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Transpacific intercoloniality: rethinking the globality of Philippine literature in Spanish

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In 1964, Mexico and the Philippines commemorated the fourth centenary of Miguel López de Legazpi and Andrés de Urdaneta’s 1564 expedition from New Spain to the Philippines. Celebrations, which were held in Mexico and the Philippines, included gift exchanges, the inauguration of monuments and lectures by politicians, diplomats and scholars from both nations. This transpacific encounter resonates with Enrique Dussel’s call for more “transversal” dialogues between intellectuals from the so-called peripheries of the world. However, participants in this collaboration were not forming a new transperipheral network. Instead, they were returning to a transpacific intercolonial link that had operated from 1565 to 1815: the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. This article focuses on the work of Mexican philosopher and diplomat Leopoldo Zea, one of the main organizers of the 1964 celebrations. While my argument is that reading José Rizal and planning the 1964 events contributed to Zea’s formulation of a vision of solidarity between nations of the so-called Third World, my ultimate objective is to rethink the “global” character of Philippine literature in Spanish through an examination of the cultural residues of the transpacific galleon trade.
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Keywords: Manila-Acapulco; Rizal; Transpacific; Zea; intercolonial

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Romance Languages and Literatures, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA

Publication date: April 3, 2019

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