Caroline S. Hau awarded 2021 Grant Goodman Prize in Philippine Historical Studies


The Philippine Studies Group of the Association for Asian Studies is pleased to award the Grant Goodman Prize in History and Historical Studies for 2021 to Caroline Sy Hau for her substantial contributions to Philippine historical studies. Hau is Professor of English and Literature at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan.

The University of the Philippines Valedictorian earned her subsequent graduate degrees at Cornell University. Since receiving her doctorate in 1998, Professor Hau has been a leader in Philippine historical and literary studies with numerous books, edited books and journal special issues. She has also published 37 peer reviewed book chapters and journal articles. During her career she has received many accolades including the Philippine National Book Award (seven times), the Gintong Aklat Award and the Philippine Free Press Literary Award (twice).

The body of her work has greatly enhanced Philippine literary studies and has added new dimensions to the study of the nation’s history in terms of the nation’s gender relationships, Chinese ethnicity, politics and political development.

The Philippine Studies Group is pleased to acknowledge the outstanding scholarly achievement that Professor Caroline Hau has shown throughout her career and confer upon her the 2021 Grant Goodman Prize in Philippine History and Historical Studies.

Paul A. Rodell

Chair, Grant Goodman Committee

Philippine Studies Group


Following are remarks given by Vicente Rafael at the 2021 PSG meeting where the award was announced:

                       A Tribute for Carolyn Sy Hau, winner of the 2021 Goodman Prize

I am very pleased to announce this year’s winner of the Grant Goodman Prize: Prof. Carolyn Sy Hau. Though she is, strictly speaking, not a historian, you can see how everything she writes is informed by a keen historical sensibility. At one point, I recall Benedict Anderson referring to her as one of the premiere historians of the Philippines. It’s not hard to see why. Not only is she one the leading scholars of Filipino-Chinese culture; she has also written about literary history and elite political cultures in ways that are powerful and compelling.

Carol’s books on nationalism and literature are classics in the field, and combine a sophisticated theoretical approach with close readings of a range of texts from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. A prodigious researcher and writer, she has managed the remarkable feat of either publishing her own books or editing collections of essays nearly every other year for the last decade.

Each of Carol’s books has reshaped historical studies on the Philippines. Read together, her first two books, Necessary Fictions (2000) and On the Subject of the Nation (2004), constitute the most analytically sophisticated account of postwar Philippine literary history, accounting for the shifts in the genre and the evolving nationalist consciousness that these novels convey.

Her landmark book, The Chinese Question (2014), is the only account of the evolving meanings of being Chinese in the Philippines, from the emergence of the colonial-era Chinese mestizo class to the present discourse on Chinese-Filipino/“Tsinoys.” Her account of the Tsinoy as the new mestizo, culturally integrated and imbibed with the social and economic capital that stems from various forms of “Chinese” influence within Southeast Asia, is an unparalleled account of a new cultural formation that few scholars have even noticed. Looking at Chinese contributions to Filipino nationalism and communism, The Chinese Question also examines the provincial Chinese, the fraught relationship between the Chinese and the state in the last quarter of the 20th century, and the “integration” of the Chinese in Filipino popular culture.

In another important book, Elites, and Ilustrados, Carol synthesized the vast literature on the ilustrado and altered our view of various topics, from Marcosian developmentalism and crony capitalism to state-sponsorship overseas work. The book provides a much-needed methodological corrective to studies of the Philippine elite that only focus on the oligarchy’s patrimonial features. These works see corruption and rent-seeking as the be-all and end-all of works in the Philippine political economy. However, Carol shows that the history of Philippine elite/s must be understood not only through the Philippine political economy’s cliches but also through culture and a rigorous re-reading of macroeconomic theory. That a literary scholar has written a work the alters our views of twentieth-century economic history is a testament to Carol’s breadth and her endless capacity to evolve as a thinker.

Carol’s latest book, Interpreting Rizal, is an incisive set of essays that returns her to the key works of Jose Rizal, where she reconsiders, among other things, the central role that Maria Clara plays in Rizal’s Noli and the national hero’s place in an emerging pan-Asian anti-colonial imagination.

Aside from authoring several prize-winning books, Carol has also collaborated with various colleagues to produce a number of edited collections on a dizzying array of topics. These include: “The Best of Tulay: An Anthology of Chinese Filipino Literature in English, Tagalog, and Chinese. With Benedict Anderson, she co-edited Carlos Bulosan’s All the Conspirators; and with the Thai scholar-and-public intellectual Kasian Tejapira Traveling Nation-Makers: Transnational Flows and Movements in the Making of Modern Southeast Asia. Carol also co-wrote in Japanese with Prof. Takashi Shiraishi, How is China Changing East Asia? The 21st Century Regional System; andwith the writers Katrina P. Tuvera and Isabelita O. Reyes Querida: An Anthology (2013), a compilation of poems, essays, and book excerpts that looks at the role of the mistress in Philippine politics and society. She also edited with J.Paul Manzanilla,  Remembering/Rethinking EDSA, a compilation of essays and poems that asks us to reconsider the significance of the 1986 “People Power Revolution” that ended the 15- year rule of the Marcos dictatorship, along with Elite: An Anthology,

It is well worth noting that Carol is also an award-winning fiction writer. Her literary works include: Recuerdos de Patay and Other Stories (2015), Demigods and Monsters: Stories (2019), and Tiempo Muerto (2019), all of which reflect a sensibility honed in exile and deep political engagement. That she writes literature and doesn’t simply study it is a tribute to the capaciousness of her thinking and wide range of her talents.

Carol’s significance can be gauged by the fact that she has become one of the most widely known Filipina scholars in Asia and the world. Her position at Kyoto makes her a valuable interlocutor in the Asian and Southeast Asian study of the Philippines. This intra-regional concern with Philippine Studies is seen in the journal she edits and in the many conferences she has organized. She has also trained a number of Japanese graduate students who have been doing important research that open up our understanding of less studied fields such as economic history, urban anthropology and domestic labor. Thanks to Carol’s active interventions, many Filipino scholars have received fellowships at Kyoto to carry out their work and interact with Japanese students and faculty.

Last but not least, Carol has been a true institution-builder, a scholar who believes in bringing Southeast Asian studies back to Asia. She was instrumental in launching the quadrennial Philippine Studies Conference in Japan (PSCJ) and the Southeast Asian Studies in Asia (SEASIA) consortium. She has also been a key contributor to our field’s most important journal: Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints (PSHEV). If she is not writing for the journal, she is either reviewing, contributing interviews, facilitating its conferences, or guest editing.

For all these reasons, Caroline Sy Hau is richly deserving of the Grant Goodman Prize. We heartily congratulate her for winning this award.

–From the nominating letters of Vicente L. Rafael, Patricio Abinales and Lisandro Claudio


The following are remarks delivered by Dr. Hau at the 2021 PSG meeting on receiving the award.

Thank you very much, Paul, Vince, for the kind words.

I’m truly privileged and humbled to be a recipient of this year’s Grant Goodman Prize, for which I am grateful to the Philippine Studies Group for your vote of confidence. This is an unexpected honor, all the more so because I think of myself more as a student of history than as a bona fide historian. 

I got interested in Philippine history because I was interested in Philippine literature. From the beginning, I realized that to better understand a literary work, one had to attend closely not only to the workings of the text, but to its materiality and historicity as an artefact and as a dynamic process of language-use, meaning-making, and intervention in the world.  Text and so-called context are so mutually implicated in each other that it makes no sense to speak of the “background” of a literary work. Rather, one needs to think about words and texts in motion, of  literature as an ineluctably temporal and for that reason historical phenomenon of world-making.

Philippine literature and history have not always been separate disciplines, nor were they separate from other fields of inquiry.  The members of the Propaganda Movement dabbled freely in pursuits ranging from writing novels and essays to collecting insects and folklore to archival research to fencing to obtaining membership in learned societies.

Recall, too, that Teodoro Agoncillo first gained public recognition as a prize-winning Tagalog poet and short story writer. While he was careful to distinguish the historical and literary imaginations, history and literature tended to bleed into each other in his most influential work, The Revolt of the Masses (Aguilar 2020, 145). Critics have a point in arguing that Agoncillo’s literary blandishments (ibid., 176) sometimes compromised the historical accuracy of Revolt. More significantly, his character studies of Bonifacio and the masses left a lot to be desired.

But it is telling that two of the most penetrating critiques of Agoncillo, by Neferti Tadiar (2004) and Filomeno V. Aguilar, Jr. (2020), were written by scholars who were trained, in Neferti’s case, as a literary critic and, in Jun’s case, as a management engineer and sociologist.

Students of literature concern themselves with looking closely at the ways in which storytelling highlights or suppresses the very presuppositions that shape it and the ways in which narratives appeal to their readers as plausible representations of reality. These concerns, too, are shared by historians as they deal with the challenges of using archival and other materials and their crafting of their own historical narratives and studies (see White 1978, 58).

Whatever the methodological and theoretical differences between literature and history—in part a consequence of their institutionalization and professionalization as distinct fields—they have in common a keen awareness of the imperatives, the political, intellectual, and artistic stakes, and also the pitfalls and potentials, of interpretation.

I continue to draw inspiration from Resil Mojares, a recipient of the Grant Goodman prize, who started his career as a fictionist, and who has characterized his method of doing research that freely ranges across the disciplines of politics, history, literature, anthropology, and cultural studies as a form of “border raiding” (Mojares 2017, 1). In fact, a quick look at the work of previous recipients of this prize shows that this has indeed been more the rule than the exception. These days, though, I must say that I enjoy reading works of history, and also physics, far more than works of literary, cultural, and art theory and criticism. 

We live in a time of intellectual and political ferment. Philippine Studies has expanded its scope and concerns beyond the ambits of methodological nationalism and US-Philippines bilateralism, even as scholars are now better armed to range across local, sub-regional, national, regional, transregional, and global scales of analysis.  The imperative to go beyond academia and engage with Filipinos and other peoples remains. Border-raiding involves not only crossing disciplinary or area boundaries, but many other boundaries as well, not least social, imaginative, and political.  

May we continue to learn from each other and from our other colleagues in Asian Studies and, just as important, beyond. Let us engage in the venerable art of border-raiding together.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Works Cited

Aguilar, Filomeno V.  2020. “What Made the Masses Revolutionary?: Ignorance, Character, and Class in Teodoro Agoncillo’s The Revolt of the Masses,” Philippine Studies 68 (2): 137-78.

Mojares, Resil B. 2017. Interrogations in Philippine Cultural History. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press

Tadiar, Neferti Xina.  2004.  Fantasy-Production: Sexual Economies and Other Philippine Consequences for the New World Order.  Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

White, Hayden.  1978. Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

AAS: Apply Now for an Assist-A-Scholar Sponsored Membership

A message from AAS:

Thanks to the generosity of the Association for Asian Studies community and the Henry Luce Foundation, our Assist-A-Scholar membership campaign raised a total of $20,810 between May 17 and August 20, 2021. The AAS thanks all who supported this campaign. Your donations will enable us to provide over 400 AAS memberships to Asian Studies scholars who could otherwise not afford to join the Association.

If you are a scholar in need and would like to submit your name to receive a one-year AAS membership supported by Assist-A-Scholar funds, please complete this form by October 25, 2021. During the week of October 25, AAS staff will conduct a random drawing of names and award memberships until funding is exhausted. We will then contact recipients with instructions for how to redeem their membership.

This drawing is open to all Asian Studies scholars at all career stages (students will be required to submit proof of enrollment if membership is awarded), regardless of citizenship or country of residence. If you are currently an AAS member but would be unable to renew your membership without assistance, please apply—we can extend your membership if your name is selected in the drawing.

We are very thankful to everyone in the AAS community who has made this campaign a success and helped us provide equitable access to membership for all. 

Apply for the program here.

Next PhilS4 webinar to feature Arnisson Andre Ortega (Oct. 20/21)

Island Urbanisms in the Philippines: Gender, Urban Development, and Transnationalism

Join Arnisson Andre Ortega (Syracuse University) to discuss the complex interactions between gender, urban development and transnationalism in the Philippines. In the Philippines, several rural islands have transformed into “world-class” destinations, becoming new sites of urban accumulation. At the heart of these changes are Filipinas who, typically with foreign spouses, invest in properties and establish resorts. These resorts, in turn, facilitate a mode of urbanization reliant on the transnational mobilities of tourists, expats, and capital.Through island narratives from Visayas and Mindanao, Ortega will discuss the spatial dynamics of inclusion and exclusion of Filipinas in island accumulation, including how gender and sexuality are important forces shaping urban island accumulation and translocal mobilities. He will make a case for islands as terrains of urban theorization, foregrounding the salience of gender and transnationalism in framing extended urbanization to include non-metropolitan contexts in retheorizing contemporary forms of urbanization.

When: Wednesday 20 October 2021, 4pm PT / 7pm ET | Thursday 21 October 2021, 7am PHT / 10am AEST
Where: Online via Zoom
Register here.

This series is sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, Humboldt University of Berlin, and SOAS University of London.

See the full event schedule on our website and follow PhilS4 on Facebook to be kept informed of upcoming events!Please note registration is essential. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss accessibility requirements, please feel free to email: 

New global seminar series to launch with Caroline Hau as inaugural speaker

PSG is pleased to support a new global seminar series on Philippines Social Science. The inaugural seminar will feature our 2021 Grant Goodman Prize recipient, Dr. Caroline Hau, whose work bridges the humanities and social sciences. Please join us on September 16 at 9am JST for a lively discussion of Dr. Hau’s exciting new article on “The Afterlives of Maria Clara.” (For those in the US, that’s the evening of September 15, 5pm PDT or 8pm EDT)

Philippines Social Science Seminar Series (PhilS4)

Join us in the second week of each month on Zoom to hear from the world’s best experts on the Philippines. 

This virtual seminar series brings together a diverse group of social scientists from across the globe with shared interests in the Philippines. 

In addition to providing an in-depth scholarly analysis of social issues in the Phillipines, this series will foster new opportunities for networking between those working in the Philippines and around the world.

This series is sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, Humboldt University of Berlin, and SOAS University of London.

For the inaugural PhilS4 webinar, we are delighted to host Professor Caroline Hau (Kyoto University) to explore the staying power of 19th century literary character María Clara as a female icon in Philippine society.

This seminar provides an overview of the critical and popular reception of José Rizal’s María Clara in the nearly one hundred and forty years since the publication of the Noli me tángere (1887). The lively, at times heated, debates over this literary character’s exemplarity intervene in broader intellectual and public discussions not only about the colonial legacies and postcolonial issues and challenges confronting Philippine society, but also about women’s evolving positions and oppression in that society. The staying power of María Clara as a female icon persists in the very gap that opens up between the ideals she is made to exemplify and the historically evolving, gendered lives and gendering of lived experience in the Philippines of which she serves as an example. Rather than affirming the rules and norms governing Philippine society, María Clara’s exemplarity has critical potentiality, serving as an instrument of contestation, often by Filipino women.

Download the seminar paper here.

Register for the seminar here.

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Call for Papers: Halo-Halo Ecologies

This Call for Papers is shared at the request of the organizers.

Call for Papers: Halo-Halo Ecologies: A Transnational Workshop on Emergent Philippine Environments and Foodways
Deadline to submit abstracts: October 30, 2021

Virtual workshop dates: June 2022

CFP (abridged): Acclaimed Filipino food scholar Doreen G. Fernandez once wrote that “In the act of eating, we ingest the environment.” In the everyday practice of eating, however, food can be easily disembodied from its environmental underpinnings, even as writers like Fernandez serve up its cultural and historical bearings. Take halo-halo, the iconic crushed-ice dessert beloved by many. Food writing frequently describes this midday treat as a colorful assortment of local and foreign ingredients now considered prototypically Pinoy. Rarely, however, is this concoction understood as a material product of Philippine ecosystems — that is, as an eclectic blend of environmental tales in an ever evolving and highly politicized Philippine foodscape. Crushed ice, for instance, might tell the story of urban Manila’s classed transformations with the democratization of refrigeration technologies. Evaporated milk betrays tales of colonial ranching, the supplanting of local carabao-centered cultures, and shifting human-animal relationships with military incursion. Tropical fruit toppings like mangoes, bananas, and jackfruit are windows into the rise of plantation agriculture and the scientific management of Mindanao’s landscapes. And ube, the purple tuber world-famous as comfort food for the diaspora and as a social media phenomenon, has become a harbinger of climate change to the farmers of the Cordilleras.
The “Halo-Halo Ecologies” Workshop endeavors to explore the intersection of food and environment by bringing together a transnational community of scholars, writers, activists, and food enthusiasts from the Philippines and the diaspora. We invite papers on any Filipino food item or practice, mundane or iconic, that combines the cultural commitments of food writing with attention to agrarian, marine/maritime, or urban-ecological issues. We hold that the Philippines and its diasporic networks are exemplary sites through which to examine this topic. Our main goals for this workshop are to:

  • create a transnational community of Philippines and Filipino/x Studies scholars, writers, activists, and food enthusiasts interested in these issues, 
  • to map the contemporary body of literature on food and environment on the Philippines, 
  • craft a space within global theoretical discourse for our collective contributions, and 
  • contemplate on the trajectories, promises, and limitations, as well as set an agenda for the future. 

We endeavor to achieve these goals by preparing a collection of selected papers from the workshop in the form of either an edited volume in a reputable international university press or a special issue in a high-impact journal.

For the full CFP, as well as instructions on how to apply to participate, please see our website. A PDF with all relevant details is also attached.

This workshop is co-organized by Dr. Alyssa Paredes (University of Michigan, Anthropology) and Dr. Marvin Montefrio (Yale-NUS, Environmental Studies). It is sponsored by Yale-NUS College and the University of Michigan’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. 
For inquiries and abstract submissions, please write to

Reminder & correction: AAS deadline is August 10

For the AAS 2022 conference in Honolulu, the submission deadline for all panel/paper proposals and for the International Exchange Travel Grant requests is Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT

In an earlier post on this site, the deadline was transcribed incorrectly. I apologize for any resulting confusion.

Job: UMich CSEAS Academic Program Specialist

The University of Michigan Center for Southeast Asian Studies is searching for a new program specialist. This person serves a pivotal role in the operations of the Center, and we are looking for a highly motivated individual who is detail oriented and can stay on top of all of the Center’s many activities. Full details and the link to the application form are here. Please note that the position closes on July 23, 2021.

CfPs: AAS 2022 and Rising Voices

AAS has released the Call for Proposals for next year’s annual conference in Honolulu. The deadline for submitting session proposals and requests for International Exchange Travel Grant is August 10, 2021. If you have a Philippines-related panel CfP or a paper in need of a panel, please send pertinent details to noaht(at), and I’ll be glad to post on this site.

SEAC has released the Call for Papers for its annual Rising Voices in Southeast Asian Studies panel, which supports conference participation by “up-and-coming scholars,” including graduate students. This year’s theme is “Politics of Human Rights in Southeast Asia.” The deadline for abstract/proposal submissions is July 15, 2021. Eligibility criteria, submission instructions, and other details are in the CfP.

Tmrw 5/5 12pm EDT: Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez on Botany, Empire, and Environmental Humanities in the Philippines and Beyond”

“A Conversation on Botany, Empire, and Environmental Humanities in the Philippines and Beyond”

Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez
Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

In this open-ended conversation, Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez will discuss current and forthcoming research on the intersections of botany, empire, and vernacular plant knowledge in the Philippines. Moving between Southeast Asian Studies, the environmental humanities and history, Dr. Gutierrez will encourage us to think in new ways about Philippine proto-national and regional floristic space, and challenge historians to question assumptions about the oversimplified intellectual divide between Spanish and US imperial projects. The discussion will be moderated by CSEAS chair, Erik Harms, and will build in ample time for questions from and discussions with the audience.

Kathleen “Kat” Cruz Gutierrez is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches courses on modern Southeast Asia, the Philippines, science, and the environment. She completed her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at the University of California, Berkeley. A specialist of colonial botany, Dr. Gutierrez is completing a manuscript drawn from her dissertation, tentatively titled Sovereign Vernaculars: Philippine Botany at the Dawn of New Imperial Science. Her forthcoming anthology contributions include a genre-bending meditation on the Imelda Marcos toad lily in The Mind of Plants (Synergetic Press, 2021) and a study of the “white space” behind the naming of Cycas wadei in Empire and the Environment: Confronting Ecological Ruination in the Asian-Pacific and the Americas (University of Michigan Press, 2021). Presently, with Paul Michael L. Atienza (Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), she is guest co-editing a special issue on Philippine STS for Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints. Dr. Gutierrez also co-coordinates the STS Futures Initiative, a professionalization workshop series for STS-inclined humanities graduate students. When not perched at her desk, she watches Forensic Files with her dad and poorly identifies birds in Oakland, CA

Wednesday, May 5, 12:00 Noon

Live Via Zoom  Register Here >>

2021 APSA Asia Workshop – deadline 5/31/21

A message from Lara Jolicoeur of the American Political Science Association:

“I’m writing to inform you of an open Call for Applications for APSA’s Virtual Asia Workshop for early-career scholars based in East and Southeast Asia. The Asia Workshops are a great way to develop research alongside scholars with similar interests and extend networks across East and Southeast Asia and the United States. I hope that you can pass this information along to the Philippine Studies Group community, and to any others who may be interested in this opportunity.   

The virtual summer program will be conducted as series of weekly zoom sessions from mid-July through mid-August. The workshop will bring together up to 12 selected scholars to advance research related local governance and decentralization across Asia. Following their full participation of the workshop, all fellows will receive three-years membership to APSA. The deadline to apply is May 31.  

Additional information and application instructions are available online on the Asia Workshop website. We appreciate your help in circulating this unique opportunity.”