Friday, August 17, 2012

paper re: little killers++

familar with stewie griffin from the show family guy? or, maybe, years ago, hiei or vincent from yu yu hakusho or ghost fighter when there were, you know, flashbacks with, you know, yukina or mikaela? or any fictional toddler with the wit not of a kid but of a trickster of some sort? if not, try remembering, dammit. so i can make you interested enough and invite you to a conference.

as i've mentioned in the previous post, i shall post the abstract of my presentation for the conference "LITERATURE, MEDIA, AND THE ROMANCE OF CHILDHOOD: States of Innocence and the Business of Frightening Our Children" after receiving the finalized schedule. however, as of the moment, looong weekend's coming and there's still no word as regards the definite programme. but, my abstract was accepted, i believe. otherwise, i dont know. i'd look like da vinci's fetus drawing because of shame. though i am not certain of the exact time, as i've mentioned, most probably, i'll present my paper come thursday morning. after the image [source] is the cut; after the cut, the abstract; after the abstract, an image i liked and lifted from paper monster press's page [asuang launch facebook event page here][pmp warning here]. after the image is a text lifted from the organizers' facebook event page. that is all. i thank you. (oh, while we're at it, further down this post are details of the exhibit of The Cabinet at kanto gallery.)

Birth Caul of Small Assassins: A Study of Unborns and Infants in Selected Comics and Folk Epics

By mending implications from Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s comics Birth Caul and Ray Bradbury’s short fiction The Small Assassin, this paper compares and analyzes unborns and infants chosen from foreign comics and Philippine folk epics.

The two aforementioned pieces imply that a child serves as a repository of memories of the past and, maybe, even of the future. Disturbed from his peaceful sleep and introduced into the chaotic world, the son of David, The Small Assasin initially killed the mother (as per adults’ paranoia), while Moore poetically showed how the Birth Caul served its purpose while one dreams inside the womb.

This paper discusses how Moore’s and Bradbury’s assumptions manifest in six fictional children: three from comics—Noema (Mike Carrey’s Lucifer), Genesis (Garth Ennis’s Preacher) and Cthulhu (Alan Moore’s Neonomicon); and three from Philippine folk epics—Baranugun (The Panayanon’s Labaw Donggon), Minayun (The Manobo’s Agyu) and Datu Loko Tegedung (The T’boli’s Tud Bulul). Though all aforementioned children are not ‘legitimate’ in their own ways, their roles differ in their respective narratives as some are protagonists and some antagonists.

Revisiting the concept of the tiyanak, this paper aims to contribute another reading of the tiyanak not just as a mindless killer infant, but as a newborn trying to find its way by making sense of the world and by participating in a perceived war conceived by the elders and their enemies.


We've heard and read the cliche before: "Our children are our future," "Our children are our legacy," and some would go as far as to say that children are our eschatology. There is no cause so great and as important to us if not to right the previous wrongs humanity has made in order to keep children from harm. Otherwise, who, truly, in the end would benefit from the time, effort and resources given when we take up our causes and struggle towards what we perceive to be 'the good life,' except our children? Yet, have we bothered to stop and reflect upon what we're FEEDING them, by way of necessities, and through old and new media? Why do we covet certain goods and services so badly if only for our children 'not to go through' what previous generations have experienced, especially if such events were painful? Should the effort to rear children be so Herculean (or expensive) an enterprise to the daunted populace, then perhaps another question to ask is, 'Why have them in the first place?' And who stands to profit from the production, proliferation and consumption of such goods and services amidst the inundation of motherhood statements from the forces that act upon parental figures and the children themselves? Students, teachers and the general public are invited to this event in which early career researchers and new PhDs from various persuasions and disciplines contemplate the current state of childhood--its contents, its constants and its discontents. All are welcome.

August 22 (7:40 am-6:30 pm) and August 23 (8 am-1 pm)
Basement, Main Library, Gonzalez Hall, Apacible Street
The University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

Visit: for reader biographies and paper abstracts. For enquiries, please email or sms +63 915 339 6514.

Presented by the University of the Philippines Main Library and the UP Lingua Franca.



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