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KK Lecture Series presents John D. Blanco

Kritika Kultura, the refereed e-journal of language and literary/cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University, is holding a lecture by John D. Blanco. The event—part of the Kritika Kultura Lecture Series—features Blanco’s paper titled “Almost Buddhist, Pt. II.,” and will be on Aug. 16, 2013, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at SEC B-201 in Ateneo de Manila University.

Blanco’s abstract reads: “This presentation revolves around 18th century Jesuit priest Antonio de Borja’s Tagalog translation of Barlaam and Josaphat, and the strange career of this de-canonized saint (who, as it turns out, was a medieval Christianized version of the Buddha or Prince Siddhartha). By the time the story of of Gautama Buddha reaches the Philippines, it has traversed the globe, having passed from its early version in Sanskrit and Pali to Arabic, Georgian, Greek, Latin, and finally Spanish. But is there an earlier knowledge of Gautama’s message? The larger argument I would like to develop is how both colonial Christianity and commonwealth Americanism have worked to preempt or suppress the unexplored relationship of the Philippines to the rest of Asia, particularly religious and cultural Buddhism.”

John D. Blanco has taught at the University of California, San Diego, for twelve years. He is the author of Frontier Constitutions (U of California P 2009). He is also the translator of Julio Ramos’s Divergent Modernities of Latin America (Duke UP, 2001). He teaches courses on Philippine and Filipino-American literature and culture, Spanish and Latin American literature, and US ethnic literatures.

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