Cover for Suarez: The Work of Mothering: Globalization and the Filipino Diaspora. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

The Work of Mothering

Globalization and the Filipino Diaspora

Literature and film on Filipina women working overseas

Women make up a majority of the Filipino workforce laboring overseas. Their frequent employment in nurturing, maternal jobs--nanny, maid, caretaker, nurse--has found expression in a significant but understudied body of Filipino and Filipino American literature and cinema.

Harrod J. Suarez's innovative readings of this cultural production explores issues of diaspora, gender, and labor. He details the ways literature and cinema play critical roles in encountering, addressing, and problematizing what we think we know about overseas Filipina workers. Though often seen as compliant subjects, the Filipina mother can also destabilize knowledge production that serves the interests of global empire, capitalism, and Philippine nationalism. Suarez examines canonical writers like Nick Joaquín, Carlos Bulosan, and Jessica Hagedorn to explore this disruption and understand the maternal specificity of the construction of overseas Filipina workers. The result is a series of readings that develop new ways of thinking through diasporic maternal labor that engages with the sociological imaginary.

"Suarez uses literature to envision alternative ways of being, of inhabiting the world, unfettered from limits proscribed by the ideology of the national and contemporary globalization. The Work of Mothering successfully harnesses the literary imagination to envision a different political and cultural future." --MELUS

"The Work of Mothering offers an innovative reading into the margins of texts, thus questioning knowledge production and interrogating our epistemological systems." --Literary Research

"With cogent observations on contemporary fiction, poetry, film, migration, domestic labor, and politics, Harrod Suarez illuminates the fraught ways in which the Philippines is imagined as Inang Bayan, 'mother country.' The Work of Mothering beautifully captures the nuances of language, gesture, and emotion, demonstrating how the practice of careful reading can help us look beyond the oppressive structures of nation, gender, and capital and rethink the most foundational of human relationships."--Josephine Lee, coeditor of Asian American Plays for a New Generation

"The Work of Mothering brilliantly shows how the figure of the Filipina mother as a national symbol and transnational worker becomes a gateway to engaging and challenging nationalist and globalist projects. As an analysis of the racial, gendered and cultural aesthetics of nationalism and diaspora, Suarez’s book intervenes into questions that live at the center of many fields."—Roderick Ferguson, author of The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference

Harrod J. Suarez is an assistant professor of English and comparative American studies at Oberlin College.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Raced to Death in 1920s Hawai i - Cover
Raced to Death in 1920s Hawai i

Injustice and Revenge in the Fukunaga Case

Jonathan Y. Okamura

Islanders in the Empire - Cover
Islanders in the Empire

Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘i

JoAnna Poblete

Fighting from a Distance - Cover
Fighting from a Distance

How Filipino Exiles Helped Topple a Dictator

Jose V. Fuentecilla

Queering the Global Filipina Body - Cover
Queering the Global Filipina Body

Contested Nationalisms in the Filipina/o Diaspora

Gina K. Velasco

The Labor of Care - Cover
The Labor of Care

Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in the Digital Age

Valerie Francisco-Menchavez

Pacific Pioneers - Cover
Pacific Pioneers

Japanese Journeys to America and Hawaii, 1850-80

John E. Van Sant

Disrupting Kinship - Cover
Disrupting Kinship

Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States

Kimberly D. McKee

Muncie, India(na) - Cover
Muncie, India(na)

Middletown and Asian America

Himanee Gupta-Carlson

Virtual Homelands - Cover
Virtual Homelands

Indian Immigrants and Online Cultures in the United States

Madhavi Mallapragada

Chino - Cover

Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

Jason Oliver Chang

Manifest Technique - Cover
Manifest Technique

Hip Hop, Empire, and Visionary Filipino American Culture

Mark R. Villegas

Discriminating Sex - Cover
Discriminating Sex

White Leisure and the Making of the American "Oriental"

Amy Sueyoshi

The Fight for Asian American Civil Rights - Cover
The Fight for Asian American Civil Rights

Liberal Protestant Activism, 1900-1950

Sarah M. Griffith