Pilipinx becoming, punk rock pedagogy, and the new materialism

Noah Romero


This paper employs the new materialist methodology of diffraction to probe the entanglements of matter and discourse that comprise the assemblage of Pilipinx becoming, or the ways by which people are racialized as Pilipinx. By methodologically diffracting Pilipinx becoming through the public pedagogy of punk rock, this research complicates standard stories of Pilipinx identity to provoke more generative encounters with the Pilipinx diaspora in Oceania. As new materialist theory holds that social life is produced by aggregations of related events, it rejects the notion that ontological becoming is dictated by immutable systemic or structural realities. This application of new materialist ontology contributes to understandings of relationality by demonstrating how Pilipinx identity emerges out of processes of relational becoming comprised of co-constitutive discourses, movements, and materialities of human and nonhuman origin. This approach troubles conceptions of Pilipinx becoming which propose that Pilipinx bodies are racialized through the imposition of colonial mentalities and broadens these theorizations by approaching Pilipinx becoming as a relational process in which coloniality plays a part. This relational conceptualization of Pilipinx becoming is informed by how punk rock, when framed as a form of education, complicates dominant understandings of the contexts, conditions, and capacities of Pilipinx bodies. In so doing, it demonstrates how public pedagogies and alternative approaches to education transform affect economies which produce the material conditions of gendered and racialized oppression.


Philippine diaspora, relationality, new materialism, punk, decolonisation

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