HomeAKDA: The Asian Journal of Literature, Culture, Performancevol. 1 no. 1 (2016)

"Wrestling With the Angels": The Limits of Postcolonial Performativity1

Antonette Talaue-Arogo



This paper examines the current state of postcolonialism in the Philippines, represented by the critical works of J. Neil C. Garcia. It argues that the present privileging of difference in the mode of postcolonial (hybrid) performativity, as Garcia theorizes the intersection of postcolonialism and queer theory, creates the urgency for a re-examination of its denigrated other, sameness. By first delineating the contours of Garcia’s framework, it explains how hybridity is an inadequate setting for the understanding of salient and necessary but under-elaborated elements of postcolonial thought, namely, voluntarism or intentionality and universalism, the very objects of Garcia’s critique. The paper demonstrates that recuperation of these categories enables a renewed appreciation of postcolonial ethics and politics.