Book Manuscript: "Imminent Communities: Transpacific Literary Form and Racialization in the Long Nineteenth Century"

Subjects: American Literature, Transpacific Studies, Asian American Studies, Filipino Literature,

Japanese Literature, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century


My manuscript examines literary contestations of an imperial rhetoric I call Pacific Imminence

a ruse of American exceptionalism that framed U.S. Pacific ascendancy as an impending

development inaugurating global economic prosperity and a harmonious community of

humankind. Through the continental imaginary of Manifest Destiny, most Americanist

scholarship has viewed the Pacific as a peripheral site of empire-building in the long

nineteenth-century. By contrast, I argue that the Pacific uniquely catalyzed a globalist

re-branding of U.S. imperialism that American and East Asian writers resisted through fictional

forms. Such works undercut Pacific imminence by narrating the persistence of colonial

antagonisms. Authors whose work I study include Herman Melville, Sui Sin Far, José Rizal, 

Lafcadio Hearn, Onoto Watanna, Yone Noguchi, and James Fenimore Cooper.


Upcoming presentations:

"Recasting Filibusterism(o): National Romance, Corruptive Cosmopolitanism, and American Intrigue in the Novels of José Rizal." American Studies Association Annual Meeting. Westin Peachtree Plaza. Atlanta, Georgia. 9 November 2018.

"Frontier Fantasies: Manifest Destiny and the Eighteenth-Century Roots of 'Pacific Imminence.'" Society of Early Americanists Eleventh Biennial Conference. University of Oregon and Hilton Eugene Hotel. Eugene, Oregon. 28 Feb - 2 Mar (date TBA).


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