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Talk: Hispano-Filipino Literature in a Global Context
Date: 23 October 2018 
Spanish Programme, School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU has the pleasure of inviting you to the talk:

Hispano-Filipino Literature in a Global Context

Irene Villaescusa Illán

Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
4:30pm to 5:30pm
23 Oct 2018 (Tue)

The first half of the twentieth century saw the emergence of a Philippine literature written in Spanish. This new literature both embodied and responded to global connections in the archipelago, derived from both The Philippines’ history of colonization (by Spain, the US and briefly by Japan) and the emergence of new imperial interests in Asia in the years leading to WWII. In this period, Spanish speaking Filipinos were caught in a series of transitions between colonial and imperial powers, while trying to affirm their own national identity. As a result, many Hispano-Filipino texts of this period show an attempt to imagine the Filipino nation as a transcultural realm assimilating or rejecting certain aspects of the cultures that constitute it.

In this talk, I emphasize the global dimensions of this conjuncture in Filipino history to explain the motivations and concerns of a generation of Filipino authors writing in Spanish in the 1940s. I will focus mainly on three works: Adelina Gurrea’s Cuentos de Juana. Leyendas malayas de las islas Filipinas [Juana’s stories. Malayan Legends of the Philippine Islands] (1943) Jesús Balmori’s Los pájaros de fuego. Una novela filipina de la guerra [Birds of Fire. A Filipino novel about the War] (1945) and Antonio Abad’s El Campeón [The Champion] (1940). These works have been included in the Hispano Filipino Classics book series, a project of literary revival started by the Cervantes Institute in Manila in 2009.

Short bio
Irene Villaescusa Illán is a visiting researcher in the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA) at the University of Amsterdam and a lecturer in the department of Language, Culture and Communication at the University of Utrecht. She has recently obtained her PhD at the University of Amsterdam with a project on Hispano-Filipino literature that she analyses within the frameworks of transculturation and nationalism. She teaches courses on Hispanic and world literatures, globalization and intercultural communication.

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