Showing posts from February, 2006


Its fun being an up and coming academic or scholar and not having any established parameters for my work. So when I give presentations, no one knows anything I've done usually, so they ask for a bio or a description to present me. Its always fun putting them together, because while some things always go into them, other things I can shift around and play with.

For example, this line goes in nearly all bios,

"Michael Lujan Bevacqua is a graduate student in Ethnic Studies at The University of California, San Diego and the editor of the Chamorro Zine Minagahet ("

The next line I always try to sneak in, but almost always gets taken out by the people who read it or publish it,

"He is the grandson of Elizabeth Flores Lujan (familian Kabesa) and the Chamorro Master Blacksmith Joaquin Flores Lujan (familian Bittot)"

I guess its a somewhat unconventional thing to have in someone's bio, but this is how I am known throughout Guam, as the …

The Scene of Liberation or "Ma Satba Hit"

Just wanted to share with everyone my talk from the Oberlin Asian Pacific American Conference I attended last week. All in all it was a great experience, young students so energetic I seriously felt like a cranky old man to be around them. This feeling was very new to me, as usually in conferences I feel like some new kid on the block, or some young punk who isn't really familiar with the lingo or the literature. This of course making me for the first time in a while feel very mature and also indicating to me that my window of possibility for dating undergrads passed several years ago.

Bente singko anos yu', kao esta bihu yu'? Achokka' sigun i calendario ahe' siempre, i siniente-ku na sina.

"The Scene of Liberation"
Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Refocusing Our Lenses Conference
Oberlin University, February 18, 2006

Much of my work during the past few years has revolved around a complex yet sometimes traumatically simple question: Why have Chamorros from Guam become so…

Third Space Food

*** Please Forward Widely ***
thirdspace - an anti-racist feminist magazine - is looking for submissionsfor our next issue (volume 24 number 3). The theme is "Food" - interpret how you wish - and submissions are due by FRIDAY, MARCH 31st, 2006.
Possible topics (just to float some ideas out there):- What nourishes you? (Body? Mind? Soul?)- How do you see the future of food?- What's your relationship to food?- How does food intersect with your politic?- What's the food situation in your community?- How have you learned about food?- What is your favourite food or recipe and why?- How have your ideas about food changed over time?- Where does your food come from?- the list will grow according to your submissions...
Remember, we also love reviews of relevant books/films!And we always need photos and images to illustrate written pieces.
Anyone from anywhere may submit!
thirdspace accepts comics, poetry, short fiction, artwork, rants, creativenon-fiction, book/film/music reviews…

Agang, Agang

Este i fine'nina na chinagi para este na betsu, bai hu na'lamaolek later. Yanggen un chagi kumanta este, kanta gui' gi i tune "Call me, Call me," tinige' Si Yoko Kanno ginnen Cowboy Bopeep/Bebop.

Agang yu'

Manmahuchom i mata'-hu lao sigi ha'
Annok hao, ya mikilot-mu
Humalom kombalachi ya mala'mok
Lao masi'eng hao, un na'fitme

Agang, agang, sotta hinasso-ku
Agang, agang, na'ketu yu' guatu
Ya bei hu ketungo'
I siniente ni' huma'lak yu'
Hafa bidada-mu?
Kumonne' yu' guenao guatu?

Un na'i yu' esta korason-mu
Lao nai manhoben hit, lao sigi ha' magahet?
Dos diha mit desde ma'pos hao
Achokka' ti ya-mu, bei hu aligao

Agang, Agang, na'tungo' mangge hao
Agang, Agang, chalani yu' guatu guenao
Ti bei sotta hao
Esta ki un admite
Nai un dingu yu'

The End of the End of History?

This is a very interesting turn of events. Although in theoretical circles Fukuyama's texts are kind of funny in a cute "ahhhh, look at the little Hegelian" way, one must admit a very real hegemony around his thesis on history's end. What else could explain both the neo-conservative and neo-liberal pushes in this country, and I mean both at the levels of politicians and people interviewed by news media who think that a war with Iran isn't such a bad idea since its closer than Iraq, just south of Mexico. Take for example this quote that Bush made to Bob Woodward in 2002 speaking about the War on Terror, “At some point, we may be the only ones left. That’s okay with me. We are America.” The frightening echoing point in this is of course, not that America might be the last man standing, but that American already is the last man standing.

Published on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 by Inter Press Service
"Leninists!" Cries Neo-Con Nabob, Suing for Divorce
by Ji…

The Federal Bitchalism

I posted articles a few days ago about the growing scandal over the Tiyan landowners and whether or not the Federal Government will re-take the land which was returned to them, or if the local government will stand up and fight for their rights.

This issue is of supreme importance and it shows one of the limits of most vocal forms of activism on Guam over the past few decades. In his afterword to Penelope Bordallo Hofschneider's text Campaign For Political Rights on the Island of Guam (1899-1950), Robert Underwood makes the point that issue of tano' or land have been at the core of any Chamorro radicalization since World War II. Land issues were the one thing that could turn anyone, whether a nurse, a teacher, a farmer or a soldier into an activist, indigenous or otherwise.

Over the past decade indigenous activism has settled into a sort of lull on Guam. Some attribute this to the death of Angel Santos or poor economic conditions (such as that urban legend that the closing of ba…

Cooked Fanihi Part 1


Update on the Tiyan Landowners

Tiyan land issue makes it to Capitol Hill
by Mindy Fothergill, KUAM News
Monday, February 13, 2006

Governor Felix Camacho will stand by original landowners as they fight to keep their recently returned Tiyan properties. After concerns were raised about the possible reversion of Tiyan land to the federal government, Guam's case has made it to the White House, as the island's chief executive says the battle against the feds has just begun.

The plight of original landowners faced with the possibility of their land being condemned so a highway can be built in Tiyan has made its way to the nation's capitol. Governor Felix Camacho contacted inter-governmental affairs officials in Washington, D.C. to see what can be done about the Federal Highway Administration's threats to take back Tiyan lands. Optimistically Camacho forecasted, "The battle has just begun, but it's one we're going to win."

The Governor is working on Guam's game plan saying the goal is simpl…

Refocusing Our Lenses

Big milestone in my life alert!

For the first time ever, I have been invited to attend a conference, and the best part it, they are taking care of all the travel, hotel and food arrangements and expenses! I've been to conferences where my expenses were paid for, but this is the first time that I was invited to come and speak and didn't have to submit an abstract. BIBA!

The conference sounds very interesting, its full title is "14th Biennial Mid-west Asian / Pacific American Conference. REFOCUSING OUR LENSES:Confronting Contemporary Issues of Globalization and Transnationalism." The bulk of the conference will be four panels, immigration, human trafficking, militarization and environment. I'll be on the militarization panel. They have it set up in an interesting way, we're only supposed to to talk for 8-10 minutes for our presentations which leaves the vast majority of the sessions for discussion. I seriously hope I don't run out of things to say.

Here's …

The End of Evangelion and the Beginning of Cowboy Bebop

I recently received a call for papers on the topic of "film remakes." The abstract for papers is due the beginning of March and there's a possibility it'll turn into a book. As a lover of movies and other pop culture artifacts, and an academic who actively attempts to incorporate this love into my more supposedly serious work this edition excited me. I should note though that alot of times this incorporation doesn't go over very well. Last week for example, I received incredulous looks from a Native American girl when I said that Gayatri Spivak's question of "Can the Subaltern Speak?" can be answered through the song Don't Speak by No Doubt. If you think that's out of control, wait until you see me and my friend Madel try to show how Micronesians operate as American Viagra in producing American patriotism and sovereignty, through the lyrics to Weezer's El Scorcho. For most people these topics are intensely serious and therefore should be…

Anything Guam, Everything Chamorros

I'm doing my best to get back into a regular writing routine for this blog. In case you haven't noticed I've been writing sparodically lately and mainly just recycling things that I've written elsewhere or for classes.

Part of the reason for this absence of writing on my blog has been because I'm writing way too much crap elsewhere. I'm trying to get my latest master's thesis done by May, and so I'm neck deep in that. At the same time I deal with an extra couple dozens emails each week about the Famoksaiyan conference that I'm helping put together. This extra couple dozens emails means more time spent responding to emails. Then there's the fact that I've got three conference presentations coming up in the next three months, each of them different papers. PLUS, I've got one article that I'm trying to work on with my friend Madel to be finished by June.

I've got to get back to the point where I see my blog not as some extra work, but…

Modernity's Golem

Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Professor Da Silva
Theories in Ethnic Studies

Thinking Fragments, Jane Flax
(apologies for the unfinished sentences)

I’d like to begin with a few banal statements which will hopefully help in finding a way to begin talking about this text. As I am typing, and thinking about the ways in which I might begin, I am resisting the urge to respond directly to the response papers which have already been circulated. That would be a more satisfying and engaging experience than blandly describing the text using such romance killing words such as “generative.”

The writing of papers which elaborate on the main points of any text is always a difficult task for me. In thinking of this, I am reminded of an interview Derrida gave for an American documentary crew, where the initial inquiry boiled down to “love, elaborate.” He responded that he couldn’t do it, and that he had an empty head for love in general. When assigned these sorts of things for classes, …

What could the relationship be between blind patriotism and second class citizenship?

What people on Guam, especially Chamorros need to realize is that the way we remember the war and celebrate its end and often times forget what came afterwards have left many wounds for many Chamorros still open and very painful. And not always for the reasons we usually talk about. Yes, the Japanese were brutal, but the Americanization of Guam has been just as brutal (of course in a slightly different way), and there is a need for discussions about both, which go beyond patriotic propaganda or re-naming ceremonies.

I was speaking to a Chamorro woman who had been raised stateside, and never taught a word of Chamorro by her parents. I asked her why her parents had been so antagonistic about everything Chamorro. I expected to hear the usual response about the parents wanting their children to have more opportunities and a chance for a better future. I was surprised however when she said that her parents had left Guam because they were afraid another war might break out, and d…

Famoksaiyan - Chamorro/Chamoru Conference

Just wanted to give everyone and anyone an update on the Famoksaiyan conference that is taking place this April 14 -15 in San Diego. Our initial deadline for submissions passed two weeks ago and we received alot more submissions than I thought we would. The only problem though is that they are too far spread out to form all of our panels. While half of the panels for this conference are set now, the other half are still up in the air because we couldn't find three to four submissions which worked well around a particular theme. So if anyone out there is interested in presenting their work or ideas at this gathering please feel free to get in touch with me, my email is below as well as a description of what Famoksaiyan is supposed to be. Right now we are looking for people to present on possibly Chamoru/Chamorro language, Chamorro creativity whether in arts, theater, literature, Chamorro/Guam history, or Chamorro activism/networking (whether in Guam or the US mainland). These are t…