By Michael Aaron Gomez
Faculty and staff from the Ateneo de Davao University delivered papers and exhibited art installations at the Philippine Studies conference organized by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London in the United Kingdom last 5 – 6 July 2019. The conference bore the theme “Mindanao: Cartographies of History, Identity, and Representation.”
Four out of the 24 papers presented were delivered by faculty of the University. These papers drew attention to the complexity of various histories and cultural traditions in Mindanao. Ms. Rhodora Ranalan presented her paper titled “Texture, Text and Context: A Journey Into Mandaya Folklore;” Ms. Pamela Castrillo delivered her paper titled “Restaging Histories and Identities in Museums in Mindanao;” Bro. Carlito Gaspar the paper called “Popularization of the Mindanao Cultural Landscape;” and finally, Ms. Shiela Guinal presented her research titled “Beautiful English: Marginal Identities and Dominant Positions.” Mr. Abraham Garcia Jr. also displayed an art installation called “Kultural Amnesia,” which was joined by Virgilio Martin Castrillo’s exhibition “Arts of Peace.”
Half of the academics presenting papers were from Europe, the United States, and other parts of Asia. Their researches focused mainly on Muslim and Lumad realities in Mindanao. Each day of presentations was capped off by artistic exhibits and performances that showcased Mindanao culture. These activities included a movie screening, book launches, and theatrical presentations.
The successful conference is a manifestation of the support given by the presenters’ respective institutions and organizations as well as the SOAS itself. It also signaled a growing interest in Mindanao among global academics, numbering among whose ranks are researchers from the Philippines and scholars from other parts of the world.
Written by Ms. Rhodora Ranalan, Ph.D., AdDU Languages, Literature, and Arts