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Call for Papers: Remains of a Dictatorship International Conference

A wealth of historical works on the Marcos period exists, yet much remains to be written about it. Indeed, present circumstances compel us to revisit this era. On the one hand, new source materials about the Marcos state have surfaced in recent years in the form of published biographies of key personalities (such as Juan Ponce Enrile, Cesar Virata, and Vicente Paterno) and unpublished compilations of documents that have been made available to the public, such as the martial law papers of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and those of the Commission on Human Rights. On the other hand, current events have demonstrated how profoundly relevant the Marcos regime is to present-day politics. The meteoric rise of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who has not conceded his loss in the vice presidential election in May 2016, and the burial of the elder Macros’s remains in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) on 18 November 2016, as well as the protests that have followed it, reveal the tense contestations over the memory of an autocratic dispensation that ended thirty years ago. EDSA People Power might have shattered the edifice of tyranny in 1986, but the remains of the dictatorship continue to haunt postauthoritarian Philippine society.    

Given the intense contestation over the memory of the Marcos state and in view of the fact that September 2017 marks the forty-fifth year since the declaration of martial law, Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, together with the Office of the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, takes this opportunity to revisit and reassess the Marcos period in Philippine history by holding a two-day conference. This event aims to gather established and young scholars from different disciplines, both in the Philippines and overseas, to analyze a range of issues associated with the Marcos state. Papers that provide new data and/or new perspectives as well as those that take a comprehesive and comparative view of the Marcos era are particularly welcome.

Conference organizers will accept individual paper proposals as well as full panel proposals on a range of salient themes such as:

-          Historical accounts of significant events based on documents, first-hand experiences, visual materials, or other sources
-          Analysis of the state and governance, including rule by decree and local warlordism
-          Analysis of state institutions, including the military and the state bureaucracy
-          State ideologies and official texts on state legitimation of the New Society
-          State developmentalism and modernist projects: infrastructures, urban housing, tourism, land reform and rural development
-          Crony capitalism in specific sectors, industries, and regions
-          Philippine economic performance through the years of Marcos’s rule and the changing international political economy
-          Environmental issues, such as those related to logging and minining, and disasters during the Marcos era
-          State sponsorship of culture and the arts
-          State sponsorship of science and technology
-          International relations and foreign affairs from Washington to Beijing to Tripoli
-          Transformation of social institutions, including the family, educational institutions, the mass media, and everyday life
-          State relations with the Catholic Church and other religious groups and institutions
-          Ethnicities and popular support for authoritarian rule
-          The underworld and the Marcos state
-          Activism, resistance movements, “cause-oriented” groups, and other forms of dissent in the Philippines and overseas
-          Political and ethnicity-based armed movements and counterinsurgency, including state-sponsored vigilantism
-          The historiography of the Marcos period
-          Comparative analysis of authoritarianism by Marcos and other rulers in world history
-          New historical sources for researchers, including biographies of key personalities
-          Representations of Marcos and martial law in textbooks, film, literature, and popular culture

Selected papers that pass the refereeing process will be included in a special issue of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, the quarterly published by the Ateneo de Manila University since 1953. Articles in this journal are indexed and abstracted in several global databases such as Historical Abstracts, Project MUSE, JSTOR, Scopus, and Thomson Reuters Emerging Sources. Other publications may also be planned.

Submission Guidelines

Interested paper presenters are requested to submit a 250-word abstract. Panel proposals are also welcome and should include a brief description of the proposed panel as well as the abstracts of the individual papers in the panel. Proposals should include a brief note about the paper proponents.

Please submit abstracts and panel proposals by 15 February 2017. Submissions must be in Word format and include the name, institutional affiliation, email address, and bionote of the paper proponent(s). Decisions on abstracts will be released on 1 March 2017.

Accepted paper presenters are requested to register by 1 July 2017 for them to be included in the program and to submit their full papers by 1 August 2017.

Inquiries as well as panel and paper proposals can be addressed to:

Michael D. Pante <>
Associate Editor, Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints
School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University

Please inform the conference organizers by 1 July 2017 of any dietary restrictions so that special meals can be prepared.

Travel and Conference Subsidy

Participants are encouraged to seek funds for travel and conference participation from their home institutions. Paper presenters will arrange their own flight and hotel accommodation in Manila. Information about hotels near the Ateneo de Manila University campus can be provided upon request.

Registration Fee (inclusive of meals, refreshments, and conference materials) for both paper presenters and nonpresenters:

Overseas                     Philippine-based
Participants                 Participants

Early bird rate                      US$ 70                         P3,500
(until 30 May 2017)

Regular rate                         US$100                        P4,500
(1 June–2 August 2017)

On-site registration               US$120                        P5,000
(3–4 August 2017)