Deepen historical awareness, Fil-Am scholar urges Thomasians

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Photo by Maria Charisse Ann G. Refuerzo

A US-BASED Filipino scholar has urged young Thomasian writers to develop a sense of historical awareness.

“If we reorient our sensibility and our vision regarding our own individual responsibility in society, it is to initiate our rethinking about ourselves as people or citizens of a nation-state with a specific history,” said poet and scholar Epifanio San Juan during the 9th Paz Latorena Memorial Lecture last March 2 at the Tanghalang Teresita Quirino.

San Juan pointed out that historical awareness goes beyond memorizing names and facts.

The former Fulbright lecturer advised Thomasians to become wary of what is happening in society to develop a better reading and writing perspective.

“You also have responsibility to account to yourself as you read and as you write because other people who could also read and write will question you,” he said.

The event saw the launching of San Juan’s book “Learning from the Filipino Diaspora: Lessons of Resistance and Critical Intervention,” which tackles the struggles of overseas Filipinos who “export their souls and bodies” by working under a consumerist mindset. The book was published by UST Publishing House.

The lecture was part of the Paz Latorena Lecture Series that honors the late Thomasian fictionist for her significant contributions to Philippine literature.

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