Abstract: From November 1948 to March 1949, on no fewer than fifteen separate occasions, petals of roses fell from the sky on the grounds outside of a Carmelite convent in the town of Lipa, the Philippines. The petals and stories about them circulated at national and international levels, giving rise to new devotional publics that attended to the events from nearby and afar. Outlining the matrix of conditions that enabled their appearance and proliferation, this talk examines the petals of Lipa as both a phenomenon to be mediated and a medium in its own right, a material network by means of which both predictable and unexpected imaginaries emerged.
Biography: Deirdre de la Cruz is an assistant professor in the Departments of History and Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. She is the author of several articles on the history of Catholic devotions in the Philippines and its diaspora, and is currently completing a book on modern apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the Philippines. This year she is a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, where she will be working on a new project about late nineteenth century Spiritism, anti-colonialism, and occult imaginaries of the global.
Free and open to the public.
This lecture is part of the Thursday Speaker Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.