Beauty, Brutality & The Neocolonial City

When and Where

Friday, March 22, 2019 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
Munk School
1 Devonshire Place Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3K7 Canada


This two-day event brings together international scholars and critics to explore the complexity, dynamism, and significance of Manila within and beyond Asia. As a city that has experienced the multiple vestiges of empire, the disciplinary machinations of dictatorial rule, the effects of an infamous “war on drugs”, and the continued realities of uneven resource distribution, Manila serves as a productive physical and ideological space to explore the dialogic nature of beauty and brutality—as these concepts intertwine in the urban repertoires of the global south.

On March 22, established and emerging scholars will reflect on how Manila influences their work as diasporic thinkers and critics.


Christine Bacareza Balance
Associate Professor, Asian American Studies and Performance Studies, Cornell University

Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns
Associate Professor, Asian American Studies Department, University of California, Los Angeles

Genevieve Clutario
Assistant Professor, Department of History, Harvard University

Denise Cruz
Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Robert Diaz
Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto

Gary Devilles
Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of the Filipinos Studies, Ateneo De Manila University

Allan Punzalan Isaac
Associate Professor, English and American Studies, Rutgers University

Ferdinand Lopez
Associate Professor of English, University of Santo Tomas; an incoming PhD student in Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto

Paul Nadal
Post-Doctoral Research Associate of American Studies, Princeton University

Martin Manalansan
Associate Professor, American Studies, University of Minnesota

On March 23, renowned Filipina American author Jessica Hagedorn will make her Toronto debut and read from her most famous works. She will also converse with Lucy San Pablo Burns (UCLA), as they discuss their thoughts on Manila as a space for artistic and imaginative possibility.


New College Initiatives Fund, Women & Gender Studies Institute, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Munk School, School of Cities, Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies


1 Devonshire Place Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3K7 Canada