in Turtle Island 

● Examples of Oceanic Filipinx Studies P-20 curriculum

CFP: Towards an Oceanic Filipinx Studies