UST’s UNITAS 100 lecture series tackles artists and authoritarianism in David Lloyd’s dramas

The following is a press release from the University of Santo Tomas UNITAS journal.

The University of Santo Tomas’ UNITAS journal, the oldest existing academic journal based in a modern university in the Philippines, continues its webinar series on contemporary literary and cultural studies topics, as part of its pre-centennial celebration.  

The 4th installment in the UNITAS 100 series is a lecture on European drama's authoritarian and activist tenets. Professor Victor Merriman, PhD of Edge Hill University, UK, will deliver his lecture, titled “Beckett’s Legacies: Authoritarianism and Activism in David Lloyd’s The Press (2009) and The Pact (2021).” 

The online lecture will be held via UNITAS Facebook Live on Friday, September 24, with Professor Emeritus Ricardo G. Abad from Ateneo de Manila University serving as the respondent.

Professor Victor Merriman is a Professor of Critical Studies in Drama who is a member of UNITAS' International Board of Editors. Having published many articles and book chapters on postcolonial criticism, Irish theatre, drama pedagogy, and cultural policy, he is also the founding member of the One Hour Theatre Company and the Liverpool Irish Literary Theatre. His keynote addresses include the International Association for the Study of Ethical Literary Criticism (UST, Manila, 2019) and Korea's Modern English Drama Association (Institute of Body and Culture, Konkuk University, Korea, 2020 – online). He was dramaturg on David Lloyd’s The Press (2009) and The Pact (2021), on which he will focus his discussion. The lecture’s respondent, Professor Emeritus Ricardo G. Abad, is a sociologist, theatre director, and faculty member of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Department of Fine Arts at the Ateneo de Manila University. Having served as the artistic director of Tanghalang Ateneo from 1984 to 2014, he is currently the Artistic Director of Aretè, the ADMU’s creative and innovation hub, he has been Board Member of the Asian Shakespeare Association, and the President of the Asia-Pacific Bond of Theatre Schools.

The lecture will be followed by a conversation between Dr. Merriman and Dr. Abad. The question-and-answer portion with the audience is expected to delve into the European drama's theory, practice, and relevance in enriching the literary and cultural studies in the Philippines, especially in the case of David Lloyd as a playwright and his works. As expected, Dr. Merriman’s talk will help suggest how European Drama can be integrated into the literature classrooms in the Philippines and other contexts. As in the previous lectures in the series, the program’s audience and its video recording on FB will be coming from the Philippines and abroad.  

The abstract of the lecture reads:

David Lloyd’s dramas interrogate the dynamics of a series and lethal stand-offs between artists and authoritarian rulers. They are intellectually, dramaturgically, and linguistically complex, functioning as intertextual interrogations of canonical works – The King’s Threshold by W. B. Yeats (1903) and Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (1952), respectively. They are also the heirs to the dramas of Samuel Beckett, from Waiting for Godot (1953) to What Where (1983), both thematically and dramaturgically. This paper is informed by Professor Merriman’s engagement with Lloyd’s plays and cultural criticism.

The schedule of the rest of lectures is as follows:

October 29, 2021: Topic – Field Research in Literary and Cultural Scholarship

Speaker: Prof. Melani Budianta, Universitas Indonesia

Respondent: Prof. Shuri M G Tambunan, Universitas Indonesia

November 26, 2021: Topic – Approaching Non-human Narratives

Speaker: Prof. Biwu Shang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Respondent Youngmin Kim, Dongguk University, South Korea

December 10, 2021: Topic – International Organization and Community: Interrogating ASEAN’s Fictions of Community

Speaker: Atty. Jose Duke Bagulaya, faculty member (UP-DECL), legal scholar, and PhD Cand., Hong Kong University

Respondent: Atty. Romel Regalado Bagares, lawyer, faculty member, and scholar of international law

The lectures are open to the public. – Rappler.com