Davis, Rocío G. 1964-
Davis, Rocío G. 1964-
Born 1964, in Manila, Philippines; immigrated to Spain. Education: Ateneo de Manila, Philippines, B.A.; University of Navarra, Ph.D.
Home—Spain. Office—Modern Languages Department, University of Navarra, Campus s/n, Library Building, 31080-Pamplona, Navarra, Spain. E-mail—[email protected]
University of Navarra, Navarra, Spain, associate professor of American and postcolonial literature.
Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2006, for Literary Gestures: The Aesthetic in Asian American Writing.
Transcultural Reinventions: Asian American and Asian Canadian Short-Story Cycles, TSAR (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2001.
Begin Here: Reading Asian North American Autobiographies of Childhood, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 2007.
(With Rosalía Baena) Tricks with a Glass: Writing Ethnicity in Canada, Rodopi (Kenilworth, NJ), 2000.
(With Rosalía Baena) Small Worlds: Transcultural Visions of Childhood, Ediciones Universidad de Navarra (Pamplona, Spain), 2001.
(With William Boelhower and Carmen Birkle) Sites of Ethnicity: Europe and the Americas, Winter (Heidelberg, Germany), 2004.
(With Sámi Ludwig) Asian American Literature in the International Context: Readings on Fiction, Poetry, and Performance, LIT Verlag (Hamburg, Germany), 2004.
(With Sue-Im Lee) Literary Gestures: The Aesthetic in Asian American Writing, Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.
(With Jaume Aurell and Ana Beatriz Delgado) Ethnic Life Writing and Histories: Genres, Performance, and Culture, LIT Verlag (Hamburg, Germany), 2007.
Also editor of special issues of journals, including The Lion and the Unicorn (with Dolores de Manuel), Volume 30.2, April, 2006, "Asian American Children's Literature," and MELUS, Volume 29.1, spring, 2004, "Filipino American Literature."
Rocío G. Davis has written extensively on Asian American fiction and autobiography, postcolonial literatures, and children's literature. With Rosalía Baena, she edited Small Worlds: Transcultural Visions of Childhood, a collection of essays that explore the idea of the child in literature. Several essays analyze narratives of self-discovery and their relationship to postcolonial concerns; others explore patterns in the representation of children and of time. In the view of Atlantis contributor Jesus Varela Zapata, one of the most "suggestive" pieces deals with "autobiographical accounts by visually handicapped writers," including Stephen Kuusisto and Ved Mehta. Davis's interview with Canadian writer Paul Yee, the critic observed, "aptly" concludes the volume.
In Tricks with a Glass: Writing Ethnicity in Canada, Davis and fellow editor Baena present fourteen essays and two interviews that, as Davis writes, explore "the diverse ways in which Canadian writers have negotiated identity and space in terms of the realities of ethnicity." Essays analyze the works of such writers as Michael Ondaatje, Neil Bissoondath, Janice Kulyck Keerer, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Antonine Maillet, Joy Kogawa, and Rachna Mara. Though Guy Beauregard observed in Ariel that the collection "ranges widely and eclectically over contemporary Canadian writing," the reviewer pointed out that a significant flaw in the book is the fact that it "follows the prevailing biases of English literary studies in Canada by proceeding as if Quebec does not exist." Tricks with a Glass, Beauregard concluded, "records how certain scholars have approached the topic of ‘writing ethnicity in Canada’ in the 1990s but it stops short of showing us possible ways to rethink and push forward future critical discussions of ‘cultural difference’ in Canada."
In Transcultural Reinventions: Asian American and Asian Canadian Short-Story Cycles, Davis illuminates how North American writers of Asian ancestry have used the short-story cycle to, in the words of MELUS contributor Seiwoong Oh, "articulate their transculturality." Examining the work of such writers as Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Peter Bacho, Amy Tan, Rohinton Mistry, Sylvia Watanabe, Sigrid Nunez, and Toshio Mori, Davis shows that the conventions of the short-story cycle allow writers to create stories that are both independent and interdependent, and that are characterized by "plurality of perspectives and polyphony of voices, … resistance to closure, [and] the struggle between individualism and collectivity." As a result, the form provides writers with a means of communicating what Davis identifies as the "dynamic process of re-presentation" that typify the experiences of Asian Americans and Asian Canadians.
Davis continues to focus on issues relating to autobiography and ethnic identity in Begin Here: Reading Asian North American Autobiographies of Childhood. Choice contributor J.J. Wydeven praised Davis for refusing to surrender to simple sociological interpretations, pointing out that instead she "emphasizes authorial strategies of clarifying identity through language and involving readers intimately in interpreting complex ethnic experiences."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ariel, January 1, 2004, Guy Beauregard, review of Tricks with a Glass: Writing Ethnicity in Canada, p. 257.
Atlantis, December 1, 2002, Jesus Varela Zapata, review of Small Worlds: Transcultural Visions of Childhood.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April 1, 2006, V.M. Chang, review of Literary Gestures: The Aesthetic in Asian American Writing, p. 1405; Volume 45, number 2, October, 2007, J.J. Wydeven, review of Begin Here: Reading Asian North American Autobiographies of Childhood.
Journal of Asian American Studies, Volume 5.3, 2002, Monica Chiu, review of Asian American Literature in the International Context: Readings on Fiction, Poetry, and Performance; February, 2007, Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, review of Literary Gestures, pp. 85-93.
MELUS, spring, 2003, Seiwoong Oh, review of Transcultural Reinventions: Asian American and Asian Canadian Short-Story Cycles; spring, 2007, Jeffrey F.L. Partridge, review of Literary Gestures.
Modern Fiction Studies, winter, 2003, Monica Chiu, review of Transcultural Reinventions.
Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2007, review of Begin Here.
Miscelánea Journal,http://www.miscelaneajournal.net/ (January 26, 2008), Beatriz Penas Ibáñez, review of Tricks with a Glass.