Beauty and Brutality: Manila and Its Global Discontents (Paperback)

Beauty and Brutality: Manila and Its Global Discontents By Martin F. Manalansan IV (Editor), Robert Diaz (Editor), Roland B. Tolentino (Editor) Cover Image

Beauty and Brutality: Manila and Its Global Discontents (Paperback)


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Beauty and Brutality provides an exciting, original, and critical encounter with this labyrinthine city’s imagined and material landscape. The authors and contributors investigate the “messy, fleshy, recalcitrant, mercurial, and immeasurable qualities of the city,” examining its urban space and smell: how it is represented in films, literature, music, and urban streetart; how it has endured the politics of colonialism, U.S. imperialism, neoliberalism, and globalization; as well as how its queer citizens engage with digital media platforms to communicate and connect with each other. 

The first volume to offer a cultural and urban studies approach to Manila, Beauty and Brutality considers the tensions of the Filipino diaspora as they migrate and “re-turn,” as well as the citizens’ responses to the Marcos (and post-Marcos) dictatorship, President Duterte’s authoritarianism, and “Drug War.” Essays also map out of geographies of repression and resistance in the urban war of classes, genders and sexualities, ethnicities and races, and generations, along with the violence of urban life and growth. Ultimately, Beauty and Brutality frames Manila as a vibrant and ever-evolving metropolis that, even in the face of its difficulties, instills hope. 

Contributors: Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Christine Bacareza Balance, Vanessa Banta, Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo, Roland Sintos Coloma, Gary C. Devilles, Faith R. Kares, John B. Labella, Raffy Lerma, Bliss Cua Lim, Ferdinand M. Lopez, Paul Nadal, Jema M. Pamintuan, Oscar Tantoco Serquiña, Jr., Louise Jashil R. Sonido, and the editors.

Martin F. Manalansan IV is a Professor in the Department of American Studies and the Beverly and Richard Fink Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of several publications, including Cultural Compass: Ethnographic Explorations of Asian America, which won the Cultural Studies Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies in 2002, and Q&A: Voices from Queer Asian North America (both Temple).  

Robert Diaz is an Associate Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. He is the coeditor of Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries and a contributor to Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora and Global Asian American Popular Cultures.  His writing has also appeared in Signs, GLQ, TSQ, Journal of Asian American Studies, Asian Diasporic Visual Culture and the Americas, Women and Performance, and Topia.

Roland B. Tolentino is a Professor at the University of the Philippines Film Institute. He is the former Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, and former Director of Likhaan: the University of Philippines Institute of Creative Writing where he is also a fellow. He has taught at the Osaka University, National University of Singapore, and the University of California, Berkeley. He is the Chair of the National Committee on Cinema, and Commissioner for the Subcommission on the Arts of the National Committee for Culture and the Arts, as well as a board member of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.  

Product Details ISBN: 9781439922286
ISBN-10: 1439922284
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication Date: January 6th, 2023
Pages: 364
Language: English
Beauty and Brutality is a carefully curated, original, and sophisticated collection of essays that explores Manila in all of its complexity, possibility, and potential. Readers will engage with Manila through multiple senses—from the snarl of traffic and the density of the city’s air to its stunning display of cultural forms of resistance and persistence amid national and transnational violence. Beauty and Brutality provides key historical and contextual information, serving as an invaluable orientation to the city, what it represents, and its significance both within the Philippines and abroad.”—Denise Cruz, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and author of Transpacific Femininities: The Making of the Modern Filipina

“Metro Manila has long served as one of the world’s poster cities for uneven and unequal development. These exhaustive studies in Beauty and Brutality explore the vast complexity and manifold contradictions of Manila as a space of dense inhabitation and a place of conflicting affections. The editors and contributors attend, with criticality and care, to the irrepressible desires and hopes of its citizens, inveterate survivors of Manila’s long history of beautification and brutalization by capitalists and colonizers. To such ‘beauty’ and ‘brutality,’ contributor Ferdinand Lopez adds ‘blood,’ with its paradoxical connotations of vitality, vigor, and violence. Bloody, not just beautiful and brutal, this incomparable city is, indeed!”—Oscar V. Campomanes, Professor of English at Ateneo de Manila University

"An essential anthology of 15 essays curated by Manalansan, Diaz, and Tolentino, the book takes beauty as a point of departure to explore diverse spatio-temporal practices of city-making through Manila.... [A] unique contribution to both urban studies and Manila studies.... Beauty and Brutality presents an indispensable addition to the growing body of contemporary and historical works that seek to creatively document the fascinating shifts and spaces in a rapidly changing Manila."Journal of Urban Affairs