Introducing Dr Joseph Scalice, SEAC Visiting Fellow.
1.What will you be working on during your time as SEAC Visiting Fellow?
I will spend my time as fellow writing and revising my second book, Aligned Rivalries: The Sino-Soviet Split from the Periphery. My research examines the development of Maoism and the Sino-Soviet split from the perspective of the Global South, with a detailed focus on political development in the Philippines. Building my account on archival material of the rival Communist Parties of the Philippines, I reconstruct how the Sino-Soviet split impacted critical political developments in the Southeast Asian region, tracing connections between Indonesia and the Philippines in particular. These developments in turn had a marked impact on Maoism in China and the conflict between Moscow and Beijing.
2.What led you to your field of study/what inspired your interest in these topics?
My family moved to Manila when I was six years old and I have now spent over half my life in the Philippines. My childhood in the midst of shantytowns, and several years as an adult spent in rural Central Luzon, for me imbue the Philippines with a powerful sense of home. I’ve been interested in the history of the country since my youth. The political history of the Philippines from the ending of World War II to the 1972 declaration of martial law by Ferdinand Marcos is both richly interesting and sadly understudied. In studying this period, I was inevitably confronted by the question: why were there two, rival Communist Parties and not one? This led to larger, international answers and the subject of my book.
3. How do you like to relax and unwind?
I enjoy watching classic noir films and reading novels – I am particularly fond of George Eliot and John Dos Passos. I write poetry when the mood takes me. I listen to Dmitri Shostakovich and Miles Davis and Tom Waits. I love the outdoors and try to spend a week backpacking in the wilderness each year. I play speed chess with friends and I loudly sing Sinatra tunes while cooking. Red wine figures prominently in most of these activities.