The "Manananggal": On the Labor of Difference

Lecture | January 31 | 12:30-2 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, UCLA

 Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Filipino and Philippine Studies Working Group

The manananggal (viscera sucker) has been the subject of countless Filipino films. Indeed, the Philippine popular culture industry has played a central role in ensconcing the manananggal in the Filipino cultural imaginary. Independent and commercial filmmakers have been co-conspirators in the powerful corporealization of this monster figure. This talk focuses on representations and engagements of the manananggal as a feminist national icon made to bear the weight of the social order because of her monstrous difference. In doing so, the talk considers the Filipino viscera sucker's "morphological dubiousness" as an embodiment of a social system that makes monsters.

Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns (Ph.D, UMass-Amherst) is Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA. She is the author of Puro Arte: Filipinos on the Stages of Empire (NYU Press, 2012), which received the 2014 Cultural Studies Book Award from the Asian American Studies Association. She is also a dramaturge; her most recent performance project was a collaboration titled Qnoum Kaun Khmer/ I am a Cambodian Child by Tiffany Lytle.

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