Sojourn in the Heart of Empire: Memoirs of Two Filipinos, 1940-44 and 1967-73 – a seminar by Prof. Reynaldo Ileto (Wed, 14 October 2009)

Speaker: Prof Reynaldo Ileto (Southeast Asian Studies Programme, NUS)
Date: Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Time: 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Drawing upon scrapbooks of photos and other memorabilia, this paper is a reflection upon the sojourns of two Filipinos – father and son – in the United States in two different eras. The father journeyed to West Point in 1940, and his particular experience of America turned him four years later into a faithful soldier of the empire, to fight in the wars with Japan and, later, the Communists. The son journeyed to Ithaca to pursue graduate studies on Southeast Asia in 1967. This being the time of the Indochina conflict and student unrest worldwide, the site of warfare was the academe itself – quite different from his father’s experience. The paper aims to draw out the complex interplay of personal experience and regimes of knowledge that constitute one’s belonging and response to empire.

About the speaker
Rey Ileto is Professor in the Southeast Asian Studies Program at NUS. His major publications include Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines, 1840-1910; Filipinos and their Revolution: Event, Discourse and Historiography; “Religion and Anti-Colonial Movements” (in The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia); and “Philippine Wars and the Politics of Memory” (Positions, 2005). He obtained his PhD from Cornell in 1974.