RDG Conference Report of Joefe B. Santarita

Write up about the Conference

Conference Theme: Intersecting Belongings: Cultural Conviviality and Cosmopolitan Futures. The European Association for South East Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) is an international initiative to foster scholarly cooperation within Europe in the field of Southeast Asian studies. It was founded in 1992 and it is the only pan-European scientific organization dedicated to Southeast Asian studies. EuroSEAS members work in all areas of humanities and social sciences, from archeology to economics, from anthropology to linguistics.  The 2013 EuroSEAS Conference was held in the Technical University of Lisbon, at the School of Social and Political Sciences – ISCSP, Lisbon from 2ndto the 5th of July. Three keynote speakers were invited namely Jose Ramos-Horta, Jorge Sampaio and Duncan McCargo and 96 panels were organized.

Feedback on paper presented

For panel 1 on Fil-Ams in Kodiak, participants were glad to know that there are Filipinos who managed to ‘ survive’ in the cold and frigid zone of Alaska. For Panel 14 on Punjabi traders, the participants sympathized to the plights of the Punjabi traders and recommended to the presentor to pursue further study on the strategies these traders utilized to thrive in the Philippines particularly their political capitals.

Future directions of research presented

As mentioned earlier, the Panel 1 paper needs for refinement as journal article and hopefully as pilot study for a global project on Filipino diaspora. Panel 14 paper on Punjabi traders, on the other hand, will be incorporated in the presentor’s PhD grant on Indian business community in the Philippines. Hopefully, these efforts will be translated into a book publication. At the same time, Panel 14 organizer is planning to publish all the presentations into a proceeding.

Potential foreign collaborators

In the initial discussion with Miss Sharon Quinsaat of the University of Pittsburgh and Prof. Akiko Watanabe of Japan, the decision was made to initiate a facebook networking to reach out those scholars working on Filipino diaspora and make a proposal and realization of an international conference of Filipino diaspora all over the world. Hope that UP can also extend financial assistance in this project.

Other important contacts and insights

I networked with notable scholars such as Prof. Anne Booth whose works I made as primary references in my graduate courses in the Asian Center and also met another Polish professor who invited me to submit a paper for her journal as well as invite me to visit her country for a presentation on Southeast Asia.

Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)

Dr. Joefe B. Santarita presented two papers in the 7th EuroSEAS Conference 2013, School of Social and Political Sciences held at the University of Lisbon from 2nd to 5th July 2013. First established in 1992, the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) is an organization of European universities and research institutions that seek to promote the study of Southeast Asia. The EuroSEAS conference is a major gathering of scholars, researchers and students in and of Southeast Asia and has been conducted in Leiden, Hamburg, London, Paris, Naples and Gothenburg. The papers presented cut across several disciplines and covered a wide range of issues: migration, identity, popular culture, religion, health, media, civil societies, peace and conflict.

Dr. Santarita’s first paper is entitled “Negotiating Identity: The Filipino-Americans in Kodiak, Alaska”which discusses the Filipino diasporic experience in northern United States. The paper, a product of his short stint as Fulbright Scholar in Kodiak College, talks about how the Filipino diaspora community in the island, which comprises 35% of the total population, has influenced the cityscape while negotiating their identity as individuals of a different nationality, language and ethnicity in a foreign land. He also presented another paper entitled ‘Mobile Markets and Bank on Bikes: Risks and Luck of Punjabi Traders in the Philippines.’ The said paper presents the nature and strategies employed by the Punjabi businessmen, either as peddlers or micro-financers, in negotiating and reconstructing their identity in the archipelago.