Into the Woods: Toward a Material Poetics of the Tropical Forest in Philippine Literature




tropical forest, Material Poetics, Philippine literature, new materialism, Tropical Materialism, tropicality, more-than-human


This study considers how the tropical forest as a material and discursive space mediates the ways in which history is imagined in Philippine literary texts and literary production. Mobilizing ideas from new materialism, material poetics, and tropicality, the paper looks at generative moments from indigenous and revolutionary literature—two broad traditions whose conditions of possibility are inextricably linked with the materiality of the tropical forest and thus inevitably evince the structuring force of such nonhuman agencies and subjectivities. By disclosing how the “more than human” is constitutive of history and historical subject formation, it seeks to foreground the agency of Philippine forests in actively and collaboratively contesting the catastrophic violence of capital and state-making on people and the natural world.

Author Biography

Glenn Diaz, Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines

Dr Glenn Diaz is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University. He is the author of the novels The Quiet Ones (2017) and Yñiga (2022) and the chapbook When the World Ended I Was Thinking About the Forest, published by Paper Trail Projects. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, Australia.


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How to Cite

Diaz, G. (2022). Into the Woods: Toward a Material Poetics of the Tropical Forest in Philippine Literature. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 21(2), 120–139.