International confab in Language, Literature, and Multidisciplinary research, a success!

by Irish Mae Fernandez

Fulfilling its mandate as Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) Center of Development in Filipino, and in its pursuit to develop the culture of research, MSU-IIT’s Department of Filipino and Other Languages (DFIW), through its dynamic chairperson, Dr. Mary Ann Sandoval, and hardworking faculty members, successfully organized the 1st Salindunong Conference and 11th National Conference in Filipino on April 2-4, 2018 at Grand Caprice Restaurant and Convention Center, Cagayan de Oro City.

The impetus of the conference is to provide a responsive venue for the discussion and wider dissemination of information and challenges about language and literature in academic setting and multidisciplinary research to bring about meaningful cultural integration in Asia and the world, which is aptly captured through its tag name ‘Salindunong’ – a term authored by DFIW’s faculty member and writer Prof. German Gervacio that means transfer (salin) of knowledge (dunong) – and its conference theme “Language, Literature, and Multidisciplinary Research towards Cultural Integration”.

Salindunong attracted 96 participants, 73 research presenters, and 43 student-participants. The parallel sessions featured three to well-selected papers from Philippine and foreign researchers, which focused on different areas in Language and Literary Studies, and other disciplines: Language Teaching, Discourse Studies, Registers and Variation, Translation, Language Policy, Literary Criticism, Folklore, and Cultural Studies, to mention a few.

The keynote speakers are Dr. Joi Barrios-Leblanc of the University of California-Berkeley, who presented ‘Understanding/Interrogating Cultural Integration o Kung bakit tayo dapat magsimula sa talinghaga?’; and lexicographer Dr. Deny Kwary of Airlangga University, Indonesia, who talked about ‘The Representation of Australian, Philippines and Indonesian Culturally Bound Terms in English Learner Dictionaries’.

The plenary speakers include experts in the field of lexicography, to wit, Prof. Yamada Shigeru of Waseda University, Japan, who discussed ‘Recent Changes of English-Japanese and Japanese-English Dictionaries’; and Prof. Hai Xu, Ph.D. of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China, who deliberated about ‘Internationalism vs Anglocentrism in English Learners’ Dictionaries’.

The other plenary speakers are Philology expert, Dr. Joanna Szerszunowicz of Bialystok University, Poland, who talked about ‘Figurative Language and Cultural Symbol: Polish Perspective’; and former MSU-IIT professor and Palanca awardee Prof. Anthony Tan, Ph.D., who discussed ‘Indigenous Tausug Gnomic Verses’.

A technologist from Queensland University of Technology, in Australia, Prof. Margot Brereton, Ph.D., was also invited to discuss ‘Bringing Transdisciplinary Design Research to Literacy, Culture and Language in the Digital Era’.

After ten years of organizing conferences in Filipino, it has been the department’s dream to host an international conference, which was realized now through the department’s coordination with other universities in Region X, namely, Xavier University (XU) – Ateneo de Cagayan, Central Mindanao University (CMU); and its international collaborator, the Faculty of Humanities of Airlangga University, Indonesia.

Also in attendance during the opening program were MSU-IIT’s Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Dr. David Almarez, representing Chancellor Dr. Sukarno D. Tanggol; Dr. Rolito Eballe, Dean of CMU’s College of Arts and Sciences, representing CMU President Dr. Ma. Luisa R. Soliven; Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ, and Dr. Juliet Dalagan, President and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Xavier University, respectively. Officials from CHED Region X were also present to extend their warmest congratulations to the host institutions.

Speaking on behalf of Dr. Jinky Bornales, MSU-IIT’s Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension, Dr. Marie Joy Banawa, the Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences and faculty member of DFIW, appreciated all the efforts of the Institute and the faculty members of DFIW through her closing remarks, and challenged all participants to continue the handover of research-based knowledge to the most important clientele – the students.