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Priscelina Patajo Legasto

Literature scholar from the University of the Philippines was in residence at UCLA during Fall quarter 2005 with Fulbright support.

By Barbara Gaerlan

Professor Priscelina Patajo Legasto of the Department of English and Comparative Literature of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, pursued research on "Identity Construction and Nation Formation in Contemporary Fiipino-American Theater" at UCLA during Fall 2005, in cooperation with UCLA's Professor Lucy Burns of World Arts & Cultures and Asian American Studies.

Her research statement said: "Based on my previous studies on Philippine Theater (theater from the Spanish Conquest to the present), this current research project on Filipino-American Theater, through interviews of Filipino theater practitioners in California and New York, and a study of their works, seeks (1) to explore notions of Filipino-hood and the Philippine nation of Filipino Americans living outside the physical boundaries of the Philippine archipelago and how these are articulated in contemporary Filipino American theater practices; and (2) to cathect (compare/contrast) these notions by Filipinos in the US, expressed Fil Am theater, with the articulations of Filipino-hood and the Philippine nation emanating from Theater produced in the Philippines."

At the University of the Philippines, Professor Legasto teaches courses in literary, cultural, feminist and Marxist theory and criticism, Philippine theater history and post colonial studies.  Her publications include the Philippine Post Colonial Studies: Essays in Language and Literature (as editor and contributor; 2nd edition, UP Press, 2004), Filipiniana Reader: A Companion Reader of Filipiniana Online (as editor and contributor, UPOU, 1998), Sarswelang Pangasinan (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1996), and Prism of Literature (as co-editor with Yolanda Tomeldan et. al., 1986).

At UCLA in addition to pursuing her research, Prof. Legasto gave two colloquim presentations.  On October 25, 2005 she spoke on "Filipiniana Online: Philippine Culture, Identity Construction and Nation Formation" based on a web-based graduate course she co-teaches at the U.P. Open University.  On November 8, she spoke on "Inscribing Gender into Philippine Theater Histories" to an appreciative audience in the World Arts and Cultures Department.

Center for Southeast Asian Studies