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Special Seminar : Professor Filomeno Aguilar Jr on “Romancing Tropicality: Ilustrado Portraits of the Climate in the Late Nineteenth Century Philippines” on 21 July 2016

2016/07/21 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Date and Time: 21 July 2016, 16:00-17:30
Place: Tonan-tei (Room No. 201),CSEAS, Inamori Foundation Memorial Building, Kyoto University

Speaker: Prof. Filomeno Aguilar Jr.

Title: Romancing Tropicality: Ilustrado Portraits of the Climate in the Late Nineteenth Century Philippines.

In contrast to the literature’s dominant focus on Western constructions of tropicality, this article explores the representations of the tropics from the perspective of the colonized, specifically the climatological conditions of the Philippines as portrayed in the late nineteenth century by the Europe-based native intellectuals known as ilustrados. Their visceral estrangement from Spain and anticolonial sentiment led to idealized representations that reversed the colonizers’ prejudice against the tropics as causing indolence and passivity, asserting instead an identity as a civilizable tropical people capable of genius. Rizal’s return visit to the homeland in 1887, however, made him see the climate as disastrous; still, he and other native intellectuals deemed colonial rule a worse calamity to be combatted.

Filomeno Aguilar Jr. is Professor in the Department of History and former Dean of the School of Social Sciences at the Ateneo de Manila University. He is editor of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints. He has taught at the National University of Singapore and at James Cook University in north Queensland, Australia. His books include Migration Revolution: Philippine Nationhood and Class Relations in a Globalized Age (NUS Press, Kyoto University Press, Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014); Maalwang Buhay: Family, Overseas Migration, and Cultures of Relatedness in Barangay Paraiso (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2009); and Clash of Spirits: The History of Power and Sugar Planter Hegemony on a Visayan Island (University of Hawai’i Press and Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1998).


Moderator: Associate Professor Julius Bautista


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Event Category:


Julius Bautista