Everyone is invited to (RE)PRODUCING THE SELF: Body, Text, Memory and Technology on Monday, September 25, 2017, from 1:30- 4:30pm, at Palma Hall Pavilion 1, room 1131. The event is part of BAHAGINAN,  a series of research fora organised by the College of Arts and Letters.


“Writing to Live, Living to Write: The Self in Philippine Martial Law Autobiographies”

Mary Grace R. Concepcion
PhD in Southeast Asian Studies

By the 40th year anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in 2012, attitudes towards the Ferdinand Marcos presidency from 1965 to 1986 are multiple and contradictory. From the year 2000 onwards, numerous autobiographical narratives about the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines were published. Mostly written by those who opposed the dictatorship, these autobiographies also express myriad and conflicting views. Their authors have diverse backgrounds and they were involved in various ways in the anti-Marcos struggle. Moreover, these texts reveal sensitive and highly contested topics not only about the dictatorship, but also about the splintered Left, which was revitalized and led the opposition during this period.

Most studies about Martial Law literature focus on textual content, images and symbolism of poetry, short stories, novels, drama and songs. In contrast, I take autobiography as a subject of study and focus on its production. Through textual analysis supplemented, when possible, with interviews with the authors, I examine how writers perceive and produce autobiographies. This dissertation explores the conceptions, processes and motivations of writing autobiographies set during Martial Law written both during and after that period. Moreover, this study analyzes what happens to the self that writes and how the self is written. One’s life story circulates in a highly contested discursive field, which affects how the self is projected in autobiography.

One published a first person narrative to counter character assassination and create the identity of the Martial Law survivor, the political detainee, or the good revolutionary among other identities. Writing also allowed one to internally process one’s feelings and emotions. Militarization and censorship also informed the choice of writing in the various subgenres of autobiography (letters, diaries, memoirs, interviews, autobiographical novel etc.). The chapters highlight the various aspects of the genre. Chapter 1 situates this study amidst the current discourse of remembering and forgetting Martial Law, and positions autobiography as an intervention from official State history. Chapter 2 describes the material conditions of writing as a tension between the creation and destruction of the self and the written word. Chapter 3 maps the narrative of self-transformation, and the writing and rewriting of the self in two separate autobiographies. Chapter 4 locates the self within the spaces and institutions controlled during the dictatorship. Chapter 5 examines how labeling the genre raises expectations about the truthfulness of lived experience. Finally, Chapter 6 demonstrates how working class narratives subvert the highly individualistic notions of autobiography.

Through texts that are situated during Martial Law, I examine how political repression complicates and shapes Philippine autobiography. I also interrogate not only the self in/and autobiography, but how the past is viewed and rewritten from the vantage point of the present, which is marred by multiple and contested narratives.

About the author

Mary Grace R. Concepcion received both her BA and MA degrees in Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is awaiting conferment of her PhD degree in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore. Currently, she teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her dissertation, entitled Writing to Live, Living to Write: The self in Philippine Martial Law Autobiographies studies the projection of the self and the material conditions of writing in selected book-length published autobiographies set during the Marcos dictatorship


“Internet- mediated technology and the transformation of social and anthropological spaces among selected University of the Philippines Diliman Students”

Teresa Paula S. De Luna
PhD in Anthropology

The internet, a 20th century technological invention, has created a huge impact on various aspects of our lives. It has influenced our identities and socio-cultural relations. This inquiry aims to find out how the melded online and offline social worlds become anthropological places. I particularly probed into the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) student’s sociality in a hypermodern academic community. I employed a combination of three theoretical perspectives in this anthropological investigation: Augé (1995)’s concept of hypermodernity, Bourdieu’s (1990) framework of the habitus and Hine’s (2015) representation of the embedded, embodied and everyday internet. I utilized an adaptive methodological approach, which is primarily qualitative using multi-sited ethnographic methods (Marcus, 1995) to probe into the socialities. Descriptive data was extracted as well to establish a general socio-cultural profile of the informants. Results of the study reveal that UP students consider the melded online and offline worlds as one social world. The online and offline spaces operate in a hypermodern state and may be regarded as anthropological places, or at least have the potential to be such. Findings also show that UPD students’ embodied lives are entangled with the internet, their dispositions are embedded on it and it has altered the way that they conduct their everyday habitual tasks. Indeed, the internet as technology is seen as a capital that shakes and messes up the habitus that is encased in hypermodernity; how far the society is shaken is discussed in the study.

About the author

Teresa Paula S. De Luna is Associate Professor from the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts and is currently the Coordinator of the UP Diliman Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment (OASH). She graduated cum laude BA Speech and Drama, acquired her MA in Speech Communication and recently finished her Ph.D. in Anthropology.


“Mula Oral Tungong Digital: Panunudyo at Protesta sa Panitikang Digital sa Pilipinas sa Panahon ng Neoliberalismo”

Mykel Andrada
PhD in Filipino: Panitikan

Ang agresyon ng neoliberalismo sa pagpasok ng ika-21 siglo ay ipinakete bilang “demokratisasyon” ng digital na teknolohiya. Ngunit ang katotohanan ay isa itong pang-ekonomiya, pampolitika at pangkulturang patakaran ng makapangyarihang mga rehimen tulad ng Estados Unidos. Ipinamalas sa disertasyon na ang digital na teknolohiya ay isang kongkretong aparatong isinulong ng gahum ng neoliberalismo at na nagdudulot ito magpahanggang ngayon ng mga pagbabago maging sa larangan ng panitikan.

Ipinakita sa disertasyong ito ang impluwensiya ng neoliberalismo sa panitikan sa bansa. Ipinakita ang epekto ng digital na teknolohiya na nagdulot ng pagbabago sa produksiyon, resepsyon at distribusyon ng panitikan sa bansa bunga ng bagong mga elektronikong teknolohiya, social media na plataporma at digital software. Sa partikular, ang paggamit ng mga mamamayan-manunulat ng mga eletroniko at digital na teknolohiya ng cellphone, internet, social media at software application ay nagbunsod ng mga bagong porma ng panitikan tulad ng jingle, meme, poetweet, textula, at text-dagli.

Bagama’t nakaugat sa neoliberal na tradisyong Anglo-Amerikano, ang panitikang nalikha sa Pilipinas gamit ang digital na teknolohiya ay masalimuot na nirereartikula ng mga Pilipino bilang isang tereyn ng tunggalian. Habang malakas ang impluwensiya ng neoliberalismo sa panitikan tulad ng malalang indibidwalismo at masidhing komersyalisasyon, makikita ang samu’t saring praxis ng Pilipino sa paglikha ng panitikang nasa mga tradisyon ng panunudyo at panunuya bilang kritika at/o protesta sa mga lisyang patakaran at sistemang sumasaklob sa mamamayan at bansa.

Sa katunayan, sa maraming pagkakataon pa nga, malay man o hindi, ang asinta ng panunudyo at panunuya ay protesta rin laban sa neoliberalismo at sa mga negatibong epekto ng gahum na ito sa politika, ekonomiya at kultura ng bansa.

Patunay ito na hindi lamang payak na tagasalubong ang mga mamamayan ng bansa sa mga lisyang dayuhan at kapitalistang patakaran, kundi lalo’t higit na may ahensiya ng pagsalunga ang mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng malikhaing panunudyo, panunuya at pagpoprotesta laban mismo sa neoliberalismo.

About the author

Prof. Mykel Andrada is an assistant professor from the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, CAL, UP Diliman. He is a graduate of BA Malikhaing Pagsulat, MA Araling Pilipino and PhD Filipino: Panitikan. He is also the Associate Director of PinoyMedia Center, Inc. and the Editor in Chief of www.squeeze.ph. His dissertation on Philippine digital literature is a product of almost two decades of experience with digital and online technological impact on Philippine satirical and protest literature.


“Haplós:Developing a wearable vibrotactile somaesthetic technology for body awareness”

Diego Maranan
PhD in Art and Media

In this talk, Dr. Diego S. Maranan will discuss his PhD research which draws from philosophy, somatic practices, neuroscience, and technology design, and culminated in the creation of a device for facilitating body awareness. The device—called Haplós—is a novel, wearable, programmable, remotely controlled technology using vibrating motors that Diego developed as part of his research at CogNovo, a 4.1 million EU-funded project at Plymouth University, UK, that focused on interdisciplinary research on creativity and cognition.

Early research has shown that Haplós can increase body awareness by enhancing the user’s perception of the body part that has been exposed to the vibrations (Maranan et al., in press). In addition Haplos has also been shown in a controlled experiment to decrease food cravings with statistically significance (Woodman et al., in preparation). Because the sensations provided by the Haplós system has been described as highly unusual, pleasurable, and engaging, Haplós is theorised to interrupt the elaboration of intrusive thoughts associated with food cravings, as predicted by the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of desire Kavanagh et al., 2005). Potential and speculative future applications of Haplós will be discussed.

More information about the project:http://www.cognovo.eu/project-8.


D. S. Maranan, J. Grant, J. Matthias, M. Phillips, and S. Denham, “Haplós: Vibrotactile Wearable Technology For Body Awareness,” Leonardo, in press.

K. Woodman et al., “Good vibrations: The impact of a novel wearable device on craving for chocolate,” Manuscript in submission.

D. J. Kavanagh, J. Andrade, and J. May, “Imaginary Relish and Exquisite Torture: The Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire.,” Psychol. Rev., vol. 112, no. 2, pp. 446–467, 2005.