Archipelagic American Studies
Migrating Identities, Moving Borders
Focusing on the presence of Robinson Crusoe in Carlos Bulosan’s America Is in the Heart (1946), this essay examines how Bulosan’s novel about Filipino migrant labor uses the figure of the island to undercut the unconscious spatial frameworks of US empire. By inverting Defoe’s island tale onto a Filipino migrant’s “voyage in” to the “island” of America, the novel critically remaps the United States across a trans-Pacific archipelagic imaginary in which it becomes merely one island among many. At the same time, America Is in the Heart uses the figure of the island to represent new transnational communities and subjects...