The Department of Literature De La Salle University cordially invites teachers and students to “The Wars of Translation: American English, Colonial Education and Tagalog Slang, 1920s-1970s.” This is a lecture by Vicente L. Rafael on 25 September 2013, 4:20 PM-5:50 PM Wednesday, AVR, 13th Flr., Henry Sy Hall.


This talk looks at the role of American English  in  “pacifying” an insurgent Filipino population at the turn of the 20th century. It then contrasts the nationalist critique of Renato Constantino who condemned the neo-colonizing role of English (in impeccable English) with Nick Joaquin’s account of the history of Tagalog slang as evidence of a populist politics of language that evades both colonial and nationalist accounts.

About the Speaker

Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of several works on the Phillippines, including Contracting Colonialism, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History, and The Promise of the Foreign. 

R.S.V.P. Department of Literature 5244611 loc. 541 or email