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Ethnography of Convergence in the Global Philippines

January 24, 3:00 p.m. (Saunders 345)
Presented by Dr. Deirdre de la Cruz, University of Michigan

This talk presents an assemblage of international events and ethnographic vignettes, each of which involves the following: 1) Filipino nationals on a global stage; 2) the mass media; and 3) divine intervention. Inspired by recent anthropological literature on “networks,” “global connections,” and “the contingency of encounters,” this talk suggests that seemingly unrelated phenomena and events can be brought together in politically relevant and culturally meaningful ways through close attention to their points of conjuncture, convergence, and even at times, coincidence. This talk is especially concerned with convergent forms of mediation, be they political, religious, technological, or ethnographic, and strives to understand the perils and promises of mediation as they are informed by Filipino Catholicism and imagined by Catholic Filipinos in and outside of the contemporary Philippines.


Deirdre de la Cruz is a post-doctoral fellow at the Michigan Society of Fellows, Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and Affiliate Faculty in the Doctoral Program in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University in 2006, and is currently working on her book manuscript, entitled All His Instruments: Mary, Miracles, and the Media in the Catholic Philippines. In addition to the anthropology of religion and Philippine studies, her research interests include: modernity and mass culture; historical anthropology; colonialism and gender.