Friday Forum Fall Semester 2007 - 08

September 7, 2007 - Ruth De Llobet (History, UW-Madison)
Creole Awakening and the Formation of Filipino Political Consciousness in the 18th and early 19th Centuries
The awakening of a new political consciousness among the Creoles in Manila occurred within the framework of economic reforms brought by the Bourbons to the colonies at the end of the eighteenth century, as well as the disintegration of the Spanish empire, and the reformulation of the relationship between the metropolis and the remaining colonies in the first half of the nineteenth century. Out of this consciousness developed a new identity among Creoles differentiated from that of the Spaniards, setting the basis of mainstream political discourse over nation, ethnicity, and modernity in the late nineteenth century.

September 14, 2007 - Chito Gascon (International Forum for Democratic Studies) 
Democratic Recession in the Philippines: What's Going On?
The Philippines is in the midst of a long-running political crisis characterized by serious election irregularities, systemic corruption, continuing conflicts, weakened institutions, and increased human rights violations. The talk will describe the impact of these developments on contemporary Philippine society, consider the factors that have led to this manifest decline, and explore alternatives that could respond to them.

September 21, 2007 - James Warren (Southeast Asian Modern History, Murdoch University)
Typhoon : Climate, History and Society in the Philippines; Some Preliminary Thoughts
In the Philippines more damage is caused by typhoons,and, the floods they trigger,than by any other natural hazard.This talk will examine aspects of the speaker's thinking about framing and the impact of cyclonic storms on Philippine society and culture over five centuries.
4:00PM - Film Showing introduced by James Warren
Broken Birds: An Epic Longing
A video of a fusion of docu-drama and music theater inspired by Japanese prostitutes, known as the Karayuki-san--broken by their harsh lives in Singapore.

September 28, 2007 - Dr. Phorphant Ouyyanont (Sukhothai Thammathirat University; Lehigh University)
The Crown Property Bureau in Thailand and the Crisis of 1997
This paper examines the Thai Crown Property Bureau and the ways in which the 1997 financial crisis affected it. The Bureau survived the crisis by making significant changes in its own management and investment policies, and by promoting similar reforms in two affiliated companies. As a result, the Bureau emerged with an income significantly higher than its peak pre-crisis level.

October 5, 2007 - Ian Coxhead (Agricuture and Applied Economics, UW-Madison) Co-Sponsored by the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy
"'I Dreamed Misery Number 1, Misery Number 2': Burmese Workers in the Thai Economy" 
Migration by Burmese workers to Thailand has risen dramatically in the past two decades. We review the available data and ask why this migration occurs. We evaluate effects on the welfare of native workers, conditions experienced by Burmese workers in Thailand, and possible effects on Burmese economic welfare. We conclude with some broader discussion of the phenomenon of South-South migration.

October 12, 2007 - Ricardo Trota Jose (Department of History, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; Visiting Professor, Saint Norbert College) and Lydia N. Yu Jose, Ph.D. (Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University; Adjunct Professor and International Visiting Scholar, St. Norbert College)
Joint topic: Historical Memories between the Philippines and Japan.

Historical Memory as Soft Power: Focus on Japan and the Philippines
LYDIA YU-JOSE: This paper argues that the Philippines and Japan have both used historical memories for diplomatic purposes, but Japan tends to recount pleasant memories, while the Philippines, being the victimized state during World War II, tends to use adverse historical memories to increase its leverage with Japan. The case of the Philippines and Japan shows that the tendency to abuse pleasant memories is greater than the tendency to use adverse memories because the accurate recall of adverse memories is enough to empower the Philippines via-a-vis Japan.
Historical Memory as Soft Power: Focus on Japan and the Philippines
RICO JOSE: In the sixty years since the end of World War II, the Philippines has put up memorials to various events and personalities connected with the war. Some of these were put up by the government, others by private groups, still others by American or Japanese veterans groups. Similarly, commemorative ceremonies are held every year to mark events deemed significant either by the government (national or local), veterans groups or private organizations. The memorials and ceremonies sometimes dovetail with each other, but sometimes cause controversy, such as in the erection of a monument to the Kamikaze in October 2004. Movies dealing with the war, not being bound by the same rules or circumstances of the monuments and ceremonies, first reflected standard views of the war, moving on to explore other less popular themes.

October 19, 2007 - Ingrid Jordt (Anthropology, UW-Milwaukee)
Burma In Crisis
Burma's military regime has sought to solidify its hold on power, since the last popular uprising in 1988, by undertaking patronage of monks, nuns and Buddhist edifices. The talk explores whether the junta's efforts to present themselves as legitimate rulers in Buddhist terms are now forfeit following the murder and brutal treatment of monks engaged in non-violent rebuke of the military through refusing the military's alms. What policy implications might be drawn from mass non-violent protest against totalitarian regimes in an age when states appear to have the capability of ruling through force alone and not through moral legitimacy?

October 26, 2007 - Elizabeth Drexler (Anthropology, Michigan State University)
Securing the Insecure State
Indonesia under Soeharto was a fundamentally insecure state. The state sustained itself through anxieties and insecurities generated by historical and human rights accounts of earlier violence. This talk considers the legacies of imagined enemies In the Aceh conflict and questions the assumption of international human rights organizations that the exposure of past violence promotes accountability and reconciliation rather than the repetition of abuses.

November 2, 2007 - Don Emmerson (Professor & Senior Fellow, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute for Intl. Studies, Stanford University)
Re-imagining Indonesia: NKRI, Nusantara, and the Enigma of National Identity
Indonesian nationalists are proud that their country stretches from "Sabang to Merauke" more than 3,000 miles west to east, but in what sense is this true, on maps or in our minds? What will inspire the country's future identities: Pancasile, Democracy, Islam, the clear-cut and non-negotiable borders of Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, or the porous and pre-nationalist ones of Nusantara?

November 9, 2007 - Nirwan Dewanto (Essayist/Poet/Editor, Founder of Kommunitas Utan Kayu, Jakarta; Fellow, Intl. Writing Program, Universiy of Iowa)
Holy Dog, Rubber Time: 15 Indonesian Contemporary Artists
This lecture will introduce 15 emerging Indonesian visual artists. While no longer exercising seriousness, heroism, didactism, they long for national identity as did their "modernist" precursors. Their works can be appraised as social allegory, and they debunk the nature of visual representation. Their passionate inclusion of mass culture, local craft-works, and trash, indicates that they not only to strive towards an alternate modernity, but they also allude to the absence of public space.

November 16, 2007 - Jacques Bertrand (Asian Institute, University of Toronto)
Being "Indigenous" in Indonesia and the Philippines: Contradictions and Pitfalls 
In recent years, a number of groups in Southeast Asia have tapped into the international discourse, networks, and instruments on “indigenous peoples” to gain leverage over their national governments and improve their political, social and economic status.The paper argues that efforts by groups such as Papuans in Indonesia and Igorot peoples in the Philippines for such recognition raise some unique problems. While being recognized as “indigenous” might help to build networks internationally, the “indigenous” prism creates contradictions, and perhaps even pitfalls, internally, as other groups dispute these claims to “indigeneity.

November 30, 2007 - Thak Chaloemtiarana (Director, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University)
Autobiographies of the Rich, the Gorgeous, and the Comical: Iconic Achievers in Contemporary Thai Society 
Autobiographies of famous people is currently trendy in Thailand. What do we learn about the society from the stories of movie and sport stars, TV anchors, tycoons, politicians, beauty queens, comedians and more?

December 7, 2007 - Diep Phan (Agricultural & Applied Economics, UW-Madison)
Inter-provincial Migration and Inequality during Vietnam's Transition
Vietnam's economic boom during the transition to a market economy has centered on very rapid growth in some sectors and some provinces, yet poverty has diminished across the entire country. With capital investments highly concentrated by province and sector, geographic labor mobility may be critical in spreading the gains from growth. Conversely, rising income inequality may be attributable in part to impediments to migration. We first use census data to investigate migration patterns and determinants. We then examine the role of migration as an influence on cross-province income differentials. The former analysis robustly confirms economic motives for migration but also suggests the existence of poverty-related labor immobility at the provincial level. Examination of income differentials between pairs of provinces reveals that the impact of migration on inequality can be either negative or positive. A robust inequality-reducing impact of migration is found for migration flows into provinces where most of Vietnam?s trade-oriented industrial investments are located.

December 14, 2007 - Kazuhiro Ota (Graduate School of Human Development & Environment, Kobe University)
Poverty in the Philippines: Adverse Mixture of State, Civil Society, and Market
Why has the situation of the poor improved very slowly although anti-poverty policies have been implemented by the governments since 1980s? The functions of State, Civil Society, and Market, and the mixture of them would explain this underperformance.