August 31, 2012
3:00-4:15 p.m., ALIWW, Old Rizal Library
Parallel Session 1-A

Moderator: Dr. Jonathan Chua, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

University of the Philippines, Diliman

“A Tale of Two Shakespeares: Translating the Shakespearean Text in Colonial Southeast Asia”

This paper examines the translation of Shakespearean texts in the colonial cultures of British Malaya and the American Philippines. Although roughly historically simultaneous phenomena occurring within a geographically and culturally contiguous area, the translation of Shakespeare into local languages in the Philippines and Malaysia reveal much about the specific circumstances of British and American colonial rule. Each imperial power’s unique brand of bardolatry and the specific exigencies of colonial rule necessitated the translation of a range of Shakespearean texts to suit each colonial culture. More than offering insight into or providing a unique comparative lens for British and American colonial practices, however, the translation histories of Shakespeare in both Malaysia and the Philippines also offer examples of indigenous translations that fall outside the official purview of colonial governments. What might we learn from these “unofficial” Shakespeares of colonial Southeast Asia? What light can they shed on not only colonial cultures but indigenous literary cultures as well? What might they reveal about the dynamics of literary production and the role of translation in the development of native literatures? And, finally, what might they suggest for paradigms beyond the post/colonial for understanding the role of translation in cultural construction?

Judy Celine Ick is on the faculty of the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines. She obtained her PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on a Fulbright scholarship and was also an Asia Fellow and Visiting Research scholar at the University of Malaya. She is the author of Unsex Me Here: Female Power and Shakespearean Tragedy (UPOVCRD, 1999), Bearers of Benevolence: The Thomasites and Public Education in the Philippines (Anvil Publishing, 2001), and several articles on the history of Shakespeare and colonial education in the Philippines and Malaysia.

Loyola School of Theology

“Issues in Translating Religious Practice: Illustrations from Filipino Christianity”

Though religious concerns shaped early notions and practices of translation in Western cultural history, the link between religion and translation today is primarily focused on translating religious texts. This essay unearths their common ground in the homologous structure of movement in both: religions enter new social contexts just as translation produces texts from one language to another. It then revisits the entry of Christianity in the Philippine landscape from the 16th century onward by examining the transposition of native languages into the roman alphabet, the translation of religious texts in European languages into the now romanized native tongues, and the eventual creation of Christian discourse in these languages—all of which constitute what could be described as the translation of late medieval post-Reformation Spanish Catholicism into a Filipino form of Christianity. It concludes with comments on the notion of translation in an East Asian tradition and on the function of religious fundamentalism in relation to translation.

Jose Mario C. Francisco, S.J. is professor and, since 2006, president of the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University. Aside from teaching at Boston College as Gasson Professor, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and East Asian Pastoral Institute, he has done research on the interface between cultural studies, science and theology in Asian contexts. He published critical editions of 17th century Philippine manuscripts and recent essays in Translation in Asia (Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 2011), Christianities in Asia, ed. Peter C. Phan (West Sussex UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and Language, Literature and Culture in ASEAN: Unity in Diversity (Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, 2011).


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