Adrian De Leon

Toronto, Ontario

I am a Classroom Support Representative and Undergraduate Summer Research Fellow at the University of Toronto Scarborough within the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies.

My current project, "Turo Turo: Public Domesticity and Filipino Canadian Foodways in Scarborough, Ontario," investigates Filipino restaurants in the east end of Toronto in relation to their local, translocal, and global networks. I also study these restaurants in their role as community centres, where nearby Filipinos congregate, and symbolic community staples, where Filipinos can feel at home in its many forms.

At Culinaria, we take pride in our multidisciplinary and multimedia approaches to food research. These approaches shape my project, and our team builds archives through video documentary, audio recordings, material collections, and photography.

My undergraduate capstone project, entitled "Standin' on one volcano: Filipino American Literature, US Multiculturalism in Hawai'i, and R. Zamora Linmark's Rolling the R's," critically examines the inter- and intra-ethnic relations in Linmark's novel with respect to a hegemonic American multicultural discourse. I situate Hawai'i, often known as a hyphen of the Pacific, as a third space in which assimilation and ethnic pluralism--two ends of a multicultural spectrum--break down into what I call a "volcano" model of multiculturalism specific to the post-colonial condition of the islands. I show how this model can be traced back to the Filipino American literary canon as well as discussions of race and belonging in ethnic American literature.

I have presented my work at symposia and conferences at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where I have won accolades for my research. I am a co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Research and Discovery Symposium at UTSC, for which I have been an Event Chair and an Undergraduate Keynote Speaker.

I teach Filipino martial arts in my local Scarborough community. I am a certified instructor in Kuntaw (mixed hand-and-foot combat from Mindanao), Sikaran (indigenous foot fighting), and Tagaan Arnis-Kawala (weapons and self-defense martial arts developed in Bataan).

I also write poetry and short fiction, in addition to critical writing. Some pieces of my work have been published in various journals.

  • Work
    • Culinaria Research Centre, UofT Scarborough
  • Education
    • University of Toronto Scarborough