UP Professors to Discuss Tattooing and Identity in First Interdisciplinary Book Forum on September 30

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The first UP Interdisciplinary Book Forum, dubbed “Tapping Ink: Tattooing Identities” will be held at Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman on September 30, from 2 to 5 in the afternoon.

The forum is sponsored by the UP Institute of Creative Writing and the UP Press. It will draw on the 2013 book Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Kalinga Society, Northern Luzon, Philippines by Analyn Salvador-Amores. The book explores tattooing practices in Kalinga and the rich history of meaning-making among the tattoo artists in the region. It examines tattooing against the backdrop of tradition and modernity, and how it has been affected by mobility, the diaspora, technology, and globalization.

The discussants for the IDF’s pilot event are Dr. Maria F. Mangahas of the U.P. Department of Anthropology, Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino of the U.P. College of Mass Communication, and Prof. Clod Marlan Krister V. Yambao of the U.P. College of Arts and Letters. The moderator is Dr. J. Neil C. Garcia, U.P. Press Director.

Rolando B. Tolentino is faculty of University of the Philippines Film Institute and former dean of the UP College of Mass Communication. He has taught at the Osaka University, National University of Singapore, and now teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include Philippine literature, popular culture, cinema and media, interfacing national and transnational issues. He writes fiction and creative non-fiction, and is a fellow of the UP Institute of Creative Writing. He is a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Filipino Film Critics Group), Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP), and Altermidya (People’s Alternative Media Network).

Maria F. Mangahas is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She teaches courses on Economic Anthropology and Ecological Anthropology. Coastal and small-scale fishing communities has been her area of research since the 1980s, with long-term fieldwork in Batanes and in Samal Island, Davao Gulf. The ethnographic themes explored center on fishing culture and the community economy, on practices of sharing, as well as tradition and identity born out of the interaction and circulation of people (locals and migrants) in coastal places. She has written on ‘indigenous coastal resource management’, ‘gear conflicts’ and changing seascapes, notions of ‘luck’ and leadership. More recently however she looked into the phenomenon of digitized ‘scandals’ and the culture of media piracy in the Philippines. She has a PhD in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University. Presently she is the President of the Ugnayang Pang-AghamTao, Inc. (Anthropological Association of the Philippines), and an editor of its AghamTao journal. She also heads the Technical Committee for Anthropology of the Commission for Higher Education (CHED).

Clod Marlan Krister V. Yambao is an Assistant Professor of Art Studies in the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman, where he finished his BA Art Studies and MA in Art Studies. He has taught subjects in Western and non-Western aesthetics and art theory, contemporary cultures and the arts, popular culture, and gender issues in the arts in the undergraduate and graduate level. He was a recipient of the Impakt Asia Exchange scholarship, where he lectured on critical theory and cultural politics under the Department of Conflict and Development Studies, Faculty of Politics and Social Sciences at the University of Ghent, Belgium. He also delivered a public lecture on contemporary art, migration, aesthetic, and Filipino gendered bodies in Berlin, Vienna, and Prague this year. His academic interests include Philippine contemporary art, critical theory and contemporary art theory, Cultural Studies, aesthetics, installation art, and the avant-garde, politics and time regimes.

The Interdisciplinary Book Forum is part of U.P.’s Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) Cycle, and is set to take place once per semester, from hereon. It will cycle through the different disciplines and main literary genres. From this year’s focus on non-fiction, future iterations of the book forum will concentrate on poetry and fiction.

Both the Institute of Creative Writing and the U.P. Press hope that this initial foray will encourage and enliven dialogues and critical thought on recent books and their impact not just on the academe, but among student readers. Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay, U.P. ICW Director, says that the EIDR is intrinsically interdisciplinary, and “involves initiating and maintaining strong relationships with the language, literature, and humanities departments and divisions of all the U.P System’s constituent universities, as well as with related fields. Its results should have a direct impact on the way the university teaches and promotes Philippine literature and literacy, particularly in terms of bilingualism and cultural diversity and inclusivity.”

Dr. Dalisay adds that the Interdisciplinary Book Forum should, in particular, “help engender greater interdisciplinarity and promote a more positive climate in the University’s intellectual life… The University of the Philippines must champion profound forms of reading and writing.”

Admission for the IBF is free. Those interested in attending are advised to come early.

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