Session Abstract: Infrastructure can be broadly defined as a system that facilitates the circulation of knowledge, people, objects, and power. This panel probes the scientific and technological infrastructures in the Philippines from the second half of the twentieth century to the present. These have been responsible for responding to geological disasters, for networking millions on the web, and for enhancing research on media and communications. Relying on approaches from the field of Science and Technology Studies, the presenters on this panel take such matters a step further to interrogate the Philippine realities rewired by such infrastructures. Dr. Kerby Alvarez discusses how natural calamities of the last five decades have complicated public response to moments of national upheaval. Paul Michael Atienza examines how intimacies of gay Filipinos in Metro Manila are shaped by the city’s material and virtual spaces. Teilhard Paradela reveals the formation of the “audience,” its origins in post-World War II mass communication research as deployed by the local Philippine elite, and the technologies that facilitated oligarchic control of political media. Finally, Dr. Lucy Burns serves as the panel’s discussant and comments on the roles of science and technology in the imagined futurities of the Philippines. Dr. Burns's emerging research on the figure of the robot urges us to rethink "the futures in performance" in the Philippines and the very infrastructures facilitating such futures.
Paper Presenter: Teilhard Paradela – University of British Columbia
Paper Presenter: Kerby C. Alvarez – University of the Philippines, Diliman
Paper Presenter: Paul Michael L. Atienza – University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign