Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sheila Coronel and Vince Rafael talks about inter-generational dialogue, political discourse in a post-EDSA society, the evolution of Philippine public spaces, and the revolutions we might soon witness.


Sheila Coronel is now the executive director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism of the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she is also a faculty member. She used to be the executive director of the PCIJ and one of its founders.

She was once the editor of iReport, the Center’s quarterly publication. She previously worked for the Philippine Panorama Magazine and The Manila Chronicle and also filed reports from Manila for The New York Times.

In 1993, she published a collection of reportage entitled, Coups, Cults and Cannibals. She has also edited and co-authored several books, including the PCIJ’s recently launched The Rulemakers: How the Wealthy and Well-Born Dominate Congress. In 2003, Coronel received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and the Creative Communication Arts. In 2001, she was named the Philippines’ Outstanding Print Journalist. The same year, she was elevated to the Hall of Fame of the Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Investigative Journalism, after winning the top award four times in 12 years.

She is an alumna of the College of the Holy Spirit in Mendiola, Manila.

Vince Rafael is a professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Washington, Seattle. He received his B.A. in history and philosophy from Ateneo de Manila University in 1977 and his Ph.D. in history at Cornell University in 1984. Prior to teaching at the University of Washington, Rafael taught at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Currently, he sits on advisory boards of Cultural Anthropology, Public Culture, and positions.

Rafael has researched and taught on Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, comparative colonialism, particularly of Spain and the United States, and comparative nationalism. Though a historian, he has also focused on the related fields of cultural anthropology and literary studies and pursued topics ranging from language and power, translation and religious conversion, technology and humanity, and the politics and poetics of representation.

In 1993, Duke University Press published Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule, in which Rafael examined the role of language and translation in the religious conversion of Tagalogs to Catholicism during the early period of Spanish rule of the Philippines. In 1995, Temple University Press published a collection he edited entitled Discrepant Histories: Translocal Essays on Filipino Cultures that studied a number of issues in the formation of the Philippine nation-state and translocal Filipino cultures. In 1999, Cornell University Press published Figures of Criminality in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Colonial Vietnam, a collection of essays on the relationships between criminality and colonial state formation. In 2000, Duke University Press published his White Love and Other Events in Filipino History, a challenging of traditional, epic narratives of Filipino history and especially the emergence of revolutionary nationalism. His most recent work is The Promise of the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish Philippines, also published by Duke University Press, in 2005. Its main argument is that translation was crucial to the emergence of Filipino nationalism, a mechanism from which was issued the promise of nationhood.

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