Public lecture to kick off Center for Philippine Studies' 40th anniversary

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Vina Lanzona, (808) 956-6769
Director of Communications, Center for Philippine Studies
Posted: Mar 27, 2015

Alfred McCoy
Alfred McCoy

A public lecture by Alfred McCoy, J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, inaugurates a two-day international symposium at UH Mānoa celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Center for Philippine Studies.  McCoy's Florence Liu Macaulay Lecture, titled “Covert Netherworld: An Invisible Arena for Contesting Global Power in the 21st Century," is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at the UHM Architecture Auditorium.

The lecture will focus on the Philippines and history of the American Empire in Central Asia and Africa.  McCoy will look beneath the surface of everyday politics to explore a clandestine domain — the “covert netherworld” — that was a contested arena during the Cold War, and will likely become the chief arena for geopolitical conflict in the coming decades. This invisible netherworld operates at three intersecting spatial levels: local, national and transnational.  It is inhabited by criminal and clandestine actors who conduct an illicit commerce beyond the boundaries of civil society, individual nation states, and the international community.

McCoy is the author of many important works on the Philippines and the U.S. His study of global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin (1972), which the CIA tried to suppress, is now regarded as a classic, and has been translated into nine languages. A Question of Torture (2006) formed the basis for the film, Taxi to the Darkside, which won an Oscar in 2008, and his Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (2009), won the Kahin Prize from the Association for Asian Studies.

His edited collection (with Francisco Scarano), Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (2009), is already a standard and indispensable study of the history of the U.S. Empire. His most recent book, Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation (2012), explores the political and cultural dynamics of human rights violations during the War on Terror. 

Professor McCoy will also be one of the keynote speakers in the two-day international symposium, titled "Philippine and Filipino Studies: 40 Years Hence," to be held at the Imin Center in the East-West Center from April 9-10, 2015. 

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