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Amazons of the Huk Rebellion: Gender, Sex, and Revolution in the Philippines

October 29, 2010

UHM Women’s Studies Colloquium Series Fall 2010
Co-Sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Center for Philippines Studies
Friday, October 29nd, 12:30 pm, George Hall 213

Presented by Dr. Vina Lanzona, Department of History, UHM

Labeled “Amazons” by the national press, women played a central role in the Huk rebellion, one of the most significant peasant-based revolutions in modern Philippine history. As spies, organizers, nurses, couriers, soldiers, and even military commanders, women worked closely with men to resist first Japanese occupation and later, after WWII, to challenge the new Philippine republic. But in the midst of the uncertainty and violence of rebellion, these women also pursued personal lives, falling love, becoming pregnant, and raising families, often with their male comrades-in-arms. Drawing on interviews with over one hundred veterans of the movement, Vina A. Lanzona explores the Huk rebellion from the intimate and collective experiences of its female participants, demonstrating how their presence and the complex questions of gender, family, and sexuality they provoked, ultimately shaped the nature of revolutionary struggle. In this talk, Professor Lanzona will discuss her recent book on Huk Amazons.


Vina Lanzona, Ph.D., is a professor of History at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she considers herself a “Martial Law Baby,” having grown up under Martial Law. And then as a student at the Ateneo de Manila University, she was part of our People Power Revolution. After college, she worked briefly for the Aquino government, then came to the United States to pursue graduate studies, completing an M.A. in Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York, and a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She spent most of her twenties living in New York, eventually moving to Honolulu to join the faculty at the University of Hawai’i. Her first book was inspired by her twin passions for studying revolution and the role of women in political change. During her sabbatical year in Seville, Spain, she began work on a new book project reexamining Spanish colonialism in the Philippines. She offers courses in modern Philippine and Southeast Asian history, Women and Revolution, as well as more general courses in Asian Civilizations and Cultures.


October 29, 2010
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George Hall
Honolulu, United States