The Work of Mothering
Globalization and the Filipino Diaspora
University of Illinois Press 2017
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Asian American StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Southeast Asian StudiesNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network February 8, 2018 Chris Patterson
Harrod Suarez‘s new book The Work of Mothering: Globalization and the Filipino Diaspora (University of Illinois Press, 2017) focuses on the domestic workers that make up around a third of all overseas Filipino/a workers, and whose remittances back to the Philippines contribute to about 9% of its GDP or around twenty billion dollars. These migrants circulate through the world serving in positions of nurture, care, and service. Suarez examines literary, film, and cultural representations of these figures as part and parcel of a broader historical movement that structures the Philippines under globalization. To understand the multiple sites and histories of these figures, Suarez employs a framework that he calls “the diasporic maternal,” which focuses on the various forms of care and service that these migrants occupy throughout the world. Through a reading method that Suarez calls “archipelagic reading,” Suarez attempts to trace the undercurrents of these narratives that expose the feelings, desires and strategies that exist outside of motherhood and maternal care.