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.
"'El demonio de las comparaciones': Interdisciplinary Challenges to Transpacific Studies in the Nineteenth Century." American Studies Association Annual Meeting. Hawai'i Convention Center. Honolulu, Hawai'i. 9 Nov. 2019.