Filipino-Canadian Studies, Diasporic Philippine Studies, Critical Race Studies

Summary of Research Topic

Dr. Tungohan, in partnership with an international network of researchers are advancing the study of Filipino studies, including hosting the first ever academic symposium on Filipinos in Canada in 2009. While Filipino community and grassroots organizations have conducted numerous research studies on Filipinos in Canada in order to better understand the community they serve, the academic fields of Filipino-Canadian studies or Diasporic Philippine studies was virtually non-existent in Canada.

Entitled “Spectres of (In)visibility: Filipinos in Canada,” the three-day SSHRC-funded symposium organized by Dr. Tungohan and her colleagues was held at the University of Toronto in 2009 and featured presentations from a wide array of community members and scholars on different facets of the Filipino community in Canada.

Using a critical race studies approach, Dr. Tungohan’s work rejects hegemonic representations of Canadian multiculturalism by critically assessing how concepts such as ‘integration,’ ‘recognition’, and ‘tolerance’ leave unquestioned structural conditions of inequality between different racial groups and, more problematically, rely on ethno-national logics that assume the ‘sameness’ of different individuals and groups within a single census category without interrogating differences wrought by varying social locations. By questioning nation-states’ classification of Filipinos in Canada as a unitary whole, Dr. Tungohan and her fellow researchers highlight the contradictory ways the Canadian-state places different racial groups in categories of difference and recognition; the intertwined realities of gender, labour, and migration that have shaped many Filipino migrants’ settlement trajectories; the cultural politics imbued in representations of Filipinos and/or the Philippines by mainstream technologies such as museums and textbooks and by Filipino artists themselves; and, finally, the spaces and subjectivities that have come to define Filipino youths’ experiences in Canada.

Related Publications

  • Coloma, R., McElhinny, B., Tungohan, E., Catungal, J. P. C. and Davidson, L. (2012). Spectres of (In)visibility: Filipina/o Labour, Culture, and Youth in Canada. In B. McElhinny, L. Davidson, J. P. C. Catungal and R. Coloma (Eds.), Disturbing Invisibility: Filipinos in Canada (pp. 5-45). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (Permalink)
  • Coloma, R. S., McElhinny, B., Tungohan, E., Catungal, J. P. C. and Davidson, L. M. (2012). Disturbing Invisibility: Filipinos in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (Permalink)