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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kasarinlan Call for Papers on Risking Resources, Reckoning Risk: Natural Disasters in the Third World

Kasarinlan Call for Papers on 
Risking Resources, Reckoning Risk: 
Natural Disasters in the Third World

Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies is accepting article submissions in order to broaden the scope of what Ulrich Beck referred to as “narrated attention” on risk from natural disasters in Third World or developing societies.

Interested scholars are invited to offer critical views on how risk from natural disasters is apprehended in societies that already suffer from serious institutional and governmental shortcomings to address the devastations brought about by natural calamities.

Topics covered may include, but are not limited to:

  1. How collectivities and institutions creatively generate and strategically utilize symbolic and material resources for different ends; 
  2. How the use of these resources create, maintain, and transform knowledge practices, in anticipation of more frequent and stronger disaster threats;
  3. Communicating risks via popular media;
  4. Local knowledges and traditional communities’ making sense of natural disasters;
  5. Role of new media during disaster prevention and relief; 
  6. Disaster policy and local government practices of improvisation in post-disaster governance;
  7. History, culture, and heritage in the face of natural disasters; and
  8. Disaster diplomacy in the Third World.

The precarious present does not privilege specific forms of knowledge, but in fact invokes disparate and divergent rationality claims. The planned issue thus aims to serve as a dais for what social scientists posit as “contradictory certainties” without privileging one discipline over the other but possibly towards their potential alignment to meaningfully reflect upon the precariousness developing countries are confronted with.

Deadline of article submissions is on 31 March 2015.

For details about the submission process, visit the Kasarinlan webpage at:
http://journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/kasarinlan/about.

Monday, September 08, 2014

The 2014 UP TWSC Public Lecture Series on Natural Disasters Lecture 2-- A Tradition of Resilience, The Resiliency of Tradition: Local Knowledges and Sense-Making of Natural Disasters


The 2014 UP TWSC Public Lecture Series on Natural Disasters

LECTURE 2

A Tradition of Resilience, The Resiliency of Tradition:
Local Knowledges and Sense-Making of Natural Disasters
25 September 2014 (Thursday), 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Rm. 400 Palma Hall, University of the Philippines,
Diliman, Quezon City



PROGRAM
9:30 – 9:35           Opening Remarks

                             Grace Aguiling-Dalisay
                             Dean
                             College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
                             University of the Philippines Diliman

9:35 – 9:40           Introduction of the Lecturer and Reactors

9:40 – 10:20         Lecturer

                             Soledad Dalisay
                             Chair, Department of Anthropology
                             College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
                             University of the Philippines Diliman

10:20 – 10:50       Reactors

                             Jake Rom Cadag
                             Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
                             College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
                             University of the Philippines Diliman

                             Emmanuel Luna
                             Professor and Director
                             Doctor in Social Development Program
                             College of Social Work and Community Development
                             University of the Philippines Diliman

10:50 – 11:30       Open Forum

Moderator
Jely Galang
Deputy Director, Third World Studies Center and
Assistant Professor, Department of History
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines Diliman



ABOUT THE LECTURE
The Filipinos are a people not unfamiliar with natural disasters. Typhoons, landslides, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions have all been part of a history—mostly unwritten—that has informed traditional knowledge on disasters. Concepts such as "masamang kutob" and "pangitain" are used to make sense of natural disasters that abruptly waste lives, lands, and livelihoods. However, lamentably sparse are local scholarly scrutiny on these and similar concepts and practices that Filipinos use to explain the suddenness and the large extent of devastation that natural disasters leave in their wake. This may be in part attributable to the banality of traditional knowledge in a contemporary reality defined by its faith in the infallibility of science and technology and in its god of Progress. For superstitions—"sabi ng mga matatanda"—are seen as remnants of a primitive and dark past, populated by an ignorant and irrational people. A study on religion, disaster, and colonial power pointed out that folk bent on the supernatural during Spanish colonial rule has been perpetuated and successfully utilized by colonial authorities as instruments of control—as divine punishment for non-Christian practices or as seal of divine approval of colonial rule when inflicted on “enemies,” i.e., Moros. On the other hand, disaster anthropologists have alluded to traditional knowledge as "warning signs" that people make use of to temper the potentially devastating effects of disasters. Foreign media featured an anthropologist’s claim that Indian aboriginal tribes’ oral traditions and folklore have kept their communities safe after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004. Anthropology and disaster research, for over three decades, have consistently underscored the community as disaster research's basic unit of analysis: "theories about disasters are inherently theories about communities, that is community continuity and change.” As anthropologists account for how disruption, brought about by disasters, are dealt with by communities, “outsiders” such as the government and international aid agencies also affect a traditional community’s social fabric. Some have done more harm than good—upsetting, even further marginalizing, “indigenous resilience systems” that have been developed over generations. Other scholars, however, were not too keen on the so-called increasing vulnerability of indigenous communities and argued that cultural change in traditional societies is coping. A case in point is when one anthropological study in northern Philippines demonstrated that regularly experienced disasters actually normalize coping and are integrated into people’s everyday lives. Is there any recognition of the value of traditional knowledge practices’ possible contributions to making sense of how societies perceive and cope with natural disasters? How have traditional knowledge practices served as a form of warning system against natural disasters? How do traditional knowledge practices inform the public’s practices and beliefs?


KEY QUESTIONS
1. How do traditional communities cope as a collective? In what ways is the social fabric of a community rent and reworked during and after a disaster?


2. How do Filipinos affected by natural disasters come to terms with what has happened? What beliefs usually act as crutches in disaster aftermaths? How do traditional knowledge practices inform the public’s practices and beliefs?

3. How valuable has traditional knowledge been in providing ample warning of natural disasters? How do people reconcile such knowledge with warnings issued by state and media machineries? Is it possible to clear a middle ground between traditional knowledge and science communication? What has been the appreciation of aid efforts—both local and international and governmental and nongovernmental—to people's traditional practices of coping with the effects of disasters?

4. What is the current state of local scholarship dealing with how Filipinos make sense of and cope with natural disasters? How supportive have academic institutions, government bodies, and international nongovernmental groups been to such efforts? Is there any recognition of the value of its possible contributions to making sense of how societies perceive and cope with natural disasters?

See link for the concept paper of the public lecture series.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Technocrats of Ferdinand Marcos: Manuel Alba, Part 2


The Technocrats of Ferdinand Marcos: Manuel Alba, Part 1





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Developments in the Law of Territorial Acquisition, Law of the Sea and Energy Law: Their Relevance to the SCS Dispute (A Public Lecture by Melissa Loja, University of Hong Kong)





Developments in the Law of Territorial Acquisition, Law of the Sea and Energy Law:
Their Relevance to the SCS Dispute
(A Public Lecture by Melissa Loja, University of Hong Kong)
2 September 2014 (Tuesday) 2pm – 4pm
Third World Studies Center, Lower Ground Floor, Palma Hall,
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City



Program

2:00 – 2:05            
Opening Remarks

2:05 – 2:10            
Introduction of the Speaker

2:10 – 3:10           
Lecture
Melissa Loja, PhD Candidate (Public International Law), University of Hong Kong

3:10 – 3:30            
Reaction

3:30 – 4:00            
Open Forum


About the lecturer
Melissa Loja is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong. Her field of research is public international law and her areas of interest are energy law, law of the sea and law of territorial acquisition.