Ateneo de Manila University professor emeritus Soledad S. Reyes, eminent critic and scholar, will deliver the eighth Adrian E. Cristobal Lecture on Feb. 20, 2018, 4-6 pm, at the Faura Hall AVR, Ateneo de Manila University.
Reyes’s lecture titled “Past Meaning, Present Significance: Lessons from the Novel in the Year of the Dog,” assesses the novel in Filipino as having “actively engaged key moments in our history, from the Revolution of 1898, to the 1930s peasant rebellion, the Second World War, and the Martial Law regime.”
As a revaluation of this “marginalized body of writing,” the lecture “proposes to show how several novelists deployed the power of literature to interpret and construct various “realities” that demonstrate the specific way in which novelists viewed the relationship between literature and history.”
“In the process, it hopes to fill in some gaps in the nation’s evolving narrative,” Reyes wrote, in the lecture’s abstract.
“Although viewed as archival materials,” Reyes argues, “the novels possess the power to speak to us, even as in the act of reading/re-reading, we see how different writers explored themes revolving around the colonial experience, unrest in the countryside, corruption, and violence, to name a few.”
“The task at hand is to show how 20th century novels that resonated with generations of readers remain relevant to us, as we reel from conflicts bearing an uncanny resemblance to the problems and issues of the past.”
The Cristobal Lecture is a series co-sponsored by the Cristobal Family and the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL), in honor of the late litterateur, fictionist, playwright, essayist, satirist, newspaper columnist, and public intellectual, who also once served as UMPIL chair. It annually invites Filipino public intellectuals to engage relevant issues and concerns in Philippine culture and society.
Past lecturers include Gemino H. Abad (2011), Virgilio S. Almario (2012), Resil Mojares (2013), Reynaldo Ileto (2014), Solita Collas Monsod (2015), Marites Danguilan Vitug (2016), and Alfred Yuson (2017).
Reyes is professor emeritus at the Ateneo de Manila University, and author of books on criticism, women’s writings, and popular culture, most recently, Retrieving the Past/Recuperating the Voice (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House).
The lecture is co-presented by the Ateneo’s Kagawaran ng Filipino and Department of English.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For inquiries and to save seats, email Louie Jon A. Sanchez at