The Literature, Communication, and Marketing Communication Cluster of the UST Graduate School recently held an International Lecture by Dr. Kar-Yen Leong of the Department of Global Politics and Economics of Tamkang University, Taipei, Taiwan on October 8, 2022, via Zoom.
The lecture titled “Between steel and the soft beating heart: Comparing and contrasting visions of the nation through literary Indonesia” explores Indonesian vision of a modern nation beginning with the final years of the Suharto regime and as she becomes the object of the construction of two worldviews of nationalism: the integralist view by the state and the imaginative – albeit non-official and oppositional- views by the poets. The interdisciplinary approach used by Leong elicited quite a number of questions from students of Literature, Communication and Marketing Communication and from faculty and guests as they sought to establish connections and comparisons between the Suharto regime of Indonesia and the Martial Law regime in the Philippines. Leong concludes that there have been quite a number of disparate constructions of nations sponsored by the statist-integralist sectors and by the culturalist-performative group of poets.
Leong finished his degree from the National University of Singapore and has been previously educated in the United States and the United Kingdom. A researcher interested in human rights and how people cope with the trauma of violence, Leong deploys memory studies as his key framework in his publication projects. His bionotes make an emphatic claim, namely: “With a keen interest in the burgeoning field of memory studies, Dr. Leong’s research is prompted by how it intersects with the history and culture of the region.” He recently visited the Philippines in order to investigate how victims of extrajudicial killings during the Duterte era cope with trauma and how this could be externalized through rituals connected to the dead and their memorialization. Corollary to that, his bionotes further state that “trained in Southeast Asian Studies and political science, he has an abiding interest in the linkages between the region and human rights.”
The Literature, Communication, and Marketing Communication cluster has been consistently holding international lectures in recent years, attentively covering the disciplines and sub-fields in its program of studies. The October 8 lecture also featured the Welcome Remarks of GS Dean Prof. Michael Anthony C. Vasco, Ph.D., and the Closing Remarks of Program Lead Prof. Joyce Arriola, Ph.D. The lecture was hosted and moderated by Dr. Jennifer Ortuoste.