Renowned writer and educator Professor Emeritus Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Ph.D., delivered the 2019 Adrian Cristóbal Lecture, on February 20, 2019 at the Tanghalang Teresita Quirino, UST Graduate School, Manila.
Her lecture was titled “Will There Be Space for the Practice and Study of Literature in the Near Future?” and examined the Literature’s current state of being shunted aside in the university curricula.
According to the lecture abstract on Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) or the Writers’ Union of the Philippines Facebook page “Literary Studies are having trouble keeping afloat in some major universities. Literary titles are being edged out of the shelves of the main bookstore chain in the country. Magazines that include stories and essays are now available only online. Commercial publishers are turning down literary titles unless they have a clearly identified market. Even academic publishers are experiencing some problems justifying the publication of literary titles, which are so slow-moving that they clog up storage space. Will there be any space in the near future for the practice and study of literature?”
Hidalgo is the author of several autobiographical travel books, novels, and books of literary criticism focusing on women’s literature. She has also edited literary anthologies, as well as pioneered creative nonfiction in the country. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy (1964), magna cum laude, and Master of Arts degree in Literature (1967) meritissimus from the University of Santo Tomas. She later received a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1993.
Currently, she serves as the director of the University of Santo Tomas Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (UST- CCWLS) The Adrian Cristóbal Lecture Series was established by the Cristóbal family, in collaboration with the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) or the Writers’ Union of the Philippines.
It aims to honor the intellectual legacy of the late fictionist, playwright, essayist, satirist, newspaper columnist, and former UMPIL chair whose name the series carries.
In this annual event, a renowned Filipino intellectual delivers a keynote speech on a topic related to a current socio-political condition in the country or a cultural development. Past lecturers include Gemino Abad (2011), National Artist Virgilio Almario (2012), National Artist Resil Mojares (2013), Reynaldo Ileto (2014), Solita Monsod (2015), Marites Vitug (2016), Alfred Yuson (2017), and Soledad Reyes (2018).