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UConn to Host Conference on Filipino Americans
(Released: August 27, 2002)

By Allison Thompson, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- Despite having been in the United States since the 17th century and being one of the largest Asian American communities in the country, Filipino Americans are one of the country's least studied ethnic minority groups. At the conference "(Re)presenting Filipino Americans," the University of Connecticut will bring together dozens of academics and community activists to discuss the culture, history and politics of Filipino Americans, who are often termed the silent ethnic community.

"Since coming to this country more than 400 years ago, Filipino Americans have made countless contributions to society. That, coupled with the fact that the Filipino American community is one of the fastest growing in the country, makes this a fitting time to have a conference focusing on this evolving and dynamic community," says Angela Rola, director of the Asian American Cultural Center, which is co-sponsoring the conference with the Asian American Studies Institute.

Major community sponsors include the Federation of Filipino Associations in Connecticut, New England Filipino Americans Inc. and the Connecticut Association of Philippine Physicians.

According to 2000 U.S. Census data, there are nearly 2 million Filipino Americans in this country, making them one of the largest Asian American groups, second only to Chinese Americans. Nearly 8,000 Filipinos live in Connecticut, the data shows.

The three-day symposium, which begins Sept. 20, will feature more than a dozen panel discussions on topics ranging from colonialism and nationalism and Filipinos and the U.S. government to the younger generation's reflections on identity and the connection between the United States and the Philippines. The Philippines were an American commonwealth until the 1940s, and that former colonial relationship continues to color the current relationship between the two nations, says Rola.

The conference will also feature lectures by prominent Filipinos including Irene Natividad, the first Asian American ever to head a national political organization; Emil Guillermo, an author and journalist whose column appears in the San Francisco Chronicle; and Nikki Coseteng, a former two-term member of the Senate of the Philippines who is known for vigilance against graft and corruption, and for the advocacy of women's rights and environmental protection.

"Young Filipino Americans are trying to express what it's like to be Filipino in America," says Jeffrey Alton, a UConn undergraduate and member of the conference planning committee. "Many of the people who are coming to speak at the conference are living legends to my generation and can help us as we try to determine our identity."

Other conference highlights include a Filipino cuisine presentation, art exhibits at the William Benton Museum of Art and Homer Babbidge Library, an authors' coffeehouse featuring the works of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Linda Ty-Casper and Ricco Siasoco, and a poetry slam hosted by New York poet Regie Cabico.

The conference is open to the public. To register to attend, call (860) 486-1052.

(Re)presenting Filipino Americans

Friday, Sept. 20
11 a.m. Opening Ceremony, South Campus Ballroom

11:30 a.m. Lunch, South Campus Ballroom

1-2:30 p.m. Generation Now's Reflections on Identity, Bishop Center - Presenters: Lorial Crowder, University of Massachusetts at Boston; Melissa Faith-Galvez Fadul, Eastern Illinois University; Antonio Macatol II, UConn alumnus; Mark Teresa, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

1-2:30 p.m. Resistances, Bishop Center - Presenters: Christopher Capozzola, Middlebury College; Nenita Pambid Domingo, Loyola Marymount University; William Gueraiche, historian; Riya Ortiz, Filipino Organization for Women's Advancement, Rights & Dignity

3-4:30 p.m. Bridging Generations and Cultural Identity, Bishop Center - Presenters: Carlene Sipma-Dysico, North Central College; Angela Rola, University of Connecticut; Patricia Weibust, University of Connecticut; Mila Anguluan-Coger, National Association for Drama Therapy

3-4:30 p.m. Colonialism and Nationalism, Bishop Center - Presenters: Sharon Delmendo, St. John Fisher College; Damon L. Woods, California State University at Long Beach; Christopher Vaughan, Rutgers University; Allan Punzalan Isaac, Wesleyan University

6 p.m. Welcome Dinner, South Campus Ballroom
Welcome Address by Emil Guillermo, journalist
8 p.m. Authors' Coffeehouse, William Benton Museum of Art
10 p.m. Poetry Slam with Regie Cabico, Asian American Cultural Center

Saturday, Sept. 21
8:30-10 a.m. Gender Matters, Bishop Center - Presenters: Nancy E. Parreno, Arugaan ng Kalakasan; Naomi L. Tupas, De La Salle University - Manila; Catherine Ceniza Choy, University of Minnesota; Charlene P. Lobo, University of San Francisco

8:30-10 a.m. Influences on Filipino Identity and Perceptions, Bishop Center - Presenters: Art Villaruz, Filipino American National Historic Society; Hazel M. McFerson, George Mason University; Annalissa A. Herbert, University of Michigan; Julian Madison, Southern Connecticut State University

10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Under Suspicion: Filipinos and the U.S. Government, Bishop Center - Presenters: Arleen deVera, Binghampton University; Lane Hirabayashi, University of Colorado at Boulder; Marilyn C. Alquizola, University of Colorado at Boulder; Cynthia L. Marasigan, University of Michigan

12 p.m. Lunch, South Campus Ballroom
Keynote Address by Irene Natividad

2:30-4 p.m. Exploring Alternatives in Filipino/a American Studies, Bishop Center - Presenters: Rick Bonus, University of Washington; Dylan Rodriguez, University of California at Riverside; Tony Tiongson, University of California at San Diego; Lisa Cacho, University of California at San Diego

2:30-4 p.m. Exploring Toxic Legacies: United States and the Philippines, Bishop Center - Presenters: Ann Arbor, Michigan chapter of the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solutions, Galatea King, Annalissa Herbert, Cesar Moralde Herrera

4:30-6 p.m. Reading Jessica Hagedorn, Bishop Center - Presenters: Kenneth Womack, Pennsylvania State University at Altoona; Andrea E. Womack, Pennsylvania State University at Altoona; Kella Svetich, University of California at Davis

4:30-6 p.m. Poetry, Performance and Perfection, Bishop Center - Presenters: Patrick A. Rosal, Bloomfield College; Cristina Querrer, Artspace, Norwich!; Regie Cabico, actor

8 p.m. Dinner, South Campus Ballroom
Address by Nikki Coseteng

Sunday, Sept. 22
8:30-10 a.m. Media and the Filipino, Bishop Center - Presenters: Edahrline Salas, California State University at Los Angeles; Rey Rosales, Lewis University; Julina E. Togonon, Washington Square Gallery; Erna Hernandez, Arkipelago

8:30-10 a.m. Constructing Home, Bishop Center - Presenters: Raquel Z. Ordoqez, Coalition for the Advancement of Filipino Women; Judy Patacsil, San Diego Miramar College; Julius Dasmariqas, New School for Social Research

10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Waiting for a Flip Revolution: Writing and Publishing Filipino American Literature, Bishop Center - Presenters: Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, Boston College; Bino Realuyo, poet/novelist; Noel Shaw, Asian American Writers Workshop; Grace Talusan, Tufts University; Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, author/editor

12:30 p.m. Filipino Cuisine Presentation, Asian American Cultural Center - Presenters: Steve Bustamante, UConn; Juanita Toledo, New England Filipino American Inc.

1:15 p.m. Filipino Lunch, Asian American Cultural Center

August 2002 Releases
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