Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center, in partnership with UP Center for International Studies, UP Korea Research Center, and the Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas of the College of Arts and Letters, will be holding a public lecture, “Kung Ano ang Natutunan ko Bilang Manunulat sa Panonood ng K-Dramas Tungkol sa Kasaysayan" (What I Learned as a Writer From Watching Historical K-Dramas) on 23 February 2024, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (GMT+8), PH Time, at the Seminar Room, UP Asian Center. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first serve.


Prof. Joi Barrios-Leblanc was no stranger to finding solace in watching K-dramas in the midst of the pandemic. Having immersed herself in thirty (30) series that revolve around historical themes, she discovered a profound connection between the romantic narrative conventions and the historical experiences of Koreans.
This public lecture by Prof. Barrios delves into three primary aspects: (1) the use of romantic narrative conventions to portray class conflict and the experiences of the Koreans under Chinese and Japanese rule; (2) the assertion of women's issues through exploration of past and present struggles; and (3) the investigation of the joy or pleasure derived from watching K-dramas, even for Filipinos who may lack knowledge of the Korean language, culture, and history.
Prof. Barrios approaches the discussion of K-dramas as both a fan and a feminist writer, adding a unique perspective as a Filipina living abroad. Through this lecture, she aims to underscore the significance of engaging with K-Dramas not only as a form of entertainment but also as a means to comprehend and appreciate the culture and history of Korea.


Joi Barrios (Maria Josephine Barrios-Leblanc) teaches Filipino and Philippine Literature at the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies and the Asian American Program of the University of California, Berkeley. She has a Ph.D. in Filipino and Philippine Literature from the University of the Philippines and has served as Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters. She is the author/editor of more than a dozen books, among them, her poetry collection, To Be a Woman is To Live at a Time of War (Institute of Women's Studies, St. Scholastica's College, 1990), and the anthology, Savage Stage: Plays by Ma-Yi Theater Company (Ma Yi Theater Company, 2007). For her contributions to literature, she was among the one hundred women chosen as Weavers of History for the Philippine Centennial Celebration. In 2004, she received the TOWNS (Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service) Award in Manila, Philippines.


This public lecture is a collaboration of the UP Asian Center, Center for International Studies, UP Korea Research Center, and Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas of the College of Arts and Letters.

For inquiries, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 891-8500 loc. 3586.
The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.