UNITAS launches website;Joel David lectures on film, pop culture

The University of Santo Tomas Office of the Scholar-in-Residence launched the new website of its 96-year old international research journal UNITAS on August 16, 2018 along with an archive of its back issues. To celebrate this occasion, a lecture was delivered by respected author, film critic, and UNITAS editorial board member Professor Joel David, Ph.D., on his two-volume monograph on Philippine cinema titled “Millennial Traversals.”


Established in July 1922, UNITAS is considered as one of the oldest extant academic journals in the Philippines. It is a semi-annual peer-reviewed international online journal of advanced research in literature, culture, and society.

The two volumes of “Millennial Traversals” were published as special issues of UNITAS and consist of an exploration and reassessment of the film and culture industry in the Philippines for the first part and a collection of scholarly reviews, commentaries, and critiques for the second half.


Prof. David, the founding Director of the UP Film Institute, is currently tenured in Inha University in Incheon, South Korea. He was the first Filipino to receive a lifetime achievement prize for film criticism and scholarship at the 2016 edition of the Filipino Arts and Cinema International Festival in San Francisco, California.

He completed his doctorate in Cinema Studies at New York University.
In his lecture, Prof. David discussed the process of compiling his responses to Filipino films and other media from late 1970s onward and transforming Millennial Traversals from distinct features from

his archival blog, “Amateurish!” into a scholarly publication for UNITAS. He shared his pride in producing “the first local film publication that came out originally in digital format.” Prior to the lecture, UST Secretary-General
Rev. Fr. Jesús M. Miranda, Jr., O.P., delivered a message congratulating UNITAS on its launch and talked about the state of journal publishing
in the University of Santo Tomas. Citing the megatrends transforming modern universities as mentioned in Ernst & Young’s ‘University
of the Future,’ Fr. Miranda highlighted the ‘democratization of knowledge and access’ and ‘the impact of digital technologies’, and shared that “UNITAS going online is one of the University’s responses to these megatrends.”
Fr. Miranda expressed his full support of UNITAS, saying that, in line with the mission of UST to spread the light, “We have to be ready to share our knowledge with the world.”

He then announced that in a few months, an aggregate portal of
all the University’s peer-reviewed and indexed research journals will be available to the public. UNITAS volumes and special issues, including
Prof. David’s “Millennial Traversals,” are freely available
for public viewing through https://unitasust.net.

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