The international journal Kritika Kultura will feature University of Washington, Seattle scholar Dr. Vicente L. Rafael’s lecture “On Some Motifs in Rizal” on March 18, 2013, 4:30 pm, at SEC-C 201, Ateneo de Manila University. This is the eighth and last installment of Kritika Kultura’s Global Classroom Series.
Rafael’s abstract reads: “Rizal’s novels, the Noli and the Fili, arguably continue to be the strongest works in Philippine literature. Indeed, they are often credited for inaugurating it. However, as foundational texts in the nationalist literary canon, they contain motifs that have less to do with the fact of nationalism than with the conditions of its impossibility and the failure of its arrival. Such motifs include, among other things, communication and comparison, genealogy and criminality, truth and justice, gender and generation, sacrifice and revenge. This lecture will consist of examining some of these motifs, asking how they bring forth the nation as something yet to be named, and as a promise indefinitely deferred: an ethical and political project suspended between the ambiguity of means and the unknowability of ends, while driven by the urgent need for decision.”
Rafael (Ateneo class of 77) is Professor of History at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was born and raised in Manila, left to attend graduate school intending to return, but by a curious combination of accident and design ended up teaching and living in the United States. He has since written a number of works on the Philippines including Contracting Colonialism (1988/1993); White Love and Other Events in Filipino Histories (2000); The Promise of the Foreign (2005) and edited Discrepant Histories (1995) and Figures of Criminality in Indonesia, the Philippines and Colonial Vietnam (1999). Currently, he is writing a book tentatively called Bastard Tongues, on translation, war and historical imagination between the Philippines and the United States. He hopes that someday he can realize his original plan of returning to the city of his birth.
The lecture is the seventh of a series of eight, featuring top-tier scholars in the humanities and the social sciences who will address compelling questions around the topic “Contingencies of Meanings” which concern university students and scholars alike in today’s fast-changing and globalizing world.
The Global Classroom Series, which began last November 2012 and will run to March 18, 2013, promises to be both international and interdisciplinary.
Prof. Joel David, who lectured on “Phantoms from Paradise: Philippine Presences in Non-Pinoy Cinemas,” kicked off the series last November 23, 2012. Following him were Prof. Richard Chu, who delivered the paper, “From ‘Sangley’ to ‘Tsinoy’: What it Means to be ‘Chinese’ in the Philippines,” and Dr. Ramon Guillermo, who delivered the lecture, “A Discussion of Some Approaches in Computer-Aided Translation Analysis: Jose Rizal’s Translation of Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell.” Film scholar Bliss Cua Lim of University of California, Irvine delivered “From Pito-Pito to Indie: Neoliberal Rationality in Two Films by Jeffrey Jeturian.” Last Feb. 11, 2013, Kyoto University’s Caroline Hau lectured on the topic “Transnational Flows and Movements in the Making of Nation and Region in East Asia.” Dr. Patrick Flores of the University of the Philippines-Diliman talked about “Ornaments of Interior in the Orient and the Possessions of Painting” last Mar. 11, 2013. Dr. Oscar Campomanes of the Ateneo de Manila University, on the other hand, lectured on “Historiographic Critique in American Empire Studies” last Mar. 15, 2013.
Kritika Kultura, a journal of language, literary, and cultural studies, is the only humanities journal from the Philippines indexed in Thomson Reuters (formerly ISI). It is also indexed in SCOPUS, EBSCO, DOAJ, and the International Bibliography of the Modern Language Association, US. It is the journal of the Department of English, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University.