Philippines Social Science Seminar Series (PhilS4)

Join us each month on Zoom to hear from the world's best experts on the Philippines.
This virtual seminar series brings together a diverse group of social scientists from across the globe with shared interests in the Philippines.

In addition to providing an in-depth scholarly analysis of social issues in the Phillipines, this series will foster new opportunities for networking between those working in the Philippines and around the world.

This series is sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, and City University of Hong Kong.

2024 Schedule

Day Time (AEST) Time (PHT) Time (CEST) Time (EDT) Time (CDT) Event/Registration

Catch up on previous PhilS4 talks!


Building Relations: Negotiating Regimes of Citizenship in Post-Disaster Housing Reconstruction through Kinship

The Partisan Trap: In-group Bias and Tolerance for Democratic Backsliding in the Philippines

Queer Encounters with "Colonial Mentality:" Vexed Decolonizations and the Social Sciences

The Ethos of Obedience Among the Members of the Philippine Marines

Social cognitive and psychological dimensions of the Philippine education crisis

Surviving Typhoons with Disaster Media Infrastructures in Tacloban, Philippines

Saving our Sisters: Exploring the Politics of Anti-Trafficking and Sex Work in the Philippines

Head to YouTube to watch even more PhilS4 webinars! 


PhilS4 Organising Committee

Dr. Leslie V. Advincula-Lopez is a sociologist with an extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation of a variety of development programs with expertise on both quantitative and qualitative research methods. She completed her PhD in Sociology at UP Diliman in 2018. She was the recipient of the outstanding book/monograph awards from the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) on two occasions, in 2003, and again, in 2013. In 2015, Ms. Lopez was the recipient of the ASEAN-Fulbright Research Grant which she undertook at the University of Maryland at College Park. She is also a Research Associate at the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC). Her current research and publications include evaluations of school-based feeding programs, regional health collaborations, and civil-military relations in the Philippines.

Aries A. Arugay is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Asian Politics & Policy, an academic journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Policy Studies Organization and nonresident fellow of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies-Yusof Ishak Institute. His main research interests are comparative democratization, civil-military relations, ASEAN regionalism, and Philippine foreign and security policy. 


Dr Paul Michael (Mike) Lenoardo Atienza completed their sociocultural anthropology degree requirements with a graduate minor in gender and women's studies on April 19, 2022. Mike is a research affiliate with the Seeing Systems INTERSECT group, an interdisciplinary collaboration among Urbana-Champaign scholars interested in the role of vision in technological systems. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Mike was a graduate fellow for the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.

Mike's multi-sited ethnography titled “The Promise of Intimacy,” investigates the lived experiences of gay and bisexual Filipinos in Manila and Los Angeles. Looking specifically at digital media platforms on mobile phones and the allure of instant and limitless intimate social bonds, Mike examines how transnational connections of technology and intimacy shape people’s notions of time and space, emotional attachments, self-presentation, and concepts of social difference such as race, class, sex, and gender.

Jorge Bayona is a research professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the Centro de Estudios de Asia y África of El Colegio de México. He earned his PhD in History at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2021 after which he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. He focuses on modern history of the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Professor Michele Ford is Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Her research focuses on Southeast Asian labour movements, the intersection between national and international trade unions, labour migration, and labour’s engagement in the political sphere. She has been involved in extensive consultancy work for the ILO, the international labour movement and the Australian government.

Dr Sandra Seno-Alday is a Lecturer in the Sydney Business School at the University of Sydney, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Prior to embarking on an academic career, Sandra was a consultant to a wide range of medium- to large-scale companies, specialising in international business development and organisation development. In the area of international business development, her consulting engagements were mainly aimed at informing clients’ strategic business expansion efforts in Southeast Asia, and included risk assessments, market attractiveness studies, competitive analyses and business feasibility analyses. 

Dr Cheryll Ruth Soriano is Professor in Communication at De La Salle University, Manila. Her research examines digital cultures and the social and political implications of communication technologies. She authors the book (with E. Cabalquinto), YouTube and the Brokerage of Social Transactions in the Philippines (Amsterdam University Press, forthcoming), which examines the mediation of identity, intimacy, labor, and politics on YouTube. She co-edited the volume Asian Perspectives on Digital Cultures, Emerging Phenomena, Enduring Concepts (Routledge, 2016), and the Special Issue: The Dynamics of Digital Communication in the Philippines: Legacies and Potentials for Media International Australia (2021). As Principal Investigator for Fairwork Philippines, she also examines the conditions of labor and organizing in the gig economy.

Mark R. Thompson is Head and Professor of Politics, Department of Asian and International Studies and Director, Southeast Asia Research Centre (SEARC) at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU). He is past president of the Hong Kong Political Science Association and the Asian Political and International Studies Association. He was Lee Kong Chian Distinguished Fellow for Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore (2008) and Stanford University (2009). He previously held permanent positions as lecturer and senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow and as full professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He was also a lecturer at the Dresden University of Technology and the Federal Army University, Munich. He has held a number of visiting positions, including at Keio University (Tokyo), the University for Peace (Costa Rica), De la Salle University (Manila), and Thammasat University (Bangkok). He completed his PhD in political science at Yale University where he was mentored by Juan J. Linz and James C. Scott. He has received several major external grants, most recently one funded by the Hong Kong General Research Fund on opposition to autocratization in Southeast Asia. The author or editor of 10 books and over 150 articles, many in top journals, and book chapters, his research focuses on autocracy, democracy, and national leadership in East Asia (Northeast and Southeast Asia).