Glimpses: One Writer’s Journey: A Lecture and Reading by Luis H. Francia


The Departments of English and Fine Arts will host “Glimpses: One Writer’s Journey,” a lecture and reading by Luis H. Francia, Visiting Faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University for the second semester of SY 2016-2017. The event will be on Apr. 25, 2017, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at Faura AVR, Ateneo de Manila University. The event is open to the public.

Francia describes the event as follows: “After briefly giving an overview of my work, I shall read a selection of my works, both creative nonfiction and poetry, to give the audience a pretty good idea of how, what, and why I write. For nonfiction, I will read from Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago (2001) and from RE: Recollections, Reviews, Reflections (2015). For poetry, I shall read from Museum of Absences, Tattered Boat and some new works. Afterwards, Francis C. Sollano and I will have a conversation about my work, which can then segue into a Q & A with the audience.”


About Luis H. Francia

A Palanca Poetry Prize winner, Luis H. Francia’s latest poetry volume is Tattered Boat (2014). Previous collections include The Arctic Archipelago and Other Poems, Museum of Absences, and The Beauty of Ghosts.

He has published two collections of essays, Memories of Overdevelopment (1998) and RE (2015), the latter awarded the 2016 National Book Award for Best Essays in English. In 2002, he won both the PEN Open Book and the Asian American Writers literary awards for Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago. He is in the Library of America’s Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing.

A member of the New York Writers Workshop, he has conducted writing workshops at the City University of Hong Kong, the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and the Iowa Writers Summer Workshop. A humanities graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, he teaches at New York University and at Hunter College.


About Francis C. Sollano

Francis C. Sollano is an instructor in the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University where he also obtained his MA Literary and Cultural Studies. He received the Best Graduate Thesis Award from the School of Humanities in 2015 for his work, “Writing a Personal Archipelago: Filipino American Identity as an Ethopoetic Substance in Luis H. Francia’s Eye of the Fish.” He is also part of the editorial team of Kritika Kultura, the online journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University.

Free Additional National Lecture on Social History in PUP

Free Additional National Lecture on Social History in PUP

In celebration of the 30th year of Social History in PUP, the PUP Center for Social History (PUP-CSH) under the PUP Institute for Cultural Studies (PUP-ICS), PUP Office of the Vice President for Research, Extension, Planning and Development (PUP-OVPREPD) in cooperation with the PUP Office of International Affairs (PUP-OIA) will be holding a “National Lecture on Social History,” on November 11, 2016 at the PUP Main Building Accenture Room, 4th Floor, East Wing, Main Campus, Sta. Mesa, Manila. The lecture is FREE but OPEN TO TERTIARY TEACHERS ONLY.

The lecturer is Dr. Satoru Nishimura from Kagoshima University, Japan. He will discuss the “History of a Japanese Emigrant in the Philippines and His Descendants”.

Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis and there in no pre-registration. The actual registration starts at 12:00 noon and the lecture proper will start at 1:00 in the afternoon. Certificate of Attendance will be given to the participants after the lecture.

For more information, kindly contact Prof. Romeo Peña, Chief of PUP Center for Social History at 335.1787 or 335.1777 local 177 or email at

UST CCWLS to host Writing in Exile: A Conversation with Miguel Syjuco

The UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (UST CCWLS), in cooperation with the UST Department of Literature, will be holding “Writing in Exile: A Conversation with Miguel Syjuco” on May 4, 2016, 3:00-5:00 PM, at the Tanghalang Teresita Quirino, G/F Benavides Bldg., University of Santo Tomas, España St., Sampaloc, Manila. 

This event is part of the UST CCWLS’s International Writers and Scholars Series (IWSS) which consists of formal lectures and informal conversations. A regular program of the UST CCWLS, previous speakers of the IWSS include Filipino writers based abroad like Ninotchka Rosca, Sabina Murray, Gina Apostol, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, R. Zamora Linmark, Marivi Soliven, Lara Stapleton, M. Evelina Galang, Fidelito Cortes, Nerissa Balce, Amalia Bueno and Robert Nery, and foreign writers, like Tim Tomlinson, Dennis Haskell and Xu Xi. 

Miguel Syjuco is the grand prize winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize for his debut novel ILUSTRADO in 2008, which also won the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature, the Filipino Readers’ Choice Award, and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. Ilustrado was also a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award, the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal, the Prix Jan Michalski, the Prix Courrier International, the Premio Von Rezzori, and the Commonwealth First Book Prize for the Canada and Caribbean region. It has been translated into more than 15 languages. His second novel titled I WAS THE PRESIDENT’S MISTRESS!! A CELEBRITY TELL-ALL MEMOIR is forthcoming.

Syjuco was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University, a writer-in-residence at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and a visiting professor at New York University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the Santa Maddalena Foundation and grants from the Adelaide International Scholarship, Canada Council for the Arts, and Quebec Arts Council.

Syjuco is the literary editor of the MANILA REVIEW and a member of the Academy of the Folio Prize. He has written for the NEW YORK TIMES, NEWSWEEK, and the INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE. He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. He completed his M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Columbia University and earned his PhD at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

The event is open to creative writers, literary enthusiasts and the general public. Call Ms. Anna Nicolas at 406-1611 local 8281 for seat reservations.

Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Vicente L. Rafael, Ramon Guillermo, and Vernon Totanes on Benedict Anderson

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 Rizal Library—will be hosting three lectures on the late Benedict Anderson, featuring Vicente L. Rafael, Ramon Guillermo, and Vernon Totanes. The lectures will be held on April 15, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at 4/f Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University. The event is open to the public.

Vicente L. Rafael’s lecture is titled “Contingency and Comparison: Recalling Benedict Anderson.” His abstract reads: “Benedict Anderson thrived on contingency as the basis for comparison. In this paper, I inquire as to how fortuitous meetings and unexpected conjunctions came to inform much of Ben’s thinking. I then ask how contingency opened the way to another key feature of Ben’s work: comparison.” Among other questions, Rafael also asks, “In what way did comparison function less as a method as what he called a discursive strategy, stimulated by a keen awareness of ‘strangeness and absence’?”

Guillermo’s lecture is titled “Revolusi! Rebolusyon!: A Filipino Revisiting of Benedict Anderson’s ‘The Languages of Indonesian Politics’ (1966).” His abstract reads: “‘The Languages of Indonesian Politics’ (1966) was one of the first published works of Benedict Anderson’s long and distinguished career. In that work, he introduced the concept of ‘revolutionary Malay’ which he asserted was the basis for the construction of Bahasa Indonesia as a national language. This paper proposes that the concept of ‘revolutionary Malay’ could be employed as a comparative tool in understanding the Philippine experience of language and revolution.”

Totanes’s lecture—“Travel and Traffic: The Publication, Distribution, and Survival of Imagined Communities”—will relate how “in 2006, Verso published a new edition of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities (IC) almost 25 years after the first edition was published in London and New York in 1983. Aside from its cover, the new edition’s most striking feature was its author’s reflections on his book’s journey around the world. This paper examines, updates, and critiques Anderson’s conclusions in light of the evidence that he offers, along with additional data about IC and other books from various sources, to contextualize, reconstruct, and better appreciate IC’s publication, distribution, and survival using the framework and methods of the discipline known as book history.”

Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of several works on the history and cultural politics of the Philippines. His most recent work is Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation, published by Duke University Press and co-published by the Ateneo de Manila Press (2016).

Ramon Guillermo is Professor of Philippine Studies at the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, University of the Philippines Diliman. He is the author of several works on indigenization theory, translation studies and digital philology. He worked with the late Benedict Anderson and Carlos Sardiña Galache on the translation of Isabelo de los Reyes’s Ang Diablo sa Filipinas ayon sa Nasasabi sa  mga Casulatan Luma sa Kastila (The Devil in the Philippines according to Ancient Spanish Documents), published by Anvil Press (2014).

Vernon Totanes is the Director of the Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University. His doctoral dissertation, titled “History of the Filipino History Book,” recently won the Young Historian’s Prize from the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.

Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Mauricio D. Aguilera Linde

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University will host a lecture by Dr. Mauricio D. Aguilera Linde titled “Saroyan’s Travel Memories: Contesting National Identities for Armenian-Americans during the Great Depression.” This lecture will be on Apr. 7, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at NGF Room, 1/f de la Costa Hall, Ateneo de Manila University. The lecture is open to the public.

Aguilera Linde’s abstract reads: “Written at the onset of the decline of his meteoric popularity, Saroyan’s Little Children (1937), a book that never drew much critical attention, raises important questions concerning the bifocal orientation of immigrants during the Great Depression. Among the stories included in the volume, “Around the World with General Grant” proves to be particularly revealing of the writer’s double consciousness. By juxtaposing the master narrative of the president’s global tour and the petit récit of the family’s exile, the narrator composes a liminal narrative that pits the assimilationist thrust of the national pedagogy (epitomized by the travelogue’s imperial vision) against the child’s performative ability to fracture the linear, homogeneous time of the host nation though his allusions to the destroyed homeland and his father’s exodus. In addition to Homi K. Bhabha’s concept of cultural liminality, this article also explores the role of cultural memory and communicative memory (Jan Assman) in the travel binaries (travel-fantasy vs. exile; tourism vs. migration; recreation vs. diaspora) that constantly merge and collide together throughout the story. I present a detailed discussion of the author’s conflicting sense of Armenianness and the pivotal role of memory and place in his short fiction and autobiographical writings before contending that the child narrator’s “night of unplacement” (“the unhomely moment” in Bhabha’s words) prefigures Saroyan’s diasporic subjectivity perpetually engaged on a contradictory negotiation of both memory frames.

Mauricio D. Aguilera Linde is a senior lecturer at the University of Granada, Spain, where he has been teaching American literature since 1992. At present on the BA in English he teaches a six credit course on US culture (second year); a period course on American drama (from Glaspell to Fornes), and a course on avant-garde narratives (from Hemingway to Carver). A visiting senior fellow at the University of Rutgers (New Jersey), The Linguistic University of Moscow (Russia), Delhi University, California University at Berkeley, and a visiting scholar of Stanford on several occasions (1996 and 2004), he has been very actively involved in the research of contemporary American drama and short fiction. His articles on William Saroyan, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and O. Henry, have been published in journals such as American Drama; Journal of the Short Story in English: Cahiers de la Nouvelle; Tennessee Williams Annual Review; Atlantis: Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies; Cuento en Red: Revista Electrónica de Teoría de Ficción Breve; and Miscelánea: Journal of Anglo-American Studies. His current research interests are centered upon diaspora and memory, more specifically the immigration stories of the 1930s and 1940s in California (Saroyan, Bulosan and Fante).

Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Mark Raftery-Skehan

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University will host a lecture by Dr. Mark Raftery-Skehan titled “Unbearable Affinities with the All-too-human: Richter and Littell’s Intimate Representations of a Nazi.” This event will be on Apr. 4, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at SOM 111, Ateneo de Manila University. The lecture is open to the public.

For this lecture, Raftery-Skehan will do a text/image analysis that focuses on Gerhard Richter’s photo-realistic Onkel Rudi (1965) and Jonathan Littell’s novel Les Bienveillantes (2006).  In his abstract, Raftery-Skehan notes that “both works are disturbingly personal representations of figures associated with Nazism, and thus with the most heinous crimes, achieved through the equivalent pictorial and literary forms of a portrait photograph of Rudi, and the fictional memoir of an SS officer, Aue.”

To understand why the artist and the novelist each chose such a rendering, Raftery-Skehan “[will] explore a second text/image equivalence in their narrative and pictorial modes of blurring—in Richter smearing his image, and in Littell’s unreliable narrator, whose otherwise historically accurate accounts are interspersed with hallucinations and self-delusions.”

Raftery-Skehan will demonstrate how “the intimate, human portrayal thrusts us into the consciousness of the Nazi, the blurring in each case serving to projected into the blind, blinkered and self-deceptive nature of that historical consciousness. Rudi’s incongruous show of good cheer for the portrait photograph, and Aue’s willingly delusional consciousness regarding his murders, suggest their blithe obliviousness to the grim reality in which they partook. A third parallel exists in the works; lest the sense of common identity with the Nazi—which is entirely necessary to and potentially warrants the demonstration of the blind and false consciousness of the Nazi—cause us to empathise excessively with the figure, both works juxtapose the figure with the conventional illustrious or heroic figure of the military portrait and the tragic hero.”

Dr. Mark Raftery-Skehan is a Visiting Professor at the Departments of Philosophy and of English, Ateneo de Manila University. Having been involved in projects translating Derrida and Mallarmé, he is now finalizing a work on the idea of a textual imagination in Hegel and Derrida. His research explores modernist French literature and art, text/visual relations, Derridean deconstruction and Heideggerian critique of metaphysics, and the phenomenology of space and place.

Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Robert Diaz

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University—in cooperation with Kagawaran ng Filipino—will be hosting a lecture by Robert Diaz titled “Reimagining Cultural Citizenship: Artistic Production in Filipino Canadian Lives.” The lecture will be on Feb. 23, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at SEC C 201, Ateneo de Manila University. The lecture is open to the public.

In this talk, Dr. Diaz reflects on the political, theoretical, and cultural significance of Visualizing the Intimate In Filipino Lives (Jan. 23, 2015-Feb. 15, 2015), an art exhibit that was held as part of Diasporic Intimacies. Diasporic Intimacies was series of groundbreaking events that brought together Filipino/a artists, scholars, and community members in Toronto to examine the contributions of marginalized Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society. Both the art exhibit and the larger event event prioritized the links between artistic, scholarly, and community-based forms of knowledge production. By focusing on this exhibit, and the nuances embedded in the work of Filipino Canadian artists, Diaz suggests that sexually marginalized and “othered” Filipinos unsettle the official policies of multiculturalism, which often define a very limited understanding of what Filipino participation in Canadian society means. He argues that these artists thus animate the power of diasporic intimacies, desire, and memories to produce more capacious and more complicated notions of cultural citizenship in Canada. They enact what the critic Isaac West calls “transformational” forms of citizenship, which rely on “the inventive capabilities of individuals to navigate and complicate the discursive terrains of recognition” that shape their daily lives.

Dr. Robert Diaz is an Assistant Professor at OCAD University, the largest and oldest art and design university in Canada. His teaching and scholarship focus on the intersections of Sexuality, Filipino, Asian, and Postcolonial Studies. Diaz is currently co-editing Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries (under contract with Northwestern University Press), which brings together artists, scholars, and community workers in order to examine the contributions of queer Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society. His first book project, Reparative Acts: Redressive Nationalisms and Queer Filipino/a Lives, examines how Filipino/a nationalisms from the 1970s onwards have also possessed a redressive valence. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in Signs, GLQ, Women and Performance, Journal of Asian American Studies, Filipino Studies: Palimpsest of Nation and Diaspora, and Global Asian Popular Culture.

Marites Vitug to deliver the 2016 Adrian Cristobal Lecture

Eminent journalist and author Marites Danguilan Vitug will deliver the 2016 Adrian Cristobal Lecture, which will be held on 22 February 2016, Monday, 3:00PM, at the AIM Conference Center Manila (ACCM), J.V. del Rosario Building, Benavidez cor. Trasierra Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati City. Her lecture is entitled “Democracy beyond elections: overcoming impotence.” 

The Adrian E. Cristobal Lecture Series was established by the Cristobal family, in collaboration with the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL), or the Writers’ Union of the Philippines. It aims to honor the intellectual legacy of the late renowned writer and former UMPIL chairperson whose name the series carries. In this annual event, a Filipino public intellectual delivers a keynote speech on a topic related to a current socio-political condition in the country or a cultural development. The past lecturers include Gemino Abad (2011), National Artist Virgilio Almario (2012), Resil Mojares (2013), Reynaldo Ileto (2014), and Solita Monsod (2015). 

In light of the forthcoming national elections, Vitug will propose in her lecture other modes of exercising democracy, to make it real and substantial, and to make it work for the public good. This is in contrary to the elite rule and the power of the dominant few. She states in the summary of her talk, “Given the oligarchic structure of our society, the prevalence of vested interests and the inequality in our midst, popular discourse should include ways to overcome our sense of impotence, of powerlessness beyond casting our votes. There are various paths to take, as outsiders who publicly advocate reforms, form pressure groups and lobby for these with the legislative and executive departments to becoming insiders by running for public office and working in government. Thus, kindling our civic spirit takes more than a trip to the polling place on election day.”

Vitug is editor at large of She is the author of seven books, including two on the Philippine judiciary—“Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court” and “Hour Before Dawn: The Fall and Uncertain Rise of the Philippine Supreme Court,” which won the 2012 National Book Award for Non-fiction given by the Manila Critics Circle and the National Book Development Board of the Philippines. 

Her other books are: “Our Rights, Our Victories: Landmark Cases in the Supreme Court” (with Criselda Yabes); “Power from the Forest: the Politics of Logging”; “Jalan-Jalan: A Journey through EAGA” (with Criselda Yabes, 1998), and “Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao” (with Glenda M. Gloria, 2000). Both “Power from the Forest” and “Under the Crescent Moon” won the National Book Awards respectively in 1994 and 2001. “Jalan-Jalan” was chosen by Asiaweek as one of the best books on Asia for 1999. Her latest book, “Endless Journey,” is a memoir of retired general and former national security adviser, Jose Almonte. 

Vitug’s essays and articles have appeared in periodicals such as Nikkei Asia Review, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, Newsweek, and Asahi Shimbun; and in books and journals, including “The Politics of Environment in Southeast Asia” (Routledge: London and New York) and “The Journal of Environment and Development” (University of California in San Diego). In 2006, a global risk consultancy firm, Eurasia Group, ranked her 45 among 50 Global Leaders, mostly heads of states, for her work in Newsbreak. She received the Courage in Journalism Award from the US-based International Women’s Media Foundation for her reportage on the plunder of Palawan’s forests, and the Journalists of the Year award (2015) from the Metrobank Foundation, among many others. 

This lecture is co-funded by SPIT, or Silly People’s Improv Theater Philippines. It is open to the public. Admission is free. For more details, please contact Ms. Eva Cadiz at (63)9178453721; or email Michael Coroza, Secretary General of UMPIL at


Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Mark Sanchez

Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Mark Sanchez

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University will be hosting a lecture by Mark Sanchez titled  “Human Rights and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines: Religious Opposition to the Marcos Dictatorship.” The lecture will be on Feb. 15, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at SOM 111, Ateneo de Manila University. The lecture is open to the public.

Sanchez’s lecture will elaborate on the following abstract: “As a representative of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Sr. Mariani Dimaranan traveled worldwide, working to highlight human rights injustice in the Philippines and to gather support for the efforts of her organization. TFDP’s efforts to highlight political detention in the Philippines as well as the ongoing US government support of authoritarian dictatorship drew attention to the contradictions within US government claims to value human rights in international relations. This paper highlights the navigation between local and international political issues within Philippine-based grassroots opposition to the Marcos dictatorship. The paper will also discuss the efforts of anti-martial law activists in the United States to support the efforts of those such as Sr. Mariani, drawing particular attention to the ways that groups from different political and social positions worked together to highlight human rights abuses and authoritarian structures within the Philippines.”

Mark Sanchez is a PhD candidate in History at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is currently working on a dissertation that focuses on the transnational networks of anti-martial law activists. His research is supported by a Graduate College Distinguished Fellowship from the University of Illinois. His work has also been supported by Foreign Language Area Studies Grants in Tagalog and Indonesian. He was previously a Summer Fellow at the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) at the Ateneo de Manila University and is currently a Visiting Research Associate at IPC.

Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Hyunjoo Ki

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University will host a lecture by Hyunjoo Ki titled “Performing Racial Conflicts.” This event will be on Jan. 29, 2016, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at Natividad Galang Fajardo (NGF) Conference Room, 1/f Dela Costa Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.

Ki argues that the ‘other-oriented’ acting employed in the performance of Anna Deavere Smith’s documentary-style play Fires in the Mirror compels the audience to inhabit others’ positions and critically examine racial issues. In this play, Smith performs “29 monologues of 26 characters based on the interviews that she conducted on people involved in Crown Heights Riots in 1991.”

As Ki explains, Smith’s performance “highlights the differences of Hasidic Jews and African Americans in terms of skin color, history, religion, and custom. Although her performance consists of monologues of each character, they are arranged under the similar themed sections. Accordingly, each character Smith enacts seems to engage in a conversation. Different and contrasted stories of Hasidic Jews and African Americans involved in Crown Heights Riots remain distinct from each other; however, her ‘other-oriented’ acting provides the audience with opportunities to examine the racial issues.”

“While Smith performs diverse and conflicting people, metaphorically she travels from self to others and from individuals to communities rather than identifying with individual characters. Her performance employing ‘other oriented’ acting prevents the audience from sympathizing with characters and induces them to examine the racial issues intersected with political, social and economic matters from critical perspectives. Simultaneously, while she travels from self to others, she urges the audience to put themselves in others’ positions. Then, the audience can imagine the society based on understanding and empathy.”

Hyunjoo Ki received a PhD from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Dec. 2004. The title of her dissertation is “The Politics of Spatiality: Terrains of Postcolonial / Diasporic Asian America and Selected Asian American Plays.” In her dissertation, she examined the lived experiences of Asian Americans in Asian American plays written by Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Indian, Korean American playwrights, employing human geography, postcolonialism, and theories discussed in Asian American Studies. In 2014, she started the project “The Possibility of Filipino Literature as the Basis of Multicultural Society” with funding provided by the Korean Research Foundation. She aims to promote better understanding of Koreans on Filipino literature and culture through her project. Building her study last year on Filipino dramas, this year she will continue to research on the Filipino novels State of War by Ninotchka Rosca and Awaiting Trespass by Linda Ty Casper.