PROBLEMS OF MIDDLE EASTERN LITERATURE TAUGHT IN THE PHILIPPINES: A CRITICAL REFLECTION BY THE LOCAL ACADEMIA
This paper accounts academic discourses in selected Middle Eastern Literature, both as a critical discourse and a means for cultural education, with reflections on the Philippine socio-political and cultural conditions. Issues such as stereotypes, racism, and the postcolonial remains were central to the discourse. Drawing from accounted responses of literature students, it is seen that their encounter with Middle Eastern Literature is deeply informed by their personal and socio-cultural phenomena. This qualitative study was conducted using Purposive Critical Case Sampling. Informants of the study are World Literature students from Far Eastern University, with different academic programs, age, gender, religious, and cultural background. Both the multicultural approach to literature and Said’s orientalism are vital in the shaping of the informants’ understanding and appreciation of Middle Eastern Literature, as revealed in the major themes elicited in the informants’ critical engagements. Overall, this paper shall contribute to the body of knowledge in three ways: as an existing study in literary theory and criticism, as a philosophical discourse on postcolonialism and its remains in developing countries like the Philippines, as well as in the growing study on literary education and cultural studies.