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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies was established in 1999 with a mission to promote outstanding research and teaching about the region. Southeast Asia encompasses the modern states of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, and East Timor. To these ends the Center facilitates faculty and graduate research, assists students with fellowships and awards, supports the teaching of four Southeast Asian languages, presents public lectures and cultural programs, conducts outreach and teacher-training programs in the wider community, organizes conferences, and hosts visiting scholars from around the world. The Center also works closely with UCLA's Interdisciplinary Degree Program in Southeast Asian Studies, supports new faculty positions and expanded course offerings, and contributes to the development of library holdings and services.

UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies

There are 41 publications in this collection, published between 1973 and 2009.
Colloquium Series (6)

Art and Politics in the Balagtasan

The BALAGTASAN is a curious literary form. Born about the second quarter of the 20th century, during the time when electronic media was just being introduced to the Philippines, the BALAGTASAN is probably the last poetic form which was thoroughly enjoyed by the Filipino people. As a literary form, the BALAGTASAN is essentially traditional and can almost be said to be merely a new label for an old bottle of wine. Yet, it contains elements which explain why the traditional remains contemporary and popular.

From Wilderness to Nation: the Evolution of Bayan

Spanish documents of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries point to static political organization in the Philippines that predated the Spanish presence there. Documents in the indigenous language Tagalog point in a different direction—to a fluid, evolving reality represented by the word bayan. The fluidity of bayan allowed it to define the transformations that took place—from wilderness to nation. While forces have sought over the past four centuries to concretize political realities, bayan has remained the locus for representation and meaning for Filipinos.

Gio Thoi Phuong Nao/From Where the Wind Blows

Gio Thoi Phuong Nao/From Where the Wind Blows is a collection of poems about the journey of a Vietnamese woman in her search for freedom. The poems reflect the special characters of the Vietnamese women who are capable of expressing their emotions as well as the willingness to fight for their beliefs. The presentation introduces the author's collection of poems in Vietnamese as well as those which have been translated into English.

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Occasional Papers (11)

Selected Abstracts from the Languages of Southeast Asia Conference

Selected abstracts from the UCLA – UC Berkeley Joint Conference on Southeast Asian Studies, Friday, January 30 - Sunday, February 1, 2009, 314 Royce Hall, UCLA Campus. A forum for presentations of new research and the exchange of ideas to create fresh conversations between scholars and teachers of Southeast Asian languages.

Filipino Intellectuals and Postcolonial Theory: The Case of E. San Juan, Jr.

This essay discusses the distinctive features of the writings of Epifanio San Juan, Jr. with special reference to his interpretation of postcolonial theory. After demonstrating the significance of postcolonial theories from a Japanese perspective, San Juan’s approach toward postcolonial theory is critically examined. By doing so, positive linkage between postcolonial studies and the new directions in Philippine studies is sought.

Diaspora as Historical/Political Trope in Philippine Literature

Texts of Philippine literature are marked by a desire for movement and mobility - moving away of epic heroes to fight battles, tricksters in folktales outdoing the powerful, return of the male hero (in Rizal's novels) to the homeland and their nostalgia for the ideals of European liberalism, diasporic literature's melancholia (including Filipino American novels) for the mother-nation, among others. These parallel the culmination of a national desire for diasporic movement and mobility as eight million Filipinos presently assume the identity of the overseas contract worker. The article examines diaspora as a historical and political trope in Philippine literature, a way to trace the cultural politics behind the present intensive movement of Filipino labor worldwide.

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Philippines/Schirmer Series (24)

Marcos and U.S. Aid

What is at stake in the question of cutting off aid to the Marcos dictatorship in truth is directly connected to the future of democracy in the United States. Congress, when it rejected the urgent advice of President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger and moved to cut off aid to South Vietnam, was merely responding to the declared will of the American people measured in poll after poll. And public opinion on this question had been molded by the popular movement against the Vietnam War, probably one of the greatest expressions of grass-roots democracy the United States has ever seen. I urge Congress to follow the lead of the members who have spoken out against aid to the Philippine dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. In this way they will be aligning themselves with most of the people of this country who have grown sick and tired of sending U.S. taxpayers money abroad to shore up the rule of corrupt foreign dictators. They will be speaking for a democratic foreign policy.

Asians Resist Nuclear Threat

Many in the United States have been alarmed at Ronald Reagan's casual talk of limited nuclear war in Europe and have drawn reassurance from the massive European opposition to such talk. What is not so well understood is that Asians too are threatened by Pentagon schemes for limited nuclear war; they too are rising in opposition.

Boone Schirmer on the Assassination of Aquino and Its Implications for the U.S. and Marcos

An analysis of the assassination of former Philippine Senator Benigno Aquino on August 21, 1983 upon his return to the Philippines from exile in the United States. The assassination shows the desperation of the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, as well as unmasking its brutality. Schirmer predicts that it will increase the momentum for the democratization of U.S. policy towards the Philippines, especially the cutting off of aid to the dictatorship and the withdrawal of the U.S. military bases there.

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