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Empire and Resistance in United States-Philippines Relations: A Symposium

Empire and Resistance in United States-Philippines Relations: A Symposium

A Critical Tribute to Dr. Daniel Boone Schirmer, Anti-imperialist and the Movement in the United States to Oppose Martial Law and U.S. Intervention in the Philippines, 1972-1991

Saturday, December 02, 2006
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Graphic by Edgar Fernandez, 1984, entitled "Martsa ng Bayan" [People's March]

Empire and Resistance in United States-Philippines Relations is a half-day symposium that honors the work of Dr. Daniel Boone Schirmer (“Boone”), a staunch critic of U.S. imperialism. The speakers use the work of Boone as a departure point to discuss current debates on U.S. empire, military intervention, and the U.S. culture of war. In this gathering, the U.S.-Philippine relationship, which was central to Boone’s analytical and political envisioning of U.S. anti-imperialism, also serves as a departure point for a larger discussion of U.S. foreign policy and intervention, and dissenting cultures.

Boone Schirmer passed away in April 2006. This symposium will discuss the importance of this prolific intellectual activist, whose works include Republic or Empire: American Resistance to the Philippine War (1972), the co-edited volume The Philippines Reader (with Stephen Shalom, 1987), and hundreds of essays that have been published in various venues.  Boone’s writings offer a searing critique of U.S. imperial pursuits and call for active resistance. His works range from writings about the historical acquisition of U.S. possessions such as the Philippines to the Vietnam War, as well as linking the war in Afghanistan and Iraq to a longer history of U.S. intervention. Boone was also a founder of Friends of the Filipino People, an organization dedicated to supporting the struggle of the Filipino people for genuine sovereignty for more than three decades. He was a committed intellectual, a dedicated teacher, and an inspiring political being whose unflinching critique of U.S. imperial pursuits has influenced many.  He was given lifetime achievement awards by several Filipino organizations, as well as by the Association for Asian American Studies at its annual conference in 2005.


1:00 p.m.  Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Lucy Burns
  • Barbara Gaerlan

1:15-3:15 Panel presentation and discussion -- Moderator: Lucy Burns

  • Michael Salman, Dept. of History, UCLA
    "Collecting the Empire: The Philippines and American Colonial Knowledge in the Chalabian Moment"
  • Stephen Shalom, Dept. of Political Science, William Paterson University
    “America's Next Top Model?: The Philippines and the American Empire”
  • Neferti Tadiar, Dept. of History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz
    “Whither the Filipino Nation and Its Friends?: The Fate of Peoples Under Empire”

3:15-3:30 Break

3:30-3:45 Presentation of newly acquired rare essays by Boone Schirmer and the Anti-Martial Law Archives

  • Enrique de la Cruz
  • Marjorie Lee
  • Barbara Gaerlan 
  • Liza Anulao

3:45-4:45 Personal Tributes and thoughts on the life of Daniel Boone Schirmer -- Moderator: Barbara Gaerlan

Opening Speakers:

  • Jorge Emmanuel
  • Rose Ibañez
  • Walden Bello
  • Enrique De la Cruz

Additional speakers from the audience will also be welcomed.

4:45-5:00 Closing comments: Lucy Burns

5:00-6:00 Reception


Walden Bello is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the University of the Philippines.  In Fall 2006 he is Visiting Professor of Sociology at U.C. Santa Barbara.  He is also Director of Focus on the Global South, a non-governmental organization working in Thailand, the Philippines and India.  A prolific author, his works include Deglobalization: Ideas for a New World Economy; Dilemmas of Domination: The Unmaking of the American Empire; and Dark Victory: The United States, Structural Adjustment, and Global Poverty.  He worked with Boone Schirmer in the Anti-Martial Law Movement from the earliest days in New York in the 1970s.

Lucy Burns holds a joint position as assistant professor in UCLA's Departments of Asian American Studies and World Arts & Culture. She was a University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the American Studies Department (2003-2004) and the History of Consciousness Department (2004-2005) at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research interests include Asian American theater, race and performativity, feminist performance theory, and Filipino Studies.  Her current research includes the Anti-Martial Law Movement.

Enrique Delacruz is Professor of Asian American Studies at CSU Northridge.  When he served as Assistant Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center in the 1990s, he founded the Anti-Martial Law Archive in the AASC Library.  He worked with Boone Schirmer for many years during the the Marcos dictatorship, and is currently doing research on the Anti-Martial Law Movement.  The Forbidden Book: The Philippine American War in Political Cartoons, which he edited with Jorge Emmanuel and others, is dedicated to Boone.  He is very pleased that the Association for Asian American Studies gave Boone a lifetime achievement award for his work and activities in behalf of the Filipino people, when it had its national conference in Boston March 2004.  He recalls that when Boone saw a copy of the AAAS nomination letter, and the long list of mostly Filipino signatories, he jokingly dubbed it the Filipino conspiracy.  

Jorge Emmanuel is President of the Environmental and Engineering Research Group, an environmental research firm.  He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan where he was also an associate of the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies.  He worked with Boone Schirmer for many years in the organization Friends of the Filipino People.  He is a co-editor of The Forbidden Book: The Philippine American War in Political Cartoons.

Barbara Gaerlan is the Assistant Director of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies.  She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from UCLA, writing a dissertation on the history of the University of the Philippines.  She worked closely with Boone Schirmer in the 1970s, on the staff of the Philippines Information Bulletin, in the National Office of Friends of the Filipino People, and assisting with the US-Philippine Relations project of the Goddard-Cambridge Graduate School for Social Change.  Recently, she participated in a project to scan some of Boone Schirmer's rare written works to make them available on the internet.

After studying with Boone Schirmer, Rose Ibanez taught a Filipino American Experience class at San Diego State University.  As a community activist for over 30 years, she passionately continues to work for community advocacy and political empowerment.  She is currently working at the City of Los Angeles' most innovative and newest department, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, and in the community serves as Chairperson of the Board for the Filipino American Library.

Marjorie Lee is Librarian of the UCLA Asian American Studies Library and Reading Room.  Among her many activities in this position, she has been overseeing the establishment of the Anti-Martial Law Archive since its inception in the mid-1990s.

Michael Salman is associate professor of history at UCLA.  He teaches courses on Philippine History and U.S.-Philippine Relations.  His published works include The Embarrassment of Slavery: Controversies over Bondage and Nationalism in the American Colonial Philippines.  He has been acquainted with Boone Schirmer since his undergraduate days at Tufts University.

Stephen R. Shalom teaches political science at William Paterson University in NJ. He is the author of The United States and the Philippines: A Study of Neocolonialism; Imperial Alibis; and Which Side Are You On? An Introduction to Politics; as well as co-editor with Daniel Boone Schirmer of The Philippines Reader. 

Neferti X.M. Tadiar is associate professor in the Department of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently Visiting Associate Professor in the Women's Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of Fantasy-Production: Sexual Economies and Other Philippine Consequences for the New World Order (2004) and co-editor (with Angela Y. Davis) of an anthology of essays, entitled Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representation (2005). Her new book, Things Fall Away: Philippine Literature, Historical Experience and Tangential Makings of Globality, is forthcoming from Duke University Press. She is also putting together a collection of political essays entitled Discourse on Empire: Living Under the Rule of Permanent War.

Photos of Boone Schirmer plus an earlier memorial can be seen on the family website http://www.peggyandboone.com/4.html.

Parking at UCLA costs $8.

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American Studies Center, Filipino-American Library