Department of English

University of Toronto

Cruz, Denise

Denise Cruz Denise Cruz 2
Associate Professor; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor (UTSG)
Office Phone: 416-978-6144
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 712
ENG140Y1Y Website
Faculty Bookshelf
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: By appointment until September 2016

Research Interests:
Transnational and Global feminisms, Asian North American Literature, American Literature

B.A., M.A., PhD, English (University of California, Los Angeles).

In her published and current research, Denise Cruz uses spatial and geographic formations (from the transpacific, to the regional, to the Global South) to examine previously unstudied archives (from the first works of English literature by Filipina and Filipino authors, to private papers that document connections between the Midwest and U. S. empire, to fashion shows in Manila). She contends that this combined analytical and archival approach extends our understanding of the importance of national, regional, transnational, and global dynamics in North America, the Philippines, and Asia. As a feminist scholar, she is especially interested in examining how these interactions have historically impacted and continue to influence constructions of gender and sexuality. Her first book, Transpacific Femininities: the Making of the Modern Filipina, analyzed connections between the rise of Philippine print culture in English and the emergence of new classes of transpacific women from the early to the mid-twentieth century. She argued that this period was dominated by a fascination with transpacific Asian women—figures who were connected to both nationalist movements in Asia and the global women's suffrage movement. While Transpacific Femininities centers on Filipina and Filipino literature and culture, ultimately, the book tracks geopolitical transitions and presents a new way of thinking about gendered productions, space, and constructions of a feminized Asia. She is currently working on two book projects: a study of Philippine fashion and its connections to the Global South (funded by a five-year Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), and an analysis of the importance of regions and regionalism to Asian America. Before arriving at the University of Toronto, she taught in the departments of English and American Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. Fueled by her research, her courses complicate the geographic, chronological, and disciplinary parameters that shape the study of gender, sexuality, and the global in twentieth and twenty-first century American, Asian North American, ethnic American, and Philippine literature and culture. She is also the current instructor of the first-year lecture course, ENG 140 (Literature for Our Time, description and syllabus available at


Transpacific Femininities: The Making of the Modern Filipina. Durham and London: Duke University Press, Fall 2012.
Honorable Mention, Best Book Published in Literary Studies in 2012, the Association for Asian American Studies (2014)

The Crucible: An Autobiography of ‘Colonel Yay,’ by Yay Panlilio. Scholarly edition of 1950 text with introduction and textual notes. New Brunswick, New Jersey and London: Rutgers University Press, 2009.

Articles and Chapters
“Archival Performances: Collective Creation and North American Indigenous History.” Forthcoming in American Literary History.

“Global Mess and Glamour: Behind the Spectacle of Transnational Fashion.” Journal of Asian American Studies 19, no. 2 (June 2016): 143-167.

“The Case of Felicidad Ocampo: A Palimpsest of Transpacific Feminism.” Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora. Ed. by Martin Manalansan and Augusto Espiritu. New York: New York University Press, 2016. 274-296.

“Transpacific Modernisms.” The Cambridge Companion to the American Modernist Novel. Ed. Joshua L. Miller. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 35-51.

“Filipino and Filipina Voices.” The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature. Ed. Rajini Srikanth and Min Hou Song. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 139-154.

“America’s Empire and the Asia-Pacific: Constructing Hawai’i and the Philippines. Coauthored with Erin Suzuki (Emory University). The Cambridge Companion to Asian-American Literature. Ed. by Daniel Y. Kim and Crystal Parikh. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 16-28.

“Monique Truong’s Literary South and the Regional Forms of Asian America.” American Literary History 26, no. 4 (2014): 716-741.

“Love is Not a Bowl of Quinces: Food, Desire, and the Queer Asian Body in The Book of Salt.” Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader. Ed. by Robert Ku, Martin Manalansan IV, and Anita Mannur. New York: NYU Press, 2013. 354-371.

Imagining a Transpacific and Feminist Asian American Archive.” Invited submission to “Theories and Methods” section on “Practices of the Ethnic Archive.” PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association 127, no. 2 (March 2012): 365-370.

“Pointing to the Heart: Transpacific Filipinas and the Question of Cold-War Philippine-U.S. Relations.” American Quarterly 63, no. 1 (March 2011): 1-32. Lead essay.

“Jose Garcia Villa’s Collection of Others: Irreconcilabilities of a Queer Transpacific Modernism.” “Regional Modernisms,” special issue of MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 55, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 11-41.

“Reconsidering McTeague’s ‘Mark’ and ‘Mac’: The intersections of U.S. Naturalism, Imperial Masculinities, and Desire Between Men.” American Literature 78, no. 3 (September 2006): 487-517.

Edited Entries and Introductions
“Empire, Independence, and Self-Definition: Voices from the Philippines.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature. 7th edition. Volume C, Late Nineteenth Century: 1865-1910. Forthcoming.

“A Sheaf of Early Filipino and Filipina Writers.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature. 6th edition. Volume C, Late Nineteenth Century: 1865-1910 (Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2010): 585-608.

“Bienvenido N. Santos.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature. 6th edition. Volume E: Contemporary Period: 1945 to the Present (Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2010): 2320-2326.

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