Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Literary Inspiration: The Beauty Conference

I was asked to participate in "Beauty and Power In Filipino/American Communities" at UC Berkeley over the President's Day Weekend. Artists and scholars were gathered to seriously explore "Beauty." I didn't know what to expect, but I was truly inspired by the content of the conference. I was moved by old pictures of past Filipina beauty Queens (like the one pictured, circa 1932). I was reminded of just how many stories there are out there that need to be written about.

Lest you think this was a day of fluff, let me share with you the papers presented at the conference:

1. "Where Did You Get that Gorgeous Black Ballerina Dress?": Filipino American Postcolonialism and Modernity through Beauty" by Shirley J. Lim (Assoc. Professor in History, SUNY at Stony Brook.
2. "The Ideal Filipina" Filipina Americans and Queen Contests, 1920's-1950's by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon (Assistant Professor of history at San Francisco State University)
3. "The Lovely Nowhere": What the Exclusion of Filipina/o Americans from US Racial Discourse Implies for Issues of Gender/Sexuality by essayist Elizabeth H. Pisares
4. "Malakas at Maganda: Debutante Splendor As An Instrumental Cultural Resistance and Empowerment for Filipinos in America" by Evelyn Rodriquez (Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco)
5. "Avoiding the 'F' word(s): Filipinas and Fat" by Joanne L. Rondilla (Graduate Student, UC Berkeley)
6. "On Imeldific Beauty" by Roland B. Tolentino (Visiting Fellow, National University of Singapore)

The conference touched on racism, classism, feminism, and alot of other isms that I find interesting. I was flattered to be asked to be part of the discussion.


Angelo said...

Hey Noel!!! :D

How are you? How are things with work? Hope all is great.

Anyway, this conference you attended is SO interesting!!! Were you able to get a copy of the papers?

By the way, Roland Tolentino used to be with the University of the Philippines Film Institute (or I think he's still with UP). I wonder why he chose NUS instead of UP.

Alright, take care.

Gladys said...

noel, as one of the organizers, i can say we were flattered you agreed to join us. it was thrilling, and i enjoyed your performance very much. thanks for working the crowd; i know they enjoyed it!

Joanne said...

Yes, I do agree with Gladys. We were definitely honored to have you there.

In fact, I can die now:)

Anyway... to answer angelomilco's question, Roland is still at UP, but is a visiting fellow in Singapore until the end of the year (hence why he had to switch his affiliation).

Hope all is well and I didn't know you were into long distance running! I did the Maui marathon and Nike Women's Half last year... so that's how you know the importance of good shoes and dri-fit!

Cheryl said...

I want a PhD in Imeldific Studies.

wendell said...

Roland Tolentino is still an Associate Professor at UP College of Mass Communication. He was director of the UP Film Institute. He is currently on study leave to accept a Visiting Associate Profesor/Visiting Fellow Post at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of NUS. He will return to UP early next year.

I guess UP should be organizing a similar conference sometime in the future to attract scholars from all over.