KK Hosted ATN Workshop 2023: A Success

December 11, 2023

Kritika Kultura hosted the Asia Theories Network (ATN) Workshop 2023 at the Ateneo de Manila University last week. Co-convened by Associate Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies Dr. Oscar V. Campomanes and KK Editor in Chief Dr. Vincenz Serrano, the workshop brought together 15 professorial presenters from important universities in Asia and the US to reflect on the theme The University: Colonial/Modern, Global/Neoliberal, Digital/Transversal.

The first day of the workshop was held on December 5 at Faber Hall 101, which began with a welcome address from the Dean of the School of Humanities Dr. Jonathan O. Chua. In his speech, Dr. Chua delved into the University as “a network of productive tensions” among the following: production of knowledge and the dictates of authority, autonomy of academic inquiry and the demands of industry, creative chaos and regulation, and democratization and the legacy of elitism. The SOH Dean concluded his address by calling to mind the vision of former Superior General of the Society of Jesus Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ: that the social mission of Jesuit universities like the Ateneo is to form men and women for others. He was followed by the Founding Editor and Editor Emerita of Kritika Kultura Dr. Ma. Luisa Torres Reyes whose remarks revolved around the history of KK and its contribution to knowledge production by being a platform for local and international academics. The ATN Workshop 2023 co-convenors spoke next. Respectively, Drs. Campomanes and Serrano brought attention to “the crisis of the University,” especially with regard to institutionality, “the idea of the modern University,” neoliberalization, academic management and labor as limitations to academic freedom, and “the capitalist ethic of ‘global competitiveness.’” 

Three of the five panels presented during the first day. The first panel–Philosophical and Ideological Challenges in the University–featured the following presentations “The Philosophy of Education, Attitudes and the University” by Dr. Syed Farid Alatas, Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore; “Breaking the Cycle: Rethinking University Education and Overcoming Ideological Barriers” by Dr. Joyce C.H. Liu, Professor Emerita and Director of the International Center for Cultural Studies at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University; and “The Future of University and Democracy” by Dr. Kei Yamamoto, Associate Professor of Law at Ritsumeikan University. Titled Historical Crises, Contemporary Sensibilities, the second panel was composed of “University and Human Capital” by Dr. Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, Professor of Cultural Studies and founding Director of the Center for Technology in Humanities at Kyung Hee University; “On Stiegler and the Crisology of Spirit” by Dr. Joff P.N. Bradley, Professor of English and Philosophy at Teikyo University; and “Cultivating a Molecular Sensibility” by Dr. Chun-mei Chuang, Professor of Sociology at Soochow University. The third panel–Social Mission and Academic Freedom–featured “The Demise of the Social Mission of Indonesian Universities” by Dr. Agus Suwignyo, Associate Professor of Indonesian History at Gadjah Mada University; “Can a University Condemn Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing” by Dr. Ramon Guillermo, Director of Center for International Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman; and “The Subversive Intellectual and the University” by Dr. Virgilio A. Rivas, former Director of the Research Institute for Cultural Studies at Polytechnic University of the Philippines. The workshop’s first day concluded with a visit to the Ateneo de Manila University Press and the Ateneo Art Gallery.

The workshop continued the next day, December 6, with a public roundtable discussion in the morning and the last two panel presentations in the afternoon. During the roundtable discussion, Dr. Suwignyo; Dr. Lee; Dr. Anneeth Kaur Hundle, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Presidential Chair in Social Sciences to Advance Sikh Studies at the University of California, Irvine; Dr. Liu; Dr. Mayumo Inoue, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Hitotsubashi University; Dr. Campomanes; and Dr. Alatas led the audience–which included faculty members from the Ateneo and UP Diliman and independent researchers–to a critical reflection on the question: How are we to reimagine the University now? After lunch, the fourth panel–Conditions and Strategies–followed. It was composed of “The Condition of the University'' by Hung-chiung Li, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the National Taiwan University; “The Orphic Undercommons and the University under Military Occupation” by Dr. Inoue; and “No Longer a Place for Critical and Liberal Intelligentsia?” by Dr. Kwai-Cheung Lo, Professor and Head of the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University. The last panel–Subjectivities and Sectors–featured “Universalizing the African University” by Dr. Hundle; “For a Planetary Education: Jacques Ranciere, the Global University and Japanese Alternative Education Practices'' by Dr. Christophe Thouny, Associate Professor at the College of Global Liberal Arts, Ritsumeikan University; and “Non-University Sector of Humanities in Seoul and Freedom of Philosophizing'' by Dr. Ki-myoung Kim, Research Fellow at the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies.

The workshop concluded with a trip to the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Antipolo Cathedral) where the participants chanced upon pre-feast day activities held in the vicinity of the church and to Pinto Art Museum where they marveled at, if not contemplated, contemporary Filipino art.

The workshop was funded by the University of California Humanities Research Institute many thanks to its former director Dr. David Theo Goldberg of UC Irvine, who along with Dr. Li, was a prime mover of ATN. A global scholarly network, ATN functions as “a platform for exchanges and collaborations among humanities and interpretive social science scholars in Asia and other parts of the world.”

The ATN Workshop 2023 was managed by KK and its Secretariat was composed of Raymon D. Ritumban, Luisa Gomez, John Paolo Sarce, and Francis Sollano, who are faculty members of the Department of English and KK Editorial Staff, and their graduate assistant Loraine Villarina.

Visit the KK Facebook page for photos.

Browse By