The Philippine International Studies Organization (PHISO) commenced its free virtual international conference entitled the Global Anthropocene last November 6-7, 2021. The two-day conference gathered various distinguished scholars, and notable students and guests around the world such as in the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom and Mexico. The event had initiated seven panel sessions, three roundtable discussions, and two book launchings. With this, students and faculty members of the Miriam College Department of International Studies participated through a roundtable discussion and a panel session respectively.
Anthropocene is a relatively new concept that connotes the relations of human and nonhuman that moves the discourse beyond the environment. During the first day, the graduate students—Danielle Rose Mañalac, Wing Sze Christine Pun, Mnenosyne Hilary Vinarao, and Frances Therese G. Zabala—presented their paper entitled An Analysis of Indigenous India’s Postcolonial Anthropocene; which was chaired by the Graduate Program Coordinator, Prof. Lorna Israel. The students aimed to open up possibilities for the plurality of approach and the idea in shaping the anthropogenic narrative beyond a colonized perspective.
On the second day, several faculty members of the department presented their papers through a panel session entitled The Economic and Social Cost of Living in the Age of Anthropocene chaired by Dr. Melanie Reyes, Chairperson of the Department of International Studies. The diverse topics of the panel talked about the development issues of global poverty, food insecurity, inequalities among states, realities of migration, and the devastating impacts of terrorism, along with the importance of collective action to achieve a common goal. The paper presented are as follows: (1) The Comic Mind and Global Poverty in Anthropocene’s Tragic Imaginary by Prof. Lorna Q. Israel, (2) Social Development Gaps and Challenges in Marriage Migration: A Glimpse of the Social Protection Policy of South Korea and the Philippines by Dr. Melanie Reyes, (3) Global Cooperation Against Terrorism in the Age of Anthropocene by Dr. Rommel C. Banlaoi, and (4) Rethinking Food Security Policies in the Philippines by Prof. Kebart Licayan and his peers, Mr. Billie Balsamo, and Mr. Brian Doce.
Successfully presenting in the conference, there had been insightful conversations that sparked new ideas and perspectives in the aforementioned variety of topics. The participation of both the students and the faculty goes beyond learning and sharing of knowledge in elevating the discourse of this year’s theme, the Global Anthropocene. -- By Frances Therese Zabala