Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University—in cooperation with the Fine Arts Program (AdMU) and the Rizal Library—will host a lecture by Martin Villanueva and Ramon Guillermo. Villanueva and Guillermo are the guest editors of the special literary section on the Philippine literary essay, which will be part of the 26th issue of Kritika Kultura. A reading by Richard Calayag Cornelio, Carissa Pobre, and Carlos Quijon, Jr.—contributors to the literary section—will follow the lecture. The event will be on Mar. 15, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at 4/f Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University.

Villanueva and Guillermo will discuss the editorial sensibility and decisions which informed their process of putting together the special literary section. As they argue in their introduction, the contemporary Philippine essay sees the “value in breaking free from ‘creative nonfiction’ and returning to the weight that ‘essay’ brings with it in terms of etymology and therefore impetus, and also in terms of its long tradition which extends beyond informality, storytelling, and gestures toward supposed universal themes and leisurely affairs.” Moreover, the contemporary Philippine essay has the capacity to “include intelligent analysis, insightful criticism, intensive and self-reflexive reflection and rumination, as well as alertness to form.”

About the editors

Ramon Guillermo is Associate Professor at the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines-Diliman. He has written books and essays on translation studies, indigenization theory in the social sciences, and Philippine writing systems. He obtained a PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hamburg, Germany. 

Martin V. Villanueva teaches creative writing and literature at the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), where he is currently Director of the Fine Arts Program and the coordinator of its BFA Creative Writing degree program. He finished his undergraduate studies at AdMU and has an MFA in Creative Writing from De La Salle University. His essays have received prizes from the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and have been published most recently in Plural Prose Journal and Kritika Kultura. He was co-editor of the lyric essay issue of High Chair (with Oliver Ortega), published in 2015.