Against the Grain: Dissidence, Dissonance and Difference

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Description of Activity

I successfully delivered a paper that explored this question: can a non-native, "outsider" writer ever begin to accurately and fairly represent Manila? In the Orientalist mode, Anglo-American creative writing on Manila from 1851-2000 has tended to construct the city as a textual space dependent on Western fears and desires regarding the East, which themselves are based, consciously or unconsciously, on an imperialist and, more latterly, a cultural imperialist agenda. Such constructions tend to belittle, caricature or ignore the rich and varied culture (civic, literary, artistic, etc.) of Manila. My event was one of the few to gain national and international exposure on the CNN Philippines website: While attending the conference I joined the Asia Pacific Writers & Translators, a network of academics, creative writers and translators operating across Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America. Some of the information I gleaned from participation in the conference fed into my public lecture ‘Portsmouth: The Global City’ delivered at the Being Human Festival in November 2015. A video of my lecture will soon appear in the NESTA-funded local community journalism website Star & Crescent, of which I am an editor-in-chief. This will ensure that my research reaches a popular, non-academic and local audience.
Period25 Oct 2016
Event typeConference
LocationManila, PhilippinesShow on map


  • Philippines
  • creative writing
  • media representations
  • Orientalism
  • postcolonialism
  • travel writing
  • Transcultural