(From L to R: IAS Associate Dean Francis Esteban, IAS Dean Diego Jose Abad, Prof. Cecilia Bethina Elmido and Prof. Romeo Galang, Jr.)

In a display of academic excellence, faculty members from Far Eastern University Institute of Arts and Sciences (FEU IAS) made their mark at the 9th Congreso Internacional de Estudios Latinoamericanos en Asia y Oceanía (CELAO) conference, which was hosted by the University of Shanghai in China last Aug. 5.

The conference’s focal points included Latin America’s politics, foreign relations, diplomacy, economic and social development, as well as its rich history and culture.

The FEU IAS contingent was composed of IAS Dean Diego Jose Abad, Romeo Galang, Jr. and Cecilia Bethina Elmido from the Department of Language and Literature and IAS Associate Dean Francis Esteban from the Department of International Studies.

Galang presented a thought-provoking paper on “Markers of Ethnicity in Philippine Santos: Narratives from the Material Culture Along the Transpacific Realms,” which underscores the importance of identifying motifs used by carvers, to shed light on their ethnicities.

Meanwhile, Elmido showcased her analysis “Of Teresas and Tikbalangs: A Voyeuristic Travelogue of Selected Philippine and Brazilian Cultural Texts”, which thematically compares selected fictions from Filipino horror writer Yvette Tan and Brazil’s eminent mystic, Clarice Lispector.

Dean Abad made a significant contribution with his presentation, “Transpacific Intercoloniality: Redefining Our View of Filihispanic Literature as Part of Transpacific Hispanic Literature,” which discusses shifting the perspective of Filhispanic literature as one that is horizontally aligned with the literature of Latin America.

IAS Associate Dean Esteban delved into the “Populist Foreign Policy and the Personal: A Comparative Analysis of Rodrigo Duterte, and Jair Bolsonaro’s Foreign Policy towards the United States of America,” which analyzes the personal worldviews and interests of both leaders. The research looks at how Bolsonaro used his personal connections with former US President Donald Trumph to legitimize his regime, while Duterte saw the US as a threat both to himself and the narrative he built his regime upon.

The FEU-IAS faculty members’ involvement in the conference not only shows their dedication to advancing knowledge in Latin American Studies but also underscores the institute’s commitment to academic excellence and global engagement. As they returned to their roles at FEU, the knowledge, insights, new associates, and experiences gained at CELAO are sure to enrich their contributions to the academic community and to their students.

This conference, organized by the Center of Latin American Studies, Shanghai University, continued a tradition that began in Osaka, Japan, in 2003. Its overarching mission is to serve as a symposium for interdisciplinary research on Latin America and to facilitate academic discussions and collaboration among scholars of Latin American Studies across Asia and Oceania.

This year’s CELAO brought together scholars, researchers, and representatives from Latin America, China, Oceania, and the Philippines and offered a unique opportunity for the exchange of knowledge, insights, and experiences related to Latin American Studies.

IAS Dean Diego Jose Abad during his presentation in the conference.