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Projects & Events for Students and Community

ASIAN STUDIES 492 - "The Philippines, A Many Splendored View" - Winter '02

 The University of Michigan offers a credited lecture series touching on culture, economics, Christianity and Dance as related to the Philippines, Filipinos, and Filipino-Americans.  While University of Michigan students were able to enroll for the course through the university registration system, community members are able to attend any and all lectures free of charge.  The course is listed as Asian Studies 492 (a.k.a. AS 492) and will be offered in room 2609 of the University of Michigan's International Institute (7-10pm on Tuesdays) until April 22, 2002.
  Professors Emeritus Gayl Ness and Pete Gossling oversee the Philippines Seminar.  University of Michigan lecturers touch on the geography of Southeast (SE) Asia, SE Asian colonial-independence processes, Filipino language and linguistics, and Philippine Colonialism and post Colonialism.  Guest lecturers include Aram Yengoyan (University of California), Fennella Cannell (London School of Economics), as well as Roger and Mary Bresnahan (Michigan State University).  The last guest lecturer is Basilio Esteban Villaruz (Dance Theatre of the Philippines) whose lecture is titled "Dance as Discourse."  Villaruz will also help coordinate a performance at the University of Michigan, which will bring the course to a close.  The performance (on April 26th) will use local dancers and synthesize Philippine/Asian and Western styles of dance.  
  AS 492 was made possible through the University of Michigan's department of Asian Languages and Cultures, in partnership with community organizations and other key departments within the university (Philippine Study Group, University of Philippines Alumni Association of Michigan, UofM Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and UofM International Institute).  Donations from each group were used to cover the travel/living expenses of the guest lecturers and other necessary expenses.  

  AS 492 course readings and syllabus are available on the web, courtesy of UofM Center for Southeast Asian Studies.  For the internet address and password information, please e-mail philippinestudygroup1@hotmail.com.  

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Presentation of University of Philippines Alumni Association of Michigan's (UPAAM) $5,000.00 contribution to the Asian Studies 492.  The check was presented by UPAAM member Dr. Romy Aquino, to Dr. Judith Becker.  Witnesses were Adelwisa Agas Weller, and Professor Gayl Ness, pictured here.  

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Frank Murphy Museum Pilot Project - Spring/Summer 2002
  Most recently, there have been initiatives towards establishing a better understanding of Frank Murphy and his role in U.S. History, as well as in Philippine-American history.  Govenor Murphy’s former home in Harbor Beach, MI, was purchased by the City of Harbor Beach and converted into a small museum; the museum houses many artifacts and writings from Frank Murphy’s life of public service.  Filipino-American community members have tried for the last several years to obtain grants, which could be used to assist the Friends of Frank Murphy Museum for a better understanding of the colonial American influence in the Philippines.  These previous attempts have failed.  However, Annalissa Herbert, a graduate student from the University of Michigan, made a proposal to the Ginsberg Center for Community Service, which accounted for the use of grant money to head a volunteer project that would assist in creating a catalog of Murphy artifacts.  Herbert’s proposal was approved, and she is currently recruiting volunteers to assist with identification, research, catalog, and creation of teaching guides for the museum.  Volunteers who are interested in researching the life of Frank Murphy, his impact on Philippine and American history,  or gaining experience in museum studies are highly encouraged to contact Herbert (babaylan@umich.edu).
  Who is Frank Murphy one might ask?  Few native Michigan residents, even in his hometown of Harbor Beach, MI, know the history of this distinguished University of Michigan alumnus.
  Frank Murphy, in his long career of public service served as a criminal court judge, Mayor of Detroit, Governor General of the Philippines, Governor of Michigan, and Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  While these accomplishments add to the intrigue of Gov. Murphy’s life, the issues he dealt with during his public career (1930-1950) are of significance to the Filipino community.
  As Mayor of Detroit,  Gov. Murphy oversaw a major city that was struck hard by the Great Depression and, during that time, he administered one of the more successful pre-runners of what were later called New Deal programs.  Gov. Murphy was a political star who rose quickly within the Democratic party.  By the 1930’s he had caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who nominated him to serve as the governor-general of the Philippine Islands in 1933.  In this position Gov. Murphy negotiated the complicated terrain of American colonial politics.  He continued his service in the Philippines and oversaw the transformation from an American colonial property (1898-1934) into a commonwealth, though full independence would not come to the Philippines until July 4, 1946.  As a devout Catholic, Gov.  Murphy appealed to the mostly Catholic Philippine legislature.  His seemingly tender-hearted manner concealed his fierce resolve, ambition, and astute political instinct, which served him well in his long career in liberal politics.
  As Governor of Michigan, in the late 1930’s Murphy mediated the infamous General Motors sit-down strike and played a crucial role in helping organized labor gain respect in the American political system thus solidifying the entry of the Big Three in American politics.  Yet, with all these accomplishments, Frank Murphy still remains a relatively forgotten historical figure on the national level.

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(Top)  Frank Murphy Museum, Harbor Beach, MI
(Bottom) Gov. General of the Philippines, Frank Murphy pictured at the head of the table.  

Community Empowerment

Young Filipino-Americans in the metro-Detroit community are developing a stronger voice.  In a project provided by a Philippine Study Group Student Association (UofM) and Paaralang Pilipino partnership, young people are given the opportunity to express their perspectives of the Filipino-American experience.   The project involves a group of students, 7th to 12th graders, and develops a newsletter and radio broadcast under the facilitation of PSGSA volunteers.  The project started in Fall 2002, and continues for the 2002/03 school year through a grant from the Ginsberg Center for Community Service Learning, which will cover the operational expenses of the project.  Most activities associated with this project are held at the PACCM.  

Filipina/o Diaspora Speaker Series

Support the PSGSA Winter Speaker Series!
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Filipina/o Diaspora Speaker Series:
Bridging Filipina/o -American Studies and Philippine Studies

All events are free and open to the public

Sponsored By:
Philippine Studies Group Student Association, (PSGSA)
with funding from the Michigan Student Assembly

For Updated Information on the Winter Speaker Series Contact:

Annalissa Herbert

Jeffrey Arellano Cabusao

Philippine Studies Now!