Unthinking Consumption and Arrested Melancholia in Bienvenido Santos’ “The Excursionists”

  • Malini Johar Schueller


This essay uses the lens of racial melancholia to examine Filipino writer Bienvenido Santos’s representation of the complex relations between the colonial elite and the native through a literalizing of the hunger for colonial knowledge. In his short story “The Excursionists,” Santos positions the putative native elite subjects of U.S. tutelary colonialism as “arrested melancholics.” Their identities, dependent upon ingestion of colonial knowledge they can neither reject, nor fully incorporate, they dramatize the ambivalent process of attempting to reverse the effects of colonial injuries and tutelage. Santos demonstrates how hunger and consumption mediate hierarchical social relations and the problematic nature of appeals to colonial and neoliberal benevolence through the figure of the hungry native.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malini Johar Schueller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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