Visiting Leading Universities in the Humanities in the Philippines

As part of the Faculty of Arts’ mission to increase internationalization and form connections with ASEAN institutions in the humanities, the Dean, Associate Professor Suradech Chotiudompant, together with Associate Dean, Assistant Professor Nirada Chitrakara, met with Deans and Associate Deans in the field of the humanities from leading universities in the Philippines during July 21-23, 2022. The Philippines was the first in ASEAN for making connections because of its strong top 4 universities: the University of the Philippines at Diliman (UP, Diliman), University of Ateneo de Manila, Santo Tomas (STU), and De La Salle University (DLSU). The main topics for discussion were exchange of students/staff, visiting professors, journal publications, and other joint activities.

The visit started Thursday, July 21 with the meeting at the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman (UP, Diliman), the number one university in the Philippines in the field of humanities. The team from the Faculty of Arts was warmly received by Dean Professor Jimmuel Naval and his team. The fruitful discussion led to possible collaborations in exchanges of students and staff. It is believed that UP, Diliman, with their many undergraduate classes in the humanities which are taught in English, will attract Thai students. Further collaborations can be in Dramatic Arts. Students from the two universities might work together in a play. With regards to staff involvement, the Faculty of Arts is looking forward to inviting a professor from the Department of English to give a talk regarding the influence of the West on the Filipino language. This talk will be the second collaboration between the two institutions after the first successful partnership in 2021 with Professor Jayson Patras, Associate Dean for Research, Publication and Creative works, as the guest speaker. With regards to a classroom-related collaboration, a professor in World Englishes from the UP Diliman’s Department of English will be invited to provide new insights on the topic in the World Englishes class at the Department of English at the Faculty of Arts. With regards to communicative skills classes, the department of Dramatic Arts at the UP, Diliman will be happy to open a Zoom class on public speaking to improve speaking skills of Thai students.

Many ASEAN related activities are also in the picture. the College of Arts and Letters at the UP Diliman has experts in arts and culture who can broaden the perspectives of Arts, Chula students interested in ASEAN arts history and museum information. To spread knowledge of Filipino language, the UP Diliman proposed a Filipino language lab to become part of ASEAN linguistics at the Faculty of Arts. As for literature, holding an ASEAN literature conference has been proposed. The field of dramatic arts can also get involved in ASEAN adaptation of Shakespeare’s plays which is believed will attract the attention of audiences who are interested in both dramatic arts and literature. 

In addition to Dean Naval, the productive meeting at the UP, Diliman was also joined by Assistant Professor Jayson Petras, Outgoing Associate Dean for Research, Publication and Creative 

works, Assistant Professor Eilene Narvaez, incoming Assoc Dean for Research, and representatives from Departments of Art Studies, English and Comparative Literature, European Languages, Filipino and Philippine Literature, and Speech Communication and Theater Arts. 

The next university visited on Friday, July 22 was Santo Tomas University, the oldest University in the Philippines. The Faculty of Arts team was received by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Professor Marilou Madrunio, the Vice-Dean, Assistant Professor Alejandro Bernardo, and Dr. Arlen Ancheta, Coordinator for International Relations and Programs at the Faculty of Arts and Letters. Our discussion concerned administrative matters, exchange possibilities, research collaboration, and speakers’ invitations. Professor Bernardo, a specialist in World Englishes, and Professor Marilou Madrunio, in Forensic linguistics, are expected to be invited to give talks at the Faculty of Arts.

The last University visited on July 22 was De La Salle University (DLSU), a renowned public University in the Philippines. Representing DLSU were Professors Shirley Lua, Associate Dean and Professor Jose Jimenez from the Department of History. The College of Liberal Arts, DLSU, and the Faculty of Arts share several interests, namely, contemporary literature, dramatic arts, and environmental humanities. There are plans for collaborations in a conference on ASEAN TV dramas and a talk on environmental history. With regards to graduate studies, the DLSU team proposed a graduate conference to improve the quality of graduate research at the two institutions.

The last day of the trip, July 23, was spent with Professor Leah Gustilo from the College of Education at the DLSU. The meeting was held during a luncheon. Professor Gustilo is highly experienced in research and publications. She provided practical advice to help boost publications at the Faculty of Arts. She also suggested creating a collaborative conference in linguistics. The Faculty of Arts is inviting her and her colleagues to give a talk and provide suggestions on research in English linguistics in August.

All the three Universities of the Philippines are impressive in different ways. Santo Tomas University is the most similar to the Faculty of Arts. De La Salle University is a modernized institution which welcomes innovative ideas from students and professors. The UP, Diliman comprises a strong team of professors in various fields of the humanities. Our Filipino colleagues were very collaborative and hospitable. It is certain many more international partnerships will happen in the near future.



คณะอักษรศาสตร์ขอขอบพระคุณคุณวิวรรณ ธาราหิรัญโชติ (อ.บ. 47) ที่มอบเงินจากการจำหน่ายหนังสือ “เงินไม่ใช่ทุกอย่าง แต่ทุกอย่างเริ่มต้นที่เงิน” เพื่อเป็นทุนการศึกษาแก่นิสิตคณะอักษรศาสตร์