Jill Damatac, Selwyn

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Dr Chana Morgenstern
Dissertation Title:

Filipino American novels, 1946-present: articulating the American shift to empire


Biographical Information

I'm a writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Most recently, I completed an MSt in Creative Writing with distinction here at Cambridge; my dissertation examined the postcolonial migrant memoir as a form of archaeology, historical reconstitution, and tool for decolonisation. In 2017, I completed an MA in Documentary Film with distinction at the University of the Arts London; my short documentary Blood and Ink (Dugo at Tinta) and its exegesis paper looked at ethical considerations within reflexive autoethnographic filmmaking. That same documentary film screened at festivals worldwide, including DOC NYC and Cannes Court Métrage, winning Best Documentary at Kerry Film Festival. Alongside my PhD, I'm writing my first book, Dirty Kitchen, a memoir on Filipino food, unearthed histories, family, and growing up undocumented in America, to be published by Astra House Books in 2023.

Research Interests

My research will look at Filipino American literatures from 1946 to present, comparatively examining their interaction with and articulation of the American shift from isolationism to empire. 

Interests: Filipino American literatures; Southeast Asian American literatures; Asian American literatures; diasporic and migrant literatures; comparative literatures; intellectual histories and cultures of Asia, Southeast Asia, and their diasporas; anticolonial literatures and cultures; queer literatures, cultures, histories, and intellectual histories; literature and history; literature and social movements/activism; anticolonial and postcolonial theories; films and filmmaking; documentary films and filmmaking

Selected Publications

  • Essay: Dirty Kitchen, 2020, Asian American Writers' Workshop
    • Longreads Editors' Pick
    • Internazionale (Italian translation)
    • 360 Magazine (Dutch translation)
  • Book: Dirty Kitchen (forthcoming, 2023), Astra House Books
  • Conference: Literatures of the Left Behind: Missing Mama and Papa (forthcoming, January 2022), CRASSH Cambridge, "Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay" Conference
  • Conference: Blood and Ink (Dugo at Tinta), Annual Philippine Studies Conference, SOAS, 2017
  • Conference: Blood and Ink (Dugo at Tinta), University of the Philippines, Diliman, "Kurit: Ancient Scripts" Conference, 2019
  • Film Festivals: Blood and Ink (Dugo at Tinta), 2017. DOC NYC, Cannes Film Festival Court Métrage, Kerry Film Festival (Best Documentary winner), Fastnet Film Festival, Short Sighted Film Festival, Lost Format Film Festival