What can literature tell us about political economy and what can political economy tell us about literature?
I am an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of literature and economy, with a particular focus on Asian American and Philippine Anglophone literature. I read across literary and economic history and bring archival research to the study of 20th- and 21st-century fiction, developing a multiscalar reading practice that elaborates historical meaning contextually and in the form of the works themselves.
I develop this archival and formalist method in my current book project, “Remittances, Literary & Economic,” the first sustained inquiry into the convergence between novels and remittances, or the money that migrant workers send home. Theorizing the concept of remittances as a heuristic for reading the interconnection between circulations of labor and value on the one hand, and circulations of ideas and texts on the other, the book uncovers the surprising role that English-language literature played in the twentieth-century transformation of the Philippines into one of the world’s largest exporters of labor. I have shared parts of the book project in progress at New York University, Harvard University, the University of the Philippines, the American University of Beirut, and the Institute for Critical Theory at Duke University.