Fragments towards a poetic cartography of Philippine history and herstory in the selected poems of Luisa Igloria

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Literature

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

David Jonathan Y. Bayot

Defense Panel Chair

Genevieve L. Asenjo

Defense Panel Member

Feorillo Petronilo A. Demeterio, III
Dinah T. Roma
Isodoro Cruz
Elenita D. Garcia


This dissertation analyzes select poems of the multi-awarded Filipina poet Luisa Igloria and considers how they are able to do a poetic cartography of the Philippine nation as it exists in an archipelago of representations from/on the Philippines. It examines three major elements through which Philippine history and herstory have been shaped and contested: history, race and gender. It likewise explores how Luisa Igloria has entered into the discourse of things Philippine in her many poems which openly allude to and are overtly related with issues pertaining to the Philippine nation. As a Filipino living in the United States or in the belly of the beast figuratively speaking, it can likewise be said that Luisa Igloria is writing at one of the most potent centers of representation. Hence this dissertation performs close and discursive readings on Igloria's select poems in order to highlight themes like signifying practice, representation and critical intervention. The close reading of Igloria's poems is undertaken in the light of the style articulated by Helen Vendler and Marjorie Perloff - on which important elements of Luisa Igloria's poetry (Plot, Structure, Figurative Language and Theme) are identified and analyzed. A discourse analysis along the critical and foregrounded postcolonial points of Bill Ashcroft et al is likewise made after the close reading. In order to further clarify how Igloria's select poems are able to help identity, communicate and maintain a sense of national belonging despite being mere historical/herstorical fragments, this study also focuses on Thongchai Winichakul's book Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation (1994) and E. San Juan's poetry collection Balikbayang Mahal: Passages from Exile (2008). Aside from pointing out that Igloria consciously used poetic devices to highlight issues on history, culture and gender in her poems, this study also reveals that Igloria employed contextual interventions as reflected in the chapters of this study. All in all, this study attests that Iglorias poems about things Philippine and the Filipino people are important milestones in scholarship and criticism of the Philippines - as a nation and as a people not because they provide something new, but because they provide a good occasion for a retrospective assessment of the Filipino nation and its enduring literary, cultural, and political identity in relation with and sometimes in opposition to its Spanish, American and Japanese colonizers.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer disc; 4 3/4 in.


Philippine poetry (English); Poets, Filipino; Cartography--Philippines--History; Cartography in literature; Igloria, Luisa A., 1961- Poems. Selections

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