Past Event

The Sovereign Tricksters: Death and Laughter in the Age of Duterte

February 28, 2022
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
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Zoom Webinar

Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History and Southeast Asian studies at the University of Washington and author of The Sovereign Trickster (Duke University Press, 2022). He is also the author of Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language amid Wars of Translation; The Promise of the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish Philippines; White Love and Other Events in Filipino History; and Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society under Early Spanish Rule, all also published by Duke University Press.

Rafael weaves together topics ranging from the drug war, policing, and extrajudicial killings to neoliberal citizenship, intimacy, and photojournalism to examine what Duterte does: how he rules, the rhetoric of his humor, his use of obscenity to stoke fear, and his projection of masculinity and misogyny. By diagnosing the symptoms of the authoritarian imaginary as it circulates in the Philippines, Rafael provides a complex account of Duterte’s regime and the social conditions that allow him to enjoy continued support.

Moderator: John Gershman, Clinical Professor of Public Service, Director of the International Specialization, and Director of International Capstone Programs at NYU Wagner and NYSEAN co-founder.

This event is co-sponsored by the New York Southeast Asia Network, Sulo: The Philippine Studies Initiative at NYU, the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

Contact Information

Sreyneath Poole