Philippines: History, Literature, Performance
How do we tell history? Who writes history? How do we know that the telling and writing of history is accurate?
There are several ways by which we can learn about the history of a country, among them, history texbooks, archival research and official documents, oral research, literature and performance. In this class, we are going to explore questions of memory and truth. For example, how did the nine (9) women writers of the poem “Our Plea” narrate the arrival of American soldiers in their village in 1899? How can we compare this poem to the official documents of the American colonial period that we find in the historical collections of the Doe library? How can we interrogate conflicting autobiographical accounts of Martial Law (1972-1986)? What contradictions do we find in these texts? The course asks the students to read and rethink Philippine history through literature and performance during the indigenous or precolonial period (pre-16th century), the Spanish and American colonial periods, and contemporary times.