The Scene: Filipino Pageantry

WHAT: Filipino Pageantry and the Limits of Canadian Multiculturalism with Robert DiazWHEN: Thursday November 14, 2013, @2:30 pm WHERE: Room 626 Kaneff Tower @ York University, 4700 Keele St, Toronto

Examining the Miss Gay Philippines Canada from its inception to conclusion, this talk will center on the following key concerns: How might the gay beauty pageant produce queer Filipino visibilities that index the limits of Canadian multiculturalism in the contemporary moment? As Martin Manalansan and Fannella Cannell note, gay Filipino beauty pageants articulate the larger diaspora?s experiences with Spanish, American, and Japanese colonialisms. In this regard, how might these colonial histories collide with the inclusionary politics of Canadian multiculturalism that, as Himani Bannerji argues, often maintains racialized hierarchies by simplifying and occluding such complex histories? How might the beauty pageant re-conceptualize Canadian multiculturalism as a heteronormative, transnational, and neoliberal construct? This lecture is in dialogue with the generative work of scholars such as Roland Coloma, John Paul Catunggal, Eleanor Ty, Ethel Tungohan, and Bonnie McElhinny (among others), who have destabilized Filipino invisibilities within the Canadian setting. Ultimately, this presentation focuses on a smaller case study in order to begin a larger conversation about the importance of queer Filipino sexualities in reshaping Canadian multiculturalism, with all its attendant limits and possibilities.

* Dr. Robert Diaz Jr. is an Assistant Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Program at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research and teaching focus on the intersections of Asian North American, Filipino, Sexuality, and Postcolonial Studies. His first project, Reparative Acts: Performing Queer Redress in Philippine Nationalisms interrogates the relationship between histories of nationalism, imperialism, and redress. His second book project, Queer Filipinos and Canadian Multiculturalisms centers on the experiences of queer Filipinos in Canada in order to track how the diaspora's histories with multiple forms of colonialism and racialization offer new perspectives for problematizing the limits of Canadian multiculturalism. Diaz is also committed to community engagement and social justice, by working with LGBT and Filipino focused organizations such as ACAS and Kapisanan in the Greater Toronto Area.