[Blueboard] Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents The Archipelago as a Moving Archive: Orature and Performance in Southern Mindanao

Department of English [LS] english.soh at ateneo.edu
Mon Apr 10 12:38:42 PHT 2017

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary,
and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila
University presents “*The Archipelago as a Moving Archive: Orature and
Performance in Southern Mindanao*,” a series of lectures featuring Jose
Jowel Canuday, Anne Christine Ensomo, and Maria Natividad I. Karaan.
The event is on April 17, 2017, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., at the Faura Hall
AVR, Ateneo de Manila University. The event is open to the public.

*About the forum*

In this forum, the reconfiguration of the topos of Southern Mindanao as a
liminal, confluent zone in imagination, discourse, and history will be
explored from literary and anthropological perspectives. The imaginary
cartography of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi will be redrawn through close engagement
with Sama orature, including such kata-kata as *Tandanan* and *Usaha Dilaut*,
as well as Tausug oral repertoire, notably the kissah and tarasul, derived
from the *Sulu Studies* and the Rixhon/Revel collections. Across these oral
narratives, the tension between the insular and the dispersive will be
recast in terms of spatial flux, with the Sama concept of navigation as
dwelling counterposed with the fractal, expansive nature of islandness
proper to Tausug polity and society. In laying down this dialectic, the
forum aims to show the peculiar and contemporaneous character of
transculturation in Southern Mindanao, and the endurance of forms and
sources beneath it, as a veritable archive, as against the erasures
sanctioned by state and regional geoimperialism. As a fitting interposition
to this dialectic, the performance of the “pangalay” as a micro-site of
everyday, enduring cosmopolitanism will be examined to show the continued
revision of the popular repertoire. In this anthropological examination,
the embodiment of memory in actual and continuing practice could be used as
a commentary on popular historiography. In and across these texts and
sources, the enactment of the popular imaginary amidst a shifting
archipelagicity will be used to demonstrate critical modernity as it had
emerged, and continues to evolve, in Southern Mindanao vis-a-vis maritime
Southeast Asia.

*About the lectures*

*“Re-visioning Obscure Spaces: Enduring Cosmopolitanism in the Sulu
Archipelago and Zamboanga Peninsula” by Jose Jowel Canuday, Department of
Sociology and Anthropology*

In popular imagery, the littorals of Sulu and Zamboanga conjure pirates,
terrorists, and bandits marauding its rough seas, open shores, and rugged
mountains. Hidden from this imagery and the painful reality of everyday
acts of violence are lasting cosmopolitan traits of openness, flexibility,
and reception of its ordinary constituencies to global cultural streams
across the ages. The distinctive features of these cosmopolitan
sensibilities are strikingly discernible in inter-generationally shared
narratives, artefacts, and performances that were subsequently embodied by
the blending, among others, of the time-honoured dance of *pangalay *with
recently celebrated pop-musical dance genre on actual spaces, and analogue
and digitally mediated worlds. Furthermore, these embodied sensibilities
are evident in song compositions that proclaim the humanistic themes of
hope, peace, and prosperity to their place and the world in ways that
exemplify the local people’s broader sense of connections beyond the narrow
association of family, community, ethnicity, religion, and identity. These
mixed bag of age-old and recent imaginaries evoke a sociality that links
the spaces of the troubled region to continuing acts of transcendence in
history, memory, and visions of the future. In these marginalised and
unlikely places, therefore, we see enduring acts that have been invariably
described as everyday, down-to-earth, pragmatic, interstitial, and
practical cosmopolitanism.

*“A Poetic Historiography of Sulu” by Anne Christine Ensomo, Department of

In this paper, the tropological construction of Sulu—coded in the
category *lupah
sug*, meaning “land and current”—will be analyzed and elaborated, with the
intent of contributing to, and complicating further, incipient discourse on
the *kapuluan*. Using this category, the paper aims to show Sulu as a
liminal frontier situated at the cross-currents of the Spanish Filipinas
and an Islamic wordliness, a historical index or reference which is
implicit in representative kissah and parang sabil drawn from *Sulu Studies
*and the Rixhon/Revel collections. Framing Sulu this way would prove
generative to the extent that it decenters primordial assumptions, often
land-based, regarding territoriality. In doing so, the paper foregrounds a
deterritorialized conception that highlights principles of movement,
migration, and dispersion. Representing Sulu as a dynamic space, which
accommodates a history of contact and exchange, the paper offers a
contrapuntal reading geared toward reversing colonial and statist
assumptions regarding Sulu.

*“Navigating the Kata-Kata” by Maria Natividad I. Karaan, Department of

The primacy of the terra—terrestrial and territorial—has relegated the sea
as a space of alterity, but the geography of the archipelago blurs the
land/sea binary, calling for a turn to the sea that reconsiders the concept
of dwelling. The Sama Dilaut, who inhabit the islands and seas of
Tawi-Tawi, challenge the dominance of the terra by revealing the
possibility of inhabitancy without territoriality through their lifeway in
the littoral. In this paper, I employ a method of Navigation, which
examines the manner through which the Sama Dilaut traverse their seascape
as revealed in the tropography that arises from their orature.
Specifically, I explore two sacred songs of healing sung by the wali-djinn
called kata-kata: Tandanan chanted by Jimsu Sarali, and Usaha Dilaut
chanted by Panglima Isnang Jorolan. These kata-kata demonstrate the Sama
Dilaut’s navigational tekhné, an intimate understanding of the archipelagic
space that allows them to ascertain the best routes around the obstacles
within the spaces they occupy. The kata-kata becomes a trope for the manner
through which the community navigates the physical and temporal currents,
resisting the forces of militarization that attempt to destroy their
lifeway, and reimagines dwelling as constant resettlement.

*About the resource persons*

Jose Jowel Canuday is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology
and Anthropology at the Ateneo de Manila University. He holds a doctorate
degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford.

Anne Christine Ensomo is an instructor affiliated with the Department of
English. Her research interests, which revolve around island studies,
Southeast Asia, and comparative theology, have been shaped by her foray
into Southern Mindanao and Central Java, and also guided by her interest in
Muslim-Christian dialogue both in its translocal enactment in Mindanao
vis-a-vis Southeast Asia and as a historical and global phenomenon. She
recently completed her MA thesis on Sulu Literature and Historiography, and
has previously participated in such fellowships as the J. Elizalde National
Workshop and the Asian Research Institute Graduate Fellowship.

Maria Natividad I. Karaan is a graduate student under the MA in Literary
and Cultural Studies program of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila
University, where she also teaches English Literature and Philippine
Literature in English. Her research pursuits revolve around Philippine
indigenous cosmology, memory, and geopoetics. Her thesis navigates
the topography of the orature of the Sama Dilaut from the Sulu archipelago.
She was a fellow for the University of Santo Tomas J. Elizalde Navarro
Critical Writing Workshop in 2012 and the Asian Graduate Student Fellowship
of the Asia Research Institute in 2013.

Kritika Kultura is acknowledged by a host of Asian and Asian American
Studies libraries and scholarly networks, and indexed in the MLA
International Bibliography, Thomson Reuters (ISI), Scopus, EBSCO, and the
Directory of Open Access Journals. For inquiries about submission
guidelines and future events, visit http://journals.ateneo.edu/ojs/kk/
email kk.soh at ateneo.edu
<kk.soh at ateneo.edu%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank>

Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City 1108
Tel. no.: 426-6001 local 5310/5311
Telefax: 426-6120
Email: english.soh at ateneo.edu
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