[Blueboard] KRITIKA KULTURA LECTURE, 10 May 2006

Department of English Department at admu.edu.ph
Tue May 9 15:23:26 PHT 2006


Kritika Kultura
Ateneo English Department
Philippine-American Educational Foundation

invite you to a lecture

A Consideration of the Burnham Kidnapping


Fulbright Fellow


10 May 2006, Wednesday
3:00 p.m - 5:00 p.m.
Social Science Building
Audio Visual Room
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Road, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

The kidnapping of American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham by the 
Philippine-based Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf in 2001-02 claimed 
worldwide media attention, affected R.P.-U.S. relations, stirred lingering 
controversy in the Philippines, and generated a brisk-selling book, Gracia 
Burnham's memoir of the event, In the Presence of My  Enemies.  Behind the 
headlines, though, and beneath the Old-Testament righteousness of the memoir's 
title, lies the record of a complex human experience that challenges the 
resources of contemporary understanding. In context after context for this  
understanding, whether the psychosocial dynamics and literary traditions of 
captivity, the "entangled" relationship between the Philippines and the United 
States, the global "war on terror" that broke out in full force midway through 
the kidnapping, or the historic resurgence of religion in personal and public 
life, Ms. Burnham's willed distinctions between "enemies" and friends 
repeatedly break down.  They are only reestablished, and then not always 
securely, after the end of the ordeal, which claimed the lives of her husband 
and other hostages.  Indeed, where the lines between enemies and friends are 
ultimately to be drawn constitutes one of the questions that hovers over the 
record of the kidnapping.  The other is whether the tragic aspects of the 
event's outcome may be seen to be redeemed by the Burnhams' religious faith or 
whether that outcome---in part by reason of Gracia Burnham's religious 
response to it---contains the seeds of further tragedies like theirs.

Gerald Burns has just completed his second Fulbright Fellowship in the 
Philippines; the first, in which he served as visiting Lecturer in American 
Literature at the Ateneo, covered the years 1989-91. He holds a Ph.D. in 
American Studies from Yale University and teaches in the U.S. at Franklin 
Pierce College in New Hampshire. His publications include Presenting America, 
Encountering the Philippines, a collection of lectures and essays from his 
first Fulbright assignment, published by the University of the Philippines and 
University of Hawaii Presses. He has written on the "repatriate" and Martial 
Law genres in Philippine English-language fiction, and has recently completed 
a review essay of a new scholarly treatment of Filipino writers and 
intellectuals. Within the field of American Studies, Dr. Burns has written on 
topics in general American literature and culture, the history of education, 
narratives of the Vietnam War, multiculturalism, and place studies.

Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, 1108
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. Nos. +632-426-6001 loc. 5310 or 5311
Telefax:  +632- 426-6120
e-mail: kritikakultura at admu.edu.ph 

More information about the Blueboard mailing list