International Studies in the Philippines (An interview with Adonis L. Elumbre)

Chapter 6: “Discursive experiments in vernacularizing international studies in the Philippines” authored by Adonis L. Elumbre

A normative feature of international studies is its situatedness in nations attempting to understand and engage counterparts in their own region or elsewhere in the world. This epistemic status takes a variety of approaches, but its more explicit form is with the use of vernacular languages and concepts. A paradox however lies in the case of the Philippines, a formerly colonized nation in the Global South, whose hegemonic official language has always been the non-vernacular medium (i.e., English). The absence of a ‘civilizational discourse’ (Salazar, 1991), exacerbated by decades of Westernized education, has led to a radically positioned project known as Araling Kabanwahan, or a Filipinized international/cultural studies. This chapter seeks to provide a panoramic intellectual history on this variety of international studies. Discursive experiments spanning the critical junctures of the late 19th century, the 1930s, and the 1970s shall be examined to bring about articulations of alternatives that sought to upset established intellectual and political orders. Historicizing these vernacular sources demonstrates the extent and possibilities of reconfiguring knowledge creation, consumption, and circulation – a simultaneous interrogation and narration of the ‘international’ (global or regional) according to the ‘internal’ (national or local).

International Studies in the Philippines: Mapping New Frontiers in Theory and Practice” Edited by Frances Antoinette Cruz & Nassef Manabilang Adiong

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