Carlos Bulosan was a migrant worker, labor activist, and writer. His novel America is in the Heart continues to be an important piece of activist scholarship. Although a fictionalized account, America is in the Heart is an important chronicle of the real-life the struggles of early 20th century Filipino laborers, who were subjected to low-wages, long work hours, and rough working conditions. Bulosan’s writings galvanized the Filipino community and influenced future generations to organize themselves to fight against exploitation.
The Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies Initiative (BCFSI) aims to continue Bulosan’s legacy by advancing research, education, and advocacy for historical and contemporary issues faced by Filipinos in the United States, the Philippines, and abroad. Under the direction of Dr. Robyn Rodriguez (Professor and Chair of the UC Davis Department of Asian American Studies) the BCFSI seeks to establish both a physical and digital institution at the UC Davis campus. The Center’s focus will stretch across multiple disciplines and fields, such as public policy, sociology, cultural studies, history, public & economic health.