18 October 2019

Geography Brown Bag Colloquium Series: Rescaling Nomosphere for Legal Geography Studies in the Philippines

Prof. Reidan M. Pawilen from the Department of Social Sciences, UP Los Baños is the keynote speaker for the third Geography Brown Bag Colloquium Series for the first semester. His discussion, Rescaling Nomosphere for Legal Geography Studies in the Philippines, highlighted legal geography as an emerging sub-discipline in human geography.

Legal geography deals with how people and places co-consitute the world. It draws from the “premise that the legal co-creates the spatial and the social, while the social and the spatial co-create the legal.” While there have been multitudes of studies concerning legal geography from the Global North, research on the subject matter from the Global South remain few and far between. This study serves as an active effort to enrich legal geography research in the Global South, giving emphasis on nuances that cannot be captured through generalizations obtained from the Global North alone. Using the framework nomosphere developed by Delaney investigates the “cultural-material environs that are constituted by the reciprocal materialization of ‘the legal’, the legal signification of the ‘socio-spatial’, and the practical performative engagements through which such constitutive moments happen and unfold.” In his study, Pawilen utilized the Bodong Indigenous Allied Group, Inc. (BIAG) as a case study for this conceptual framework.

Prof. Pawilen walked the audience through Bodong functions as an alternative dispute resolution method (ADR). The lack of representation for both Indigenous Peoples and IP rights in the country’s legal system led to a need to establish and reorganize to a more “formal” institution that the state could easily recognize. For the Bodong, it was their reformation as BIAG. BIAG’s method of enacting justice makes use of the group’s numbers to occupy a certain space, most often turning the home of the accused as a trial court, “to disrupt and neutralize the daily activities of the area and force a mediation between aggrieved parties.” The only limit given to these activities of enacting justice is that they do not violate any currently existing human right. Their means and reach are more flexible that the traditional legal process and can easily be adjusted on a case to case basis.

These IP institutions for justice such as the BIAG continuously challenge not only state authority and state laws but also other neighboring IP communities. One of the consequences of reorganizing such systems is that it exposed certain tensions between differing communities most especially in terms of jurisdiction. Given these circumstances, Prof. Pawilen ends the discussion on the idea of crafting a national ADR program that seeks to integrate and formalize Indigenous ADR practices to the legal system of the country.
* Quoted statements are taken from Prof.  Reidan M. Pawilen’s presentation

13 October 2019

Chester Arcilla on the politics of home among the urban poor within the context of neoliberalism

Chester Arcilla from the UP-Manila Department of Social Sciences who is the fifth speaker for the Geography Brown Bag Colloquium Series this semester, will present his lecture entitled Home unmaking and re-making among the urban poor within neoliberalism on October 18 (Friday), 5:30PM at Pavilion 2248. 

30 September 2019

UP Department of Geography Department Curriculum and Personnel Development Workshop

The UP Department of Geography concluded its most recent Department Curriculum and Personnel Development Workshop at Punta de Fabian, Baras, Rizal from August 24 to 26, 2019. The three-day workshop aimed to review both its undergraduate and graduate curricula and to further discuss and enhance the department's faculty and staff development.

The first day of the workshop started with the opening remarks of Prof Darlene Occeña-Gutierrez which included reminders about the purpose of the workshop and recognition of the department's new members. This was then followed by current chairperson Prof Yany Lopez's brief review of the previous workshops and identification of goals that must be followed and maintained. The faculty soon broke off into their respective groups to present and piece together a code of ethics for the department (sourced and referenced from various trusted and credible sources such as the Missenden Code of Practice for Ethics and Accountability, American Association of Geographers, and the University College London). Following that, the body worked on the revision of the department's mission and vision led by Prof. Ma. Simeona Martinez who also presented the results of the exit interview for undergraduate students and the questionnaire for graduate students. The day ended with the new committee assignments where each committee head is tasked to facilitate a project plan to be presented the following day.

The second day began with each committee presenting the various projects they developed the day prior. Afterwards, the body held simultaneous discussions where faculty members began curriculum mapping to help determine the overall coherence of the program while staff and REPS members identified tasks distributions and laid out possible trainings and goals for each individual. 

The graduate faculty members led by Prof Joseph Palis reviewed and updated the department’s graduate curriculum proposal on the final day. The workshop concluded as both Prof Lopez and Ms. Clarissa Concepcion presented the syntheses for the curriculum mapping and the staff and REPS meeting, respectively.