Hmong Studies Consortium Lecture: Bao Xiong


Transnational marriage between Hmong American and Hmong Thai/Lao is a controversial topic in the Hmong community because of the many conflicts associated with it: polygamy, abusive international marriage, domestic violence, etc. Anecdotally, Hmong Thai/Lao women who married Hmong American men are given two dominant negative narratives by the larger Hmong American community. These women are portrayed as either victims being exploited by old Hmong American men or as calculating women taking advantage of old unintelligent Hmong American men...

Friday Forum: Leslie Castro Woodhouse

206 Ingraham Hall 1155 Observatory Dr., Madison

In this talk, Dr. Castro-Woodhouse will introduce her forthcoming book, Woman between Two Kingdoms: Dara Rasami and the Making of Modern Thailand (SEAP/Cornell University Press). This talk will explore how a northern Thai consort named Dara Rasami played a critical role in Siam’s effort to emulate a European-style “hierarchy of civilizations” in building a modern nation-state. The trajectory of Dara’s 24-year career as an ethnic outsider within the rarefied space of the Siamese Inner Palace illuminates both Siam’s crypto-colonial strategies to assimilate regional elites, and women’s importance to Thai political history.

Friday Forum: Claire-Marie Hefner

206 Ingraham Hall 1155 Observatory Dr., Madison

In Indonesian Islamic boarding schools (pesantren), access to digital media is strictly regulated, if allowed at all. Gendered discourses surrounding morality are such that young women students are viewed as particularly susceptible to the perceived moral dangers of uncensored Internet content and the unmonitored communication of social media and cellphones. At the same time, digital literacy is seen as key to social advancement and higher education, particularly among upwardly mobile middle-class families...

Friday Forum: Mark John Sanchez

206 Ingraham Hall 1155 Observatory Dr., Madison

As representatives of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), religious activists such as Sr. Mariani Dimaranan traveled worldwide, working to highlight human rights injustice in the Philippines and to gather support for her organization. After Ferdinand Marcos's declaration of martial law in 1972, TFDP quickly became one of the most prominent human rights organizations in the Philippines. International agencies such as Amnesty International relied on the connections provided by TFDP to understand the human rights abuses under Marcos. TFDP worked locally to document instances of political arrests as well as provide material support for detainees and their families...

Friday Forum: Roger Polack

206 Ingraham Hall 1155 Observatory Dr., Madison

In this talk, Roger Polack will underscore the findings of a study conducted by Yale Law School and a partner NGO into atrocity crimes committed by the Myanmar military since the 1 February coup. Fellow Polack will also highlight the response from the international community since the coup and options moving forward.

Friday Forum: Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez

206 Ingraham Hall 1155 Observatory Dr., Madison

In 1876, the Spanish colonial government founded the Comisión de la Flora Estadística y Forestal de Filipinas, a research body tasked with cataloging flora and surveying forests of the archipelago. In addition to the voluminous research reports produced by the body during its eight-year operation, the Comisión most notably published in 1883 Sinopsis de familias y géneros de plantas leñosas de Filipinas (Synopsis of families and genera of Philippine flowering plants) written by Catalán botanist Sebastián Vidal y Soler and illustrated by Filipino artist Regino García y Baza. As historian Resil B. Mojares has written, “No decade in Philippine intellectual history has been as productive and as consequential as the 1880s..."

Friday Forum: Hjorleifur Jonsson

206 Ingraham Hall 1155 Observatory Dr., Madison

Thai nationalism projects a particular alien-ness and inferiority on ethnically-other hill peoples. However, my examination of the range of Thai-language representations of ethnic difference in the highlands over the 20th century – in ethnography, documentary- and fiction film, in novels and short stories – suggests pervasive internal contestation regarding Thai identity. Many of the depictions concern gender and sexuality. There are two rival perspectives that insist on the absoluteness of the ethnic divide, each resting on a distinct moral binary. Among these representations is also a third perspective that undermines any claim to Thai uniqueness or superiority. The third angle is most common in works that cannot be taken seriously, in fiction that is marked as romance, adventure, or comedy, which may be telling of the pressures of official nationalism.