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Decolonizing English Studies Through Affect: A Roundtable

The UP CIDS Decolonial Studies Program is holding a roundtable, Decolonizing English Studies Through Affect, on Saturday, 9 December 2023, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Center for Integrative and Development Studies, Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman, Quezon City. The roundtable will also be broadcast via Zoom (sign-in required), and is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.



Studies of English in the country have mostly focused on English language teaching and learning, the spread and use of English in the Philippines from a World Englishes paradigm, and a discourse and stylistic approach to the study of texts written in English. While there is a body of critical work that challenges the notion of ‘English’ and ‘English Studies’ as deployed in mainstream work and proposes alternative ways of studying English, the use of ‘affect’ as an analytical category within a decolonizing perspective has not been explored.

This project aims to respond to this gap by demonstrating the usefulness and relevance of affect in making sense of, interrogating, and refiguring English Studies. It specifically considers the burden and trauma of the country’s colonial past and neocolonial present, the complexities and promise of a diverse multilingual reality, continuing linguistic and social inequalities, and a strong Western bias in knowledge production and consumption.

The project hopes to foreground four possible areas of affective inquiry in this roundtable discussion: 1) the learners’ lived realities of English vis-à-vis other languages in the Philippines; 2) the anxiety surrounding English; 3) methodological challenges in the study of affect and English; and 4) pedagogical possibilities for teaching English literature. 


Jean Aaron de Borja
Department of English and Comparative Literature,
College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman
Jeremy de Chavez
Department of English
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Macau
Julius Martinez
Department of International Studies,
Niigata University of International and Information Studies
Kristine Marie Reynaldo
Department of English and Comparative Literature,
College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman
Ruanni Tupas
Department of Communication, Culture, and Media
Institute of Education, University College London

UP CIDS and the Decolonial Studies Program

View the vicinity map. For other queries about the roundtable, please email [email protected]

The UP CIDS Decolonial Studies Program identifies the various dimensions of coloniality/modernity that continue to impact the Global South, particularly the Philippines, and which hinder their institutions from achieving their liberating potential. Most recently, it published a discussion paper, “Decolonizing Religion: Wishful Thinking or a Real Possibility?,” which can be downloaded for free.

The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) is a policy research unit of the University that is mandated to encourage collaborative and rigorous research addressing issues of national significance. Currently, it has 12 research programs.

The photo of Cavite school children in the publicity material is from the University of Michigan Special Collections Library, while the “English Only, Please” graphic is extracted from the stylized title of the same movie. The rest are taken from Canva.