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 will host a public lecture, “Social Integration and the Construction of Cross-Border Agents: The Peranakan in Singapore” by Yoko Asato of the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University, Japan. The lecture will be held on Thursday, 3 March 2016, 6:30–8:00 p.m., Room 206, Hall of Wisdom, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. The lecture is free and open to the public; seating is very limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the Lecture

“The purpose of this study is to clarify how the concept “Peranakan,” originally connoting an ethnic hybrid culture, included polysemous meanings in the process of nation-building and economic development of Singapore. Singapore has been a multiethnic space since it was under the British as the Straits Settlements. Recently, with the growing number of new immigrants along with economic globalization in Singapore, Peranakan culture has come to the fore and become part of popular culture. This study proposes to describe how the Peranakan agent, which emerges through migration by cross-border persons, has been constructed in the process of mutual interaction and negotiation, focusing on the Peranakan concept in Singapore.” 

The lecture, which is organized by Dr. Tina Clemente as part of her AS 299 (Research Methods) class, is based on Yoko Asato’s paper published in Contact Zone, Volume 6 in 2014 (in Japanese). Dr. Clemente, Associate Professor at the UP Asian Center, will also serve as moderator.

About the Speaker

Yoko Asato is a Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan where she is also a Teaching Assistant. Also a research fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Yoko Asato authored several peer-reviewed articles on contemporary Asia, including “Reconsidering Borders from the Pineapple Boom: Rethinking Postwar History from Ishigaki Island of Okinawa under the US Occupation” which was published in Culture and Critiques; and “Reconstruction of Peranakan Concept and History in Singapore: Who is Peranakan?” which appeared in Doshisha Global Studies. She was also a recipient of the Japan Student Services Organization Scholarship (Short Visit Program) in 2012, and the Grants-Aid for Scientific Research for JSPS Research Fellow (Kakenhi) in 2014.

About the Photo

The accompanying image above is that of a Peranakan wedding couple in Penang in May 1941. It is a photograph of a photograph. The image was taken by Lukacs. It was downloaded via Wikimedia Commons

The Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The 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. The Center 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. 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. View recent and upcoming Lectures & Conferences and read other News & Announcements.Join our mailing list to receive invitations to lectures, conferences, etc.