This course offers the chance to look at the ethnography of one country in more detail than is usual for regional courses. It considers topics taken from the ethnography of the lowland and highland Philippines, with a focus on exciting new high quality writing, drawing on the recent rennaissance in Philippine Studies. The course will balance works by expert non-Filipino ethnographers with the new writing of ‘native ethnographies’ by Filipino scholars resident both in the Philippines themselves and in the US.
The course will be framed within the colonial, religious and social history of the archipelago, and will consider both new interpretations of Philippine history, and topics on contemporary social issues, as well as using classic works on the Philippines. Teaching each week will normally be organised around the reading of one outstanding ethnography, allowing students to look closely at particular cases. Topics in any year are likely to be drawn from the following list (although obviously only ten topics can be offered in one year) ; Migration, ‘mail-order brides, and the Philippine diaspora ; New religious movements: Philippine colonialism and the processes of conversion: Healing, spirit possession, midwifery and local medicine: The contemporary Catholic Church; Violence in the Philippines; Ecology, landscape and environmental politics: Kinship and its transformations; Gender, Philippine queer theory and Philippine transvestitism: Ritual, drama and local performance traditions: Philippine architecture and material culture.: Philippine cinema: Colonial politics, tribal politics and issues of self-representation: Magic, sorcery and “anitismo”; Tourism, symbolic economies and the impact of international capitalism.