This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
JANUARY 22, 2010 – JACOB HICKMAN
PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago
“Ancestral Personhood and Value Pluralism: Changing Identities in the Hmong Diaspora”
In this talk I discuss the design and results of my dissertation project, a comparative ethnography of Hmong who have resettled from Laos to Thailand and the United States. Focusing on 18 families with members in each resettlement location, I analyze the moral discourse and life narratives of both parents and children in each location. This includes a particular emphasis on how idiosyncratic models of moral personhood vary from normative models (i.e., a “person-centered” ethnographic approach), whether Thai, American, or “traditional” Hmong. The data and analysis I present here will address the ways in which Hmong deal with these competing models – what old identities are solidified, what new ones emerge, and how Hmong experience psychological conflict over competing moral goods and conceptions of self. The comparative dimension of this project looks at how generation and resettlement location factor into the results, and I address these findings within an ethnographic context of the rituals and practices that reinforce different cultural models.
JANUARY 29, 2010 – HJORLEIFUR JONSSON
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Arizona State University
“Ethnography, Mimesis, and the Peoples of Southeast Asia”
This talk argues that the notion of Southeast Asia in terms of discrete ethnic groups is a fundamentally national project, and one that needs ethnographic and theoretical critique which pays equal attention to regional diversity and internal differentiation. Indications of state oppression of highland ethnic groups such as Mien and Hmong need to be situated historically and examined in relation to the dynamics of mimetic identity work. The case I make is anchored to the historical period for the region and to the contemporary setting in Thailand. In both periods, official and vernacular realms of culture and identity assume separate kinds of relationships and inequalities within and between ethnic groups. Thailand’s current multiculturalism has opened avenues of minority recognition, within a pervasively gendered national public sphere where “the Thai” come into being through their ethnic others, on landscapes that are variously spiritualized, sexualixed, or militarized.
FEBRUARY 5, 2010 – XIANGHONG FENG
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Ball State University
“Tourism in Fenghuang, China: Accommodations and Resistance in Hmong (Miao) Women’s Traditional Handicraft Practice”
In 2002, Fenghuang County in rural Hunan Province of China started its elite-directed “Tourism Great Leap Forward”. Since then, changes have been dramatic in local socioeconomic structure including increasing disparity and conflict. This talk particularly focuses on the impacts tourism has on the local Hmong (Miao) women and their traditional handicraft practice. According to the official state development discourse, local Hmong’s traditional ethnic culture is associated with both poverty and the solution to poverty. This ethnographic research looks at local Hmong women and their handicraft practice in the context of tourism to illustrate how local people react to this dilemma, and how ethnic minorities and rural residents are being drawn into the widening orbit of contemporary China’s economic growth in the process of accommodation, competition, and resistance.
FEBRUARY 8, 2010 – SPECIAL LECTURE: IAN BAIRD
POLIS Project for Ecological Governance, University of Victoria
“Internal Resettlement in Laos: Past, Present and Emerging Issues”
The upland peoples of Laos—whether Hmong, Brao, Khmu or others—have long been the targets of attempts by states and others to socially (re)organize them. While the reasons for promoting such changes have differed, in recent years they have often related to eradicating swidden agriculture and opium cultivation, maintaining military security, making public services such as health and education more easily accessible, and promoting the assimilation of ethnic minorities into mainstream lowland Lao society. Spatial (re)organization has frequently been a key tool for bringing about social transformation, and discursive constructions of place have often been a pivotal part of the struggle over space. In this presentation I consider the political geographies of internal resettlement in Laos, and the experiences of the Brao in southern Laos. I also examine broader government policy frameworks and state efforts to socially and spatially organize upland peoples in Laos. I show how the context of the times and various nuanced factors have greatly affected resettlement policies and practices, the ways they have been justified, and local responses. I also briefly consider how a new trend with important links to internal resettlement is developing in Laos, one in which is associated with the granting of large economic land concessions. While recently much attention has been devoted to the forced repatriation of Hmong refugees from Thailand to Laos, more interest needs to be given to other forms of resettlement occurring in Laos, as they are crucial for large numbers of highlanders, including many Hmong.
FEBRUARY 11, 2010 – SPECIAL LECTURE: PRASIT LEEPREECHA
Researcher, Center for Ethnic Studies and Development, Chiang Mai University
“Transforming Ethnicity: Hmong Kinship Identity under State Formation”
Although James Scott’s recent book, the Art of Not Being Governed (2009), argues that throughout the history of mainland Southeast Asia hill peoples are best understood as runaway, fugitive, and marooned communities who have been fleeing the oppression of state-making projects, my findings in contemporary Hmong hill society in the region are quite different. It is my argument that Hmong ethnic identity is gradually absorbed by the state’s assimilation practices. On the other hand, as a transnational ethnic group, the Hmong have employed appropriate technologies to strengthen their kinship and ethnic ties. My talk will focus on Thailand’s state registration system and the transformation of Hmong ethnic identity, by emphasizing kinship issues. My empirical evidence is based on ethnographic fieldwork among Hmong people in northern Thailand, as well as the neighboring countries of Laos, Vietnam, and China.
ROOM CHANGE: 12:00-1:30PM, 260 BASCOM HALL
FEBRUARY 12, 2010 – RACHMI DIYAH LARASATI
Theatre Arts and Dance, University of Minnesota
“Choreographing Memory: Dance Technique and Militarized Space”
Focusing on Indonesia, where histories of colonialism, dictatorship, genocide and global tourism have intervened in the creation of the dancing body, my interest centers on theoretical questions about the political economy of dance in the construction of national identity while the centralized violence by the state emerge. An integral piece of my research project questions the vanishing of dancing bodies and the effects of Indonesia’s state-sponsored cultural reconstruction after the 1965-68 massacre. In this presentation I elucidate the complex, often paradoxical relationships between the dancing body and the Indonesian state since 1965. In the brief period from late 1965 to early 1966, approximately 1,000,000 Indonesians, including a large percentage of the country’s musicians, dancers, and artists were killed, arrested, or disappeared as then-general Suharto took control of the nation, implanting his “New Order” regime, which would rule for the next 30 years. Looking back on the New Order from the context of the present, I interrogate the specific ways in which female dancing bodies have been dealt with by the state: vilified, punished, then replaced with idealized, state aligned bodies who must nonetheless continually prove their allegiance and adherence to nationalized culture.
FEBRUARY 19, 2010 – KATHERINE BOWIE
Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Regional Variation in Performances of the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand: A Historical Perspective”
This essay notes significant variations in both interpretations and performances of the Vessantara Jataka. While the Vessantara Jataka continues to play an important role in the annual cycle of temple festivals in northeastern Thailand, its importance in central and northern Thailand has been steadily declining. This essay will explore possible historical explanations for this regional variation.
TIME CHANGE: 12:30PM, 206 INGRAHAM HALL
FEBRUARY 26, 2010 – TONG SOON LEE
Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Emory University
“Peranakan Music and Cultural Representations in Singapore”
The Peranakan community in Singapore has made much concerted efforts in enhancing public understanding of their culture. With a mix of Chinese and Malay heritage, the roots of the Peranakan communities can be traced back to 17th century Malacca. Since the 1980s, Peranakan culture has been represented in the form of restaurants specializing in their cuisine, revival of Peranakan plays, and permanent exhibits of their architecture, dress, household paraphernalia, and crafts in museums. Such efforts complement, and indeed constitute the broader State’s effort to create interests and concern on local heritage, thereby affirming the community as an integral part of the State’s conception of a national culture. Peranakan musical practices in Singapore include the performance of music and songs in Peranakan plays, singing of Peranakan hymns and translations of English hymns in the Peranakan patois for Catholic masses, and dondang sayang singing sessions.
Much of the State’s representation of Peranakan culture is inclined towards nostalgic and reified perspectives of Peranakan identities and belies the current state of anxiety the community faces in affirming a sense of who they are in the Singapore context. In this presentation, I would like to explore the ways in which Peranakan music underscores the changing dynamics of Peranakan identities in Singapore.
CO-SPONSERED WITH CENTER FOR EAST ASIAN STUDIES
MARCH 5, 2010 – NO FRIDAY FORUM: CSEAS LUNCH
MARCH 19, 2010 – ANDREW WALKER
College of Asia & Pacific, Australian National University
“Exploring Power Among Thailand’s Middle-income Peasants”
Extraction of surplus by external power holders is often seen as a central definitional criterion of the peasantry. In The Moral Economy of the Peasant, James Scott wrote that “taxes and rents, together or individually, form the twin issues around which peasant anger in Southeast Asia has classically coalesced”. Scott’s famous “moral economy” derives from the subsistence vulnerability of rural cultivators: with only a fine line separating sufficiency and hunger, peasants are driven to resist any externally imposed measures that undermine local security or disrupt social protections. But what happens to peasant politics when the rural economy becomes much more affluent and when peasants become a target of state subsidy and electorally-motivated benevolence? What happens when resistance is transformed into desire? This paper addresses these questions by exploring orientations to power in the northern Thai village of Ban Tiam. It briefly surveys four different domains of power: the supernatural world, the state, the market and the community. The paper argues that these overlapping networks of power are important elements in a new form of “political society” which is oriented towards binding powerful forces into relationships of productive exchange. In forming this new political society, Ban Tiam’s peasants are confronting some of the classic economic and political challenges faced by middle-income countries.
MARCH 26, 2010 – NO FRIDAY FORUM: AAS MEETING
APRIL 2, 2010 – NO FRIDAY FORUM: SPRING BREAK
APRIL 9, 2010 – JUSTIN MCDANIEL, PH.D.
Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
“Affixing Gold: Beyond Symbology and the Very Idea of Studying a Buddha Image in Thailand”
The study of symbols once dominated both the fields of Religious Studies and Art History. In the past two decades scholars have moved away from studying symbols for a variety of reasons and the socio-historical context of individual pieces of religious art is now looked at closely. However, certain aspects of “symbology” have not changed. This paper will further question the study of not only symbols, but also the idea of study “individual” pieces and the notion of “a context.” Moreover, since, Art historians in Southeast Asia have primarily concentrated on the study of images, stupas, manuscripts, and murals produced by the elite before the nineteenth century. I will shift focus in this talk and concentrate on vernacular art made in the last 150 years. While certain images in Thai Buddhism are lauded for their age or precious materials, most are honored for their connection to certain powerful monks, ghosts, and kings. Many of these highly revered and powerful images are made out of wax or wood, or crudely and mass–produced bronze, plastic copper, resin, or clay. Furthermore, instead of concentrating on the origins of pieces of art, I want to study art as it exists and operates in dynamic ritual activities and highly complex synchronic relationships with other images and with patrons, artists, and visitors. I want to move beyond aesthetic and iconographic analyses of individual objects, and focus on recipients, rituals, and agents, as well as the agency of the “things” themselves. Finally, I argue that images, photographs, murals, amulets, and buildings do not only exist in synchronic relationships, but also diachronic.
APRIL 16, 2010 – MARY MCCOY
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Arts, UW-Madison
“Indonesia – The Triumph of Transparency”
In the past turbulent decade of bitter partisan divisions in Thailand and the Philippines and persistent dictatorship in Burma and Vietnam, Indonesia stands out as one ASEAN state that has made a successful democratic transition, surviving numerous reversals and ongoing corruption. While the causes are complex, a flawed but assertive media and increasing institutional transparency are key factors in this successful transformation.
APRIL 23, 2010 – DIERDRE DE LA CRUZ
Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures and Assistant Professor of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan
“Of Crusaders and Crowds: The Family Rosary in the Philippines (1951-1985)”
An American apostolate dedicated to propagating devotion to the Virgin Mary through Rosary prayer, the Family Rosary Crusade was one of the first organizations of its kind to self-consciously recognize and deploy various media—including rallies, film, and television—as tools of evangelization during the Cold War. This talk will examine the history of the Family Rosary Crusade as it took root and developed in the Philippines, paying particular attention to its reception and the means through which it spread, its purchase for thinking about U.S. Empire in the postwar period, and its transformative effect on Filipino Marianism and religious visual culture.
FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010 – MITCH ASO
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History of Science, UW-Madison
“Between individual and collective prophylaxis: Moral economies of malaria prevention efforts in Vietnam, 1925-1954”
My talk explores the tensions between malaria prevention efforts aimed at individual bodies and those attempting to deal with larger collectives in French colonial Vietnam. This talk argues that the range of anti-malaria efforts can be understood within a moral economy of disease at work in Vietnam during the 20th century. In particular, while some anti-malaria approaches worked to link bodies more tightly to particular environments, others worked to enable bodies to move more easily through diverse landscapes.
ROOM CHANGE: 12:00-1:30PM, 849 VAN HISE
JANUARY 23, 2009 – JIM COLLINS
Foreign Languages and Lieratures, Northern Illinois University
“Language Shift and Language Death in Island Southeast Asia”
From the earliest historical records of the Southeast Asian archipelago, we can read about language shift and even language change, whether because of genocide, natural disaster or, more likely, changes in speakers’ attitudes about languages. Language allegiance shifts in almost imperceptible but accumulative stages, sometimes slowly and often rapidly, such as in Maluku and Kalimantan (Indonesia), the cases discussed in this paper.
JANUARY 30, 2009 – ANDY SUTTON
Ph.D. Music, UW-Madison
“Music, Islam, and the Commercial Media in Contemporary Indonesia”
Though secular pop music still dominates Indonesia’s broadcast and recording media, Islamic pop and other forms with Islamic content have been gaining ground over the last decade. A new mediascape encompassing genres, styles, and songs identified as “Muslim,” is broadly represented in the popular media–from audio cassettes, CDs and videos to national and private radio, television, and the internet. This talk provides an introduction to this fast growing mediascape, with focus on audio and video recordings.
FEBRUARY 6, 2009 – PRISTA RATANAPRUCK
Ph.D. Center for Historical Analysis, Rutgers
“Market and Monastery: Manangi Trade Diasporas in South and Southeast Asia”
My talk will explore the social arrangements and ideas that have enabled a trans-regional community to sustain itself over centuries. Manangis’ trade and social practices challenge the concept of progress, contemporary discourse on globalization, and the common narrative of the rise of the West.
FEBRUARY 13, 2009 – MICHAEL JERRYSON
Ph.D. UC-Santa Barbara
“Militarizing Buddhism in Southern Thailand”
Since January 2004 random attacks on Buddhist monks and locals provoke a growing distrust and fear throughout Buddhist and Muslim communities of southern Thailand. During the last several years Michael Jerryson has conducted fieldwork in this region, participating in international workshops and conferences on solutions to the escalating violence. Looking at the influence religion brings to a violent climate, he examines how Buddhist monks affect the violence, and conversely, how the violence affects the Buddhist monks.
FEBRUARY 20, 2009 – YOSEF DJAKABABA
Dissertator, History, UW-Madison
“Revisiting “Mahmillub”: Staging the anti-communist triumph during the 1965 upheaval in Indonesia.”
“Mahmillub” or the Special Military Tribune was a special court for those accused to have involvement in the 30th September movement coup attempt. “Mahmillub” is arguably the “Show Trial” for the military regime while the complicity of the process reveals larger roles in laying foundation and cementing legitimacy for grand narrative of the event.
FEBRUARY 27, 2009 – MICHAEL BUEHLER
Ph.D. Political Science, Columbia University
“The 2009 legislative elections in Indonesia and Political Islam: Prospects and Challenges”
Despite a rise of political Islam in post-New Order Indonesia, Islamist movements failed in past elections. The lecture will shed light on this phenomenon.
MARCH 6, 2009 – DACIL QUANG KEO
Dissertator, Political Science, UW-Madison
“The Trials and Tribulations of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal”
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) is among the “third generation” of criminal courts operating under hybrid UN-Cambodian laws, officials, and staff. This talk addresses some of the challenges faced by the tribunal and the extent that it can offer “justice” to the millions of Cambodians who suffered and died under the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979.
MARCH 13, 2009 – NO FRIDAY FORUM: SPRING BREAK
MARCH 20, 2009 – NO FRIDAY FORUM: SPRING BREAK
MARCH 27, 2009 – NO FRIDAY FORUM: AAS MEETING
APRIL 3, 2009 – NAGASURA TIMAN MEDALE
Mindanao State University/Northern Illinois University
“Current Issues On Mindanao Affairs: Problems and Prospects for Peace”
Perspectives on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front differ—from the Supreme Court that considers the issues “void,” to the Moro’s own reactions. The talk presents an alternative solution to the conflict given the present state of this struggle for a Moro nation/bangsa.
APRIL 10, 2009 – CYNTHIA BAUTISTA
Sociology, University of the Philippines
“Why Reforms Don’t Transform: Reflections on Institutional Change Through the Prism of Philippine Education”
The presentation will reflect on the dynamics of institutional change in the Philippines using basic education as a metaphor for other institutions in the country. Tracing the evolution of reform initiatives in this area, the presentation will focus on the constraining effects of national politics as well as the prevailing culture of the country’s biggest bureaucracy.
APRIL 17, 2009 – RICHARD RUTH
History, US Naval Academy
“Sawadi Vietnam: Thailand’s Embrace of the Second Indochina War, 1967-1969”
This talk examines the role of Thailand’s military, government, palace, and Buddhist order in generating popular support for involvement in the Vietnam War. It analyzes public events celebrating the volunteer forces, such as royally-sponsored funerals and well-publicized hospital visits by national and international celebrities, to show how the Thai government parlayed the sacrifice of early casualties into a national ethos that opposed internal challenges to its authority.
APRIL 24, 2009 – MARC BENAMOU
Music, Oberlin College
“Concepts of Ownership in Central Javanese Musical Practice”
MAY 1, 2009 – MYTOAN NGUYEN
“Diasporic Return Migration in Contemporary Vietnam”
This paper presents questions about the role of the state and its post-1975 diasporic returnees, and the implications this set of relations has for various theoretical perspectives on social and economic development and transformation.
JANUARY 25, 2008 – MEGAN THOMAS
Dept. of Politics, UC-Santa Cruz
“History without Documents: Sources and Methods in the Historical Writings of Philippine Nationalists”
In the 1880s, a number of young Filipinos became interested in writing the history of their people(s) before the arrival of the Spaniards. Hampered by a lack of surviving documents, they employed novel methods—including those of ethnology, linguistics, and folklore—and read Spanish sources against the grain, writing innovative histories during this period of nationalist thought and political agitation.
FEBRUARY 1, 2008 – SHOUA YANG
Visiting Asst. Prof., UW-Stevens Point, Political Science
“Hmong Social and Political Capital: The Formation and Maintenance of Hmong-American Organizations”
Previous studies on Hmong-American organizations focus on the issues of intraorganizational conflicts, managerial styles, and functional responsibilities. Although these studies have provided meaningful analyses on serveral aspects of these organizations, what has been left undetected is the topic of organizational formation and maintenance. The talk examines a sample of Hmong-American organizations to explain the formation and maintenance of these cultural émigré organizations. How are these organizations formed in the first place? How have these organizations survived over time?
FEBRUARY 8, 2008 – KEVIN HEWISON
Director, Carolina Asia Center; Dept. of Asian Studies, UNC at Chapel Hill
Thaksin Shinawatra came to power as a representative of the business class, transformed into a “populist” representative of the poor and dispossessed and was overthrown in a palace-military coup. The paper traces these developments and reflects on the emergence of a conservative Thai-style democracy as an opposition to “populist” mass politics.
MADE POSSIBLE BY THE UNIVERSITY LECTURES COMMITTEE
FEBRUARY 15, 2008 – KIKUE HAMAYOTSU
Dept. of Political Science, NIU
“The Welfare State or Faith? Explaining Weak Islamist Mobilization in Malaysia”
How do Islamists recruit committed activists and what are the conditions for successful recruitment for Islamist movements? This talk attempts to explain outcomes in the interesting case of Malaysia, where Islamist movements have largely been unsuccessful in recruiting committed followers in one of the most important electoral constituencies: the urban middle-class. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, Prof. Hamayotsu shows that the Malaysian State’s provision of both secular and religious services significantly affects organizational and ideological conditions for Islamist recruitment, and sets Malaysia apart from many other Islamic societies by moderating forces for Islamic radicalism.
FEBRUARY 22, 2008 – NORA TAYLOR
Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
“Anti-Art in Vietnam: Adventures in (in)visual anthropology”
In spite of rapid economic growth and increased international attention, in the past few years artists in Vietnam have also been subject to greater creative restriction and renewed government censorship. This talk will examine the imaginative ways in which some Vietnamese artists have created experimental works that remain invisible to officials and manage nonetheless to find their way into international bienniales and triennials under the category of non-object, event based, collaborative art.
FEBRUARY 29, 2008 – GADIS ARIVIA
Philosophy/Women’s Studies, University Indonesia
“Women and Freedom in the Reformasi Era in Indonesia”
Women in Indonesia are facing problems of political and civil liberties in the Reformasi Era. Although Indonesian women have enjoyed some political freedom, they are restricted in their civil liberties due to a new kind of fundamentalism.
MARCH 7, 2008 – CHRISTINA SCHWENKEL,
“Tales of Salvation: Humanitarian Tourism and Historical (Ir)Reconciliation in Vietnam”
This paper looks at the return of US veterans to Vietnam and their efforts to “heal the wounds of war” and mitigate suffering through humanitarian interventions that reinvoke capitalist rescue narratives. Tensions that arise in joint Vietnamese-US commemorative practices that accompany such interventions show reconciliation to be a highly ambivalent, multifaceted process with complex notions of “healing” for all involved.
CO-SPONSERED BY TRAUMA TOURISM
MARCH 28, 2008 – NANCY SMITH-HEFNER
“Print Culture and the New Muslim Sexology”
Recent studies of Islam in Indonesia, as with studies of Islam in most parts of the world, emphasize pluralized or fractionalized models of religious authority and leadership. One of the most striking features of the contemporary Muslim scene in countries like Indonesia has been the catapulting of various new Muslim intellectuals into a broad array of heretofore secular scholarly topics. In contemporary Indonesia nowhere is this more striking than in the new scholarship and publication on sex, and with it the emergence of a new Muslim sexology.
APRIL 11, 2008 – DUNCAN MCCARGO
Professor of Southeast Asian Politics, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds
“Reflecting on the Southern Thai conflict: Islam and Legitimacy in Pattani”
Thailand’s Malay Muslim majority Southern border provinces have been experiencing a renewed violent conflict since January 2004. This presentation will explore the political underpinnings of the violence, arguing that this is essentially a struggle over land, legitimacy and power, rather that an example of a global or regional jihad.
APRIL 18, 2008 – SHEILA CORONEL
Journalism, Columbia University
“Print Culture and the New Muslim Sexology”
Twenty-two years after they ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a peaceful uprising, Filipinos are pessimistic about the future of their damaged democracy. What are the prospects for democratic reform in the Philippines? Who are the change agents?
APRIL 25, 2008 – CHRISTINA SCHWENKEL
“Tales of Salvation: Humanitarian Tourism and Historical (Ir)Reconciliation in Vietnam”
This paper looks at the return of US veterans to Vietnam and their efforts to “heal the wounds of war” and mitigate suffering through humanitarian interventions that reinvoke capitalist rescue narratives. Tensions that arise in joint Vietnamese-US commemorative practices that accompany such interventions show reconciliation to be a highly ambivalent, multifaceted process with complex notions of “healing” for all involved.
CO-SPONSERED BY TRAUMA TOURISM
MAY 2, 2008 – CARL THAYER
Political Science, University New South Wales, and currently Frances M. & Stephen F. Fuller Distinguished Visiting Prof. of Southeast Asian Studies, Ohio University
“Vietnam’s One-Party System and the Challenge of Civil Society”
Vietnam’s economic transformation and opening to the outside world has produced a variety of domestic responses ranging across the spectrum from civil society groups willing to work within the system to non-violent opposition groups that have confronted the communist regime. This lecture looks at recent developments and highlights two new factors: growing cross-fertilization among Vietnam’s civil society groups and increased involvement by overseas Vietnamese pro-democracy groups.
MAY 9, 2008 – FRANCIS GEALOGO
History, Ateneo de Manila University
“The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in the Philippines: A Social and Demographic History”
The talk discusses the impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic in Philippine society and its population. It provides some demographic data both on the national and local level, with emphasis on the mortality and morbidity rates that were caused by the pandemic. At the same time, the paper analyzes the implementation of public health programs, the politics of colonial health policies and the reception of the people to the public health measures implemented by the American colonial government during the pandemic.
JANUARY 26, 2007 – KAREN TURNER
History, Holy Cross College
“When Enemy Women Speak: New Voices from Vietnam;
Evening film title: Hidden Warriors: Women on the Ho Chi Minh Trail”
50 minute film to be shown Friday evening 7:30 pm, 114 Van Hise, discussion to follow.
The presentation will center on the memories of women soldiers from North Vietnam, their views of the U.S., their lives during the war, and their post-war experiences. Turner attempts to place Vietnam’s women warriors in the context of women soldiers more universally and asks what we can learn from Vietnamese women as female U.S. soldiers in Iraq cope with war and its aftermath.
FEBRUARY 2, 2007 – ANDY SUTTON
“New Developments in Indonesian Music”
FEBRUARY 9, 2007 – MICHAEL SALMAN
“Collecting the Empire: Jose E. Marco’s Forgeries and the Confabulation of American Imperial Knowledge in the Chalabian Moment”
Formalistic assumptions can direct attention to the colonial state as the defining institution of empire, leading us to see colonialism and empire primarily as the acts and actions of particular national governments and their colonial states abroad, as in the case of the American colonial state in the Philippines. I will suggest that we might then miss seeing how the commercial basis of American world power – operating through libraries, museums, universities, mass media, and myriad other loci of transactions – worked to construct colonial relationships and knowledge in dispersed ways that exceeded the reach and national definition of colonial states, always depending upon networks of services, knowledges, and politics extending from and interlaced with the colonized.
FEBRUARY 16, 2007 – TBA
FEBRUARY 23, 2007 – KAREN DERRIS
Religious Studies, University of Redlands
“Seeing a mythic sangha: Paccekabuddhas in Pali commentaries and Thai mural paintings”
Mural paintings of paccekabuddhas, mythic Buddhas, fill the walls of the monastic hall at Wat Suthat, a royal temple in Bangkok. The relationship between these paintings and commentarial narratives of Paccekabuddhas potentially opens new approaches to understanding this category of enlightened being.
MARCH 2, 2007 – PRAJAK KONGKIRATI
Political Science, UW-Madison
“The Art of Resistance under Military Dictatorship: Thai Student and Intellectual Movement before the October 14 Uprising”
Kongkirati investigates the October 14th, 1973 mass uprising, focusing on the intellectual movements of students and other intellectuals in Thailand under military dictatorship from 1963-1973. The study centers on the nature of the cultural ideological currents–nationalism, the new left, Thai socialism, and royalism, derived from diverse local and foreign sources that prompted these two groups to challenge state authority.
March 9, 2007 – Allen Hicken
“Constitutional Reform and the Rise (and Fall?) of Thaksin”
MARCH 16, 2007 – VINCE RAFAEL
“The Afterlife of Empire: Sovereignty and Revolution in the Philippines”
This paper asks about the notion of sovereignty that emerges in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Philippines, relating it to the legacies of Spanish-Christian colonial rule, nationalist revolution and American imperial intervention.
MARCH 23, 2007 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
(Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting)
MARCH 30, 2007 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
APRIL 13, 2007 – MUHAMMAD HAJI SALLEH
“Rowing Down Two Rivers”
A reading of a selection of poems in Malay and English from 30 years of Muhammad Haji Saleh’s work, written from the experience of Southeast Asia, Asia, Europe and USA.
APRIL 20, 2007 – BHAVIA CAROL WAGNER
“Soul Survivors: Women and Children of Cambodia”
Thirty years of violence, including US bombing, genocide and civil war, shattered Cambodian society. Bhavia Wagner describes with slides the lives of Cambodian women and children today including those who are rebuilding Cambodia and addressing the current challenges of poverty, corruption, AIDS, trafficking and landmines.
JANUARY 20, 2006 – ULIL ABSHAR-ABDALLA
Religion, Boston University
“The Debate on Pluralism in Indonesia: The Case of MUI’s Fatwa”
In 2005, Majelis Ulama Indonesia(MUI), a state-sponsored body of Muslom clerics, issued an edict rendering liberalism, seculiarism and pluralism as un-Islamic ideas, sparking a debate on the issue of pluralism in Indonesia. Since the collapse of Suharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998, the debate on pluralism indicates that the search for the cultural grounding of democratic notion within the local cultural framework of Islam is not an easy task.
JANUARY 27, 2006 – EHITO KIMURA
Poli. Sci., UW-Madison
“Provincial Proliferation on the Indonesian Archipelago”
Kimura addresses the historical and institutional roots of the “pemekaran wilayah” phenomenon–the creation of new provinces and districts in Indonesia.
FEBRUARY 3, 2006 -MICHIKO TSUNEDA
“Kathoey Islam? Pone Siam?: Transgendering and Border-Crossing Among Malay-speaking Muslims in Southern Border Communities of Thailand”
This presentation will examine the ways in which transgendered individuals cross national and ethnic boundaries in order to manage their ambiguous social position in Malay-speaking Muslim communities near the southern border of Thailand.
FEBRUARY 10, 2006 – DAMIEN KINGSBURY
Intl. and Political Studies, Deakin University
“The Aceh Peace Process: Achievements and Prospects”
On August 15, 2005, the Free Acheh Movement (GAM) and the Government of Indonesia signed a peace agreement to end almost three decades of separatist conflict. The peace agreement has flaws, and there are serious obstacles to its implementation. However, the framework for peace now exists, so that the parties can return to it should implementation stumble.
FEBRUARY 17, 2006 – YANG THAI VANG AND VA CHOUA VANG
Cheng who is a UW-Madison student, along with his father who is also a Shaman will talk about the Hmong religion and other aspects of Hmong culture. The lecture will most likely be in question/answer format.
FEBRUARY 24, 2006 – CSEAS STUDENT SYMPOSIUM
MARCH 3, 2006 – TAKESHI KAWANAKA
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan. Visiting Scholar, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
“Political Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the Philippines”
The talk will explore how constitutional setting shapes policy outcomes in the Philippines. The president’s control over budget and the congress’ strong veto power in policy legislation are considered to intensify bargaining and, eventually, affect policies.
MARCH 10, 2006 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
MARCH 17, 2006 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
MARCH 24, 2006 – DISCUSSION WITH PAUL HUTCHCROFT AND THONCHAI WINICHAKUL
Paul Hutchcroft– Poli.Sci., UW-Madison
Thonchai Winichakul– History, UW-Madison
“Democratization Derailed?: Analyzing the Current Political Crises in Thailand and the Philippines”
In both Thailand and the Philippines, chief executives are facing–and resisting–widespread demands for their resignation. The speakers will analyze various facets of the current political turmoil: the grievances against Prime Minister Thaksin and President Arroyo, the strength and character of opposition forces, and possible paths toward resolution of the crises afflicting the two countries.
MARCH 31, 2006 -ANNE BOOTH
“Did it really help to be a Japanese colony? The East Asian Miracle in Historical Perspective”
A comparison of Japanese colonial policies in Taiwan and Korea, with those in Southeast Asia reveals that in parts of Southeast Asia–particularly the Philippines–levels of development during the late 1930s were comparable with those in Taiwan, and better than in Korea.
APRIL 7, 2006 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
APRIL 14, 2006 – YUKTI MUKDAWIJITRA
“Multiple Literacy, Contesting Identity: Tai Indigenous Literacy in Contemporay Vietnam”
In light of modern nation-state building, along with the national script, ethnic scripts play a significant role to maintain ethnic diversity and construct national unity. How Vietnam struggles with the dilemma between national identity and ethnic diversity is demonstrated through state policies and local use of ethnic Tai script.
APRIL 21, 2006 -ALFRED MCCOY
“American Colonial Policing in the Philippines & the Origins of the US National Security State”
APRIL 28, 2006 – SUSAN WALTON
“Aesthetic and Spiritual Correlations in Javanese Gamelan Music”
Music making, the structure of the music, musical styles and the creation of melodies have close parallels in the Javanese mystical world. The talk addresses these connections between the tradition of gamelan music in Java and mystical traditions.
MAY 5, 2006 – NO FRIDAY FORUM LAST DAY OF CLASSES
JANUARY 21, 2005 – CLIFF THOMPSON
Law School, UW-Madison
“Developing Economic Law Capability in Indonesia”
Law reform began in the 90s without sufficient Indonesian capacity to carry it out. The talk will focus upon the role of Thompson and others to help build a viable situation.
JANUARY 28, 2005 – MEGAN SINNOTT
Anthro., Yale University
“Sexuality in Thailand and the Trouble with Queer: Why We Need to Bring Gender Back into the Study of Global Queer Sexuality”
Scholars are increasingly turning to the topics of gay and lesbian sexualities in non-western settings, and the effects of transnationalism and globalization on these sexualities. However, the lack of feminist analysis of gender dynamics has led to decontextualized descriptions of homosexuality and transgenderism. An examination of the dynamics of the sex/gender order in Thailand will illustrate the importance of a feminist analysis for the understanding of male and female sexual subcultures.
FEBRUARY 4, 2005 – JOSEPH ERRINGTON
“Shapes of Change in Javanese Indonesia(n): Language and Identity in Troubled Times”
Since the fall of the New Order, movements for autonomy have emerged all over Indonesia, including newly fragmented regions of Java. This talk provides a language-centered outline of political and cultural issues involved in ongoing shifts from older, “official” versions of Javanese ethnicity to newer, more localized senses of collective identity.
FEBRUARY 11, 2005 -PHILIP SHORT
Writer, BBC Correspondent ’77-’98
“Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare”
The Cambodian leader, Pol Pot, was the architect of a revolution whose radical egalitarianism exceeded any other in history. In the three years he held power, he transformed his country into a slave state in which more than a million people–a fifth of the population–perished. How did an idealistic dream of justice mutate into one of humanity’s worst nightmares? The writer, Philip Short, discusses the causes of the Cambodian tragedy; the responsibility of outside powers, including the US; and the perils of imposing simplistic solution on complicated problems–an issue which remains highly relevant today.
FEBRUARY 18 – ARA WILSON
Women’s Studies, Ohio State University
“The Intimate Economies of Bangkok”
This talk builds on my 2004 ethnography, The Intimate Economies of Bangkok, which examines the intimate effects of globalization on Thais by highlighting the interaction of global capitalism with local moral economies. Using a range of examples, including Amway, sex work, and shopping malls, I show how gender, ethnicity, and sexuality are intertwined with the expanse of the transnational market economy.
FEBRUARY 25, 2005 – SALLY NESS
Dance, UC Riverside
“Going Back to Bateson; Towards a Semeiotics of Balinese Dance”
Gregory Bateson’s collaborative work with Margaret Mead on Balinese nonverbal activity is generally recognized as pioneering research that originated the field of visual anthropology. Bateson’s extensive work filming Balinese body movement practices also produced a distinctive interpretive perspective on dance movement that deserves recognition as having anticipated analytical frameworks developed only many decades later. While Bateson’s achievements were to a considerable extent methodologically driven, the question remains as to what distinctive features of Balinese dance also contributed to the development of Bateson’s extraordinary analytical perspective.
MARCH 4, 2005 – ALDA BLANCO
Spanish and Portuguese, UW-Madison
“Memory Work and Empire: Madrid’s Philippine Exhibition, 1887”
This paper analyzes the “General Exhibition of the Philippine Islands” which took place in Madrid in 1887. The only colonial exhibition to be held in Spain, it attempted to invigorate Spain’s colonial relationship with the Philippines by displaying the material culture of the archipelago and its inhabitants.
MARCH 11, 2005 – STEVE MCKAY
“Born to Sail? Filipino Seafarers and the Colonial Construction of an Ethnic Labor Niche”
The paper analyzes the historical rise and contemporary reproduction of the Filipino ethnic niche in global seafaring. I first document the role of three American colonial institutions that helped racialize Filipino labor and channel it into the US Navy and Merchant Marines. I then turn to how the contemporary Philippine state continues to regulate the labor niche and craft narratives of heroism and masculinity to reinforce it.
MARCH 18, 2005 – NO FF
APRIL 1, 2005 – AAS NO FF
APRIL 8, 2005 – PANEL WITH DR. SRISOMPOB JITPIROMSRI, AND DR. WATTANA SUGUNNASIL
Prince Songkhla University-Pattani
“Violence and Conflicts in the Malay-Muslim Region of Southern Thailand”
Violence in the Malay-Muslim region of Southern Thailand has become a crisis since 2004. Why? How the Thai government’s response to the crisis has failed, perhaps even exacerbate the crisis?
APRIL 15, 2005 – ALEXANDER HORSTMANN
Institut für Ethnologie, Westphalian University of Münster
“Religious Purification and Resistance in Southern Thailand: The Tablighi Jama’at in Nakhon Si Thammarat”
The talk explores the tensions and the borderline between local and universal concepts of Islam. Research on the Thai-speaking Muslim communities in Nakhon Si Thammarat in the Gulf of Thailand reveals that the Tablighi Jama’at, probably the largest Islamic missionary movement of the world, are flourishing in Muslim villages, take over control of the mosques and of the local public sphere. Yet, as local Muslim authorities stick to the old ways, the purification campaign cannot be fully implemented.
APRIL 22, 2005 – DAVID ENGEL
Law School, State University of New York – Buffalo
“Globalization and the Decline of Legal Consciousness: Torts, Ghosts, and Karma in Thailand”
Based on fieldwork in Chiangmai in the 1970s and in the 1990s, the talk explores the chaning role of law in the consicousness and behavior of ordinary Thai people, suggesting that injured people in Chianmai actually rely less on the law than in the past. The “decline of legal consciousness” can be explained in terms of a transformation in the relationship between Buddhism and locality-based remediation practices.
APRIL 29, 2005 – RENE LYSLOFF
“Seni Posmo: The Dilemma of Contemporary Indonesian Music”
Yogyakarta, the heart of Central Javanese traditional high culture, is also the epicenter of contemporary arts, including new music. These artists view themselves as postmodernists, rejecting the nihilist and reactionary urges in modernism, while drawing inspiration from traditional and popular forms even as they criticize the crass commercialism of pop or the elitist values of Western classical and Javanese court music. In this context postmodernism can also be seen as an expression of post-colonial sensibilities, an aesthetic strategy to embrace and reject Western cultural domination.
JANUARY 23, 2004 – MICHAEL MALLEY
Political Science, Ohio University
“Incompatible Institutions? Centralized Parties, Fragmented Legislatures, and Decentralization in Indonesia”
Decentralization is a common goal of countries around the world, including several in Southeast Asia. One of the most ambitious efforts to empower local governments is taking place in Indonesia. Critics typically attribute the widespread corruption and other problems that have accompanied its implementation to shortcomings in the laws that govern decentralization and to the venality of Indonesian politicians. I argue that such problems are also the unintended consequence of other institutions. Paradoxically, the laws that democratized Indonesia also tend to limit local voters’ ability to hold their elected officials accountable. This tends to create a permissive environment for corruption, clientelism, and other practices that place the private interests of elected officials above the public interest.
JANUARY 30, 2004 – JULIAN GO
Sociology, Univ. of Illinois, Champaigne-Urbana
“American Empire and the Politics of Meaning in Puerto Rico and the Philippines.”
Between 1898 and 1902, the United States asserted sovereignty over two far-flung territories, the Philippines and Puerto Rico, thereby turning itself into an overseas colonial empire. How was this made possible? The use of guns and bullets tells one part of the story, the other part has to do with the making of meaning. To establish its rule, the American regimes relied upon “cultural power,” deploying signs and symbols to win hearts and minds. A closer examination of how those signs and symbols were received by the Puerto Rican and Filipino elite shows the workings of this form of power, as well as its limits.
FEBRUARY 6, 2004 – COURTNEY JOHNSON
Spanish & Portuguese, UW-Madison
“White Love? White Masks? Institutionalizing a Filipino Hispanist Intelligentsia 1898-1908”
FEBRUARY 13, 2004 – VICTORIA BEARD
“The Localization of Development and the Risk of Elite Capture: An Analysis of Community-Based Poverty Alleviation in Indonesia”
FEBRUARY 20, 2004 – KEVIN NIEMI
Center for Biology Education, UW-Madison
“Reform and the Thai Classroom: A View of U.S. Science Education in Thailand”
Dr. Niemi assesses the Thai educational system and reflects upon the goals and challenges of the current educational reform efforts in Thailand.
FEBRUARY 27, 2004 – VICTOR BASCARA
English & Asian American Studies, UW-Madison
“Where Isolationism Meets Colonialism: The Anomalous Spectacle of the Filipino American Domestic”
What better way to reckon with anarchy of empire in the making of U.S. culture than to examine one of the great ironies of interwar isolationism: the Filipino American Domestic?
MARCH 26 , 2004 – CHATCHAI PANANANON
Fulbright Scholar, N. Central College, IL
“Ayutthayan Slavery in the Bankok Legal Code”
APRIL 2 , 2004 – WARWICK ANDERSON
Medical School, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Colony As An Exemplary Site: Disease, Affect and Citizenship at Culion and in the Philippines”
APRIL 16, 2004 – CHARNVIT KASETSIRI
Former Rector of Thammasat, Visiting Professor, U. of Hawai’i
“From Colonization to Globalization: Will the Mekong River Survive?”
APRIL 23 , 2004 – BEN BRIMMER
Department of Music, University of California, Berkeley
“The Cultural Ecology of Learning, Memory, and Performance: Some Javanese & Balinese Musical Examples”
APRIL 30 , 2004 – CHALONG SOONTRAVINICH
History, Chulalongkorn University
“Small Arms, Romance, and Crime and Violence in Post World War II Thai Society”
This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2010 – CARLA JONES
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Colorado-Boulder
“Heaven Sent: Virtue and Vanity in Indonesian Islamic Fashion”
The vibrant Islamic fashion scene in Indonesia provides a striking counterpoint to Western European and North American assertions that Islamic piety and fashion are antithetical. In the weeks prior to the start of Ramadhan, Jakarta is abuzz with fashion shows featuring new collections for the coming month. Yet in spite of the apparent distinction between Indonesian and Western ideas about Islamic fashion, both systems traffic in a particular anxiety about the superficiality of fashion, the feminine impulse to self-decorate, and the role of religion in ameliorating that anxiety. Using examples from Indonesian consumers and designers, especially Itang Yunasz, I argue that Indonesian Islamic fashions address this anxiety through the question of virtue, making Indonesia an illuminating site for broader theoretical questions about the intersection of consumption and devotion.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 – TAYLOR EASUM
Dissertator of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Old Power and the ‘New City’: Chiang Mai as a Micro-Colonial Space”
Within the field of Thai studies, Siam’s coloniality remains a key question. Scholars have highlighted the compromising of Siamese sovereignty, the cultural allure of the West among the Siamese elite, and the extension of Bangkok’s power and control to its vassal neighbors, thus creating the peripheries of modern Siam. The city at the center of this emerging state, Bangkok, saw a diverse array of foreign actors as well as Siamese elites, which gave shape to the social and political space of the city. But the distinctiveness of Bangkok as the primate city of Siam/Thailand means that the intermediate or regional centers in the peripheries of the kingdom have been largely ignored, or viewed primarily as the larger national narrative writ small.
Chiang Mai’s urban and spatial history is much more than Bangkok’s tale in miniature, however; it tells a story of overlapping colonial powers, negotiated domination, and a spatial re-centering of power. Chiang Mai’s urban space can be seen as a ‘micro-colonial’ reflection of the late 19th-early 20th century formation of the modern Siamese state. The ‘internal imperialism’ of the Siamese state shaped Chiang Mai through a complex, gradual transition from a pre-modern vassal-overlord relationship to a modern colonial form of domination. This transition manifested itself in different and distinct urban formations–one based in and around the old royal capital within the city walls, and another around the commercial center along the Ping river. By the early twentieth century, these two urbanisms had come together, as the old city was effectively colonized by the new.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 – MICHAEL SULLIVAN
Director, Center for Khmer Studies
“Chinese Investment and Aid in Cambodia “
This paper investigates Chinese investment in Cambodia in the context of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. The apparent symbiotic nature of Chinese business interests and China’s foreign policy objectives in Southeast Asia augurs well for Cambodia’s controlling political-economic elite. Because of this, some western observers have expressed concerns about China’s capacity to affect the behaviour of Cambodian state power holders that will not bode well for donor attempts to promote democratic reform. It is suggested here that Chinese investment, backed by China’s regional foreign policy goals, potentially creates new rent-seeking opportunities for powerful political and economic networks within the Cambodian state, at the expense of the government’s reform agenda. At the same time, Chinese influence is unlikely to dramatically alter donor efforts to push the current Cambodian government down the reform path. After almost two decades of government-donor engagement very little has been achieved in reforming sectors seen as key to Cambodia’s future development and prosperity, like the judiciary and the civil service. The upshot of Chinese investment, for the foreseeable future, will be the further entrenchment of Cambodian state political elites and their business associates, alongside a continued government-donor dialogue that to date has failed to bring about substantive reform where it is needed most. This also raises a number of important questions concerning the overall long-term benefits accrued to Cambodia from Chinese investment and aid.
OCTOBER 1, 2010 – JOE HARRIS
Dissertator of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“A Right to Health?: Expert Networks, HIV/AIDS, and the Politics of Universal Health Care in Thailand”
The presentation will provide a brief overview of my dissertation, which explores the recent trend towards expansive state commitments to health care in the developing world, grounded in case studies of Thailand, South Africa, and Brazil. The talk will focus primarily on a discussion of my findings from my year-long fieldwork in Thailand that was generously funded by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad. Joe Harris is currently a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
OCTOBER 8, 2010 – KULLADA KESBOONCHOO-MEAD
Associate Professor of International Relations, Chulalongkorn University
“Re-thinking the Economic Crisis in Thailand”
The talk will deal with Thai economic crisis in 1997 from historical and theoretical points of view. In her discussion, Dr. Mead will analyze how Pax American shaped the Thai political economy. She will also examine the role of Pax Americana under a neo-liberal order. Her study observes the working relationship between the IMF and the Bank of Thailand. As a result, the Thai economy was forced to adopt the priorities and structures of neo-liberalism.
OCTOBER 15, 2010 – WYNN WILCOX
Associate Professor of History and Non-Western Cultures, Western Connecticut State University
“War or Peace in Vietnam? Vũ Nhự and the 1868 Palace Examination”
In 1867, as the French government seized three provinces in Southern Vietnam, giving them control of the entire Mekong Delta area, the Vietnamese court in Hue debated their response. The court was divided between two factions: one argued for war, and the other for peace. Early in 1868, the Emperor decided to put the two factions to the test by ordering that the main essay question on the imperial examination that year was to be “make war or make peace?” This paper will present a close reading of the answer provided by Vũ Nhự (1840-1886), the only person to pass this examination at the exalted hoàng giáp level. Vũ Nhự’s essay advises the Emperor that upright government will deter French intervention without the need for the Vietnamese to attack. This paper argues, however, that within this seemingly traditional Mencian position is interspersed evidence of the influence of the rhetoric of modernization and self-strengthening, and that the examination system was an avenue for political reform.
OCTOBER 22, 2010 – ANNE BLACKBURN
Associate Professor of Asian Studies, Cornell University
“Buddhist Diplomacy in Colonial Southern Asia”
As British and French colonial control deepened in Lanka and Southeast Asia during the latter half of the 19th century, Buddhist monks and devotees relied increasingly on regional Buddhist networks in order to address the direct and indirect effects of colonial presence on royal courts and Buddhist communities. Drawing on epistolary and newspaper records in Pali, Sinhala and English from Lanka, this paper explores Buddhist collaborations within the Indian Ocean world, especially those related to ritual, pilgrimage, and monastic institution-building.
OCTOBER 29, 2010 – PUANTHONG RUNGSWASDISAB
Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University & Visiting Research Fellow of The Shrorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
“The Uncivil Society Movement in the Thai-Cambodian Relations over the Preah Vihear Temple Conflict”
One of the major arguments in literature on foreign policies of the ASEAN states is that, on the one hand, the increasing democratization in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, since the 1990s has allowed the non-state actors to participate in the foreign policy making process greater than ever. On the other hand, the non-state actors, especially the civil society movement, have been pushing the elitist foreign policy makers toward democracy and consideration of human rights and human security issues. The problem is Thailand in the last five years witnessed a push toward authoritarianism by civil society groups who explicitly called for military intervention to topple the Thaksin government. The coup d’état in 2006, followed by a series of protests by colored groups, widespread media censorship, suppressions of the Red Shirts movement, and the existing Emergency law, led Thailand spiral down the authoritarian path. Thai society is greatly divided than ever. The questions is what would be the implication for Thai foreign policy and possibly the regional organization. This lecture will use the recent conflict between Thailand and Cambodia over the ancient Temple of Preah Vihear to discuss the impact of the authoritarian civil society movement and the divided Thai society.
NOVEMBER 5, 2010 – IAN BAIRD
Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“The Hmong Come to Southern Laos: Local Responses and the Creation of Racialized Boundaries”
There is a long history of Hmong migrations from the north to south. Most recently, Hmong have begun emerging in the southern-most parts of Laos, including Champasak and Attapeu Provinces, places where they never lived before. It appears that some Hmong movements into southern Laos have been accepted, while others have not. The movement of the Hmong from the north to the south, and the reactions of others to them, are important for understanding the ways Hmong are geographically positioning themselves, and how others are attempting to construct spaces and associated boundaries designed to restrict them.
NOVEMBER 12, 2010 – HEATHER AKIN
PhD Candidate of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“New Media and the West Papua Movement: Political Message Construction in a Controlled Media Environment”
Communication by social and political movements demonstrates how new media may be leveraged by social or ethnic groups to mobilize the global community. Separatist movements, collective groups seeking independence from a dominating society, are one form of movement that is understudied in communication scholarship. Dominating societies may not offer a level of freedom of expression that it is assumed in a democratic society if it poses a threat to their power. Looking at restive West Papua, where groups are seeking independence from Indonesia, this study explores how messages are constructed using a discourse analysis of three Web sites that convey a plea to the international community. The study finds the West Papuan movement’s online presence expresses a strongly unified, powerful, and emotional voice, that the sites frequently use West Papuan cultural symbols, and that authors are often anonymous, implying dissemination of such a message may put authors at risk.
NOVEMBER 19, 2010 – ROBERT PRINGLE
Former Ambassador and Retired Foreign Service Officer, US Department of State
“Writing about Islam in Indonesia for Non-Specialists”
Understanding Islam in Indonesia by Robert Pringle is a book written for generalists (students, professionals and others), with the aim of providing them with an introduction to the subject and – just as important — tools to facilitate further learning. Pringle will explain the organization of the book, its main conclusions, what surprised him most in writing it, and the challenges of writing and publishing on a specialized topic for a non-specialist audience.
DECEMBER 3, 2010 – ANNA M. GADE
Associate Professor of Languages and Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“‘Green Islam’ in Indonesia”
Muslim Indonesia is becoming known globally as a leader in faith-based responses to environmental challenges. Based on recent fieldwork in Indonesia, in this presentation Professor Anna M. Gade explains recent trends in this area, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. She focuses on the new movement in traditional Islamic education, called “eco-pesantren,” that represents old and new approaches in teaching, learning, and practice of global Islamic ecology with respect to multiple issues of concern, including deforestation and climate change. Professor Gade teaches in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia and the Religious Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is also a Faculty Member of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment. She is author of the books, Perfection Makes Practice: Learning, Emotion and the Recited Qur’an in Indonesia (University of Hawai’i Press, 2004) and The Qur’an: An Introduction (Oneworld Publications, 2010). She has also carried out in-depth fieldwork studying Islam, religion and development in Cambodia.
DECEMBER 10, 2010 – KEITH BARNEY
PhD Candidate of Geography, York University
“The Political Ecology of Cumulative Effects: Remaking Environmental Governance and Livelihoods through Resource Concessions in Lao PDR”
Contemporary Laos is a site for major investments in resource sector development in hydropower and mining, and is also a hot-spot in the ‘global land grab’ phenomenon. On the ground, existing constraints in the regulatory capacities of the Lao state are being compounded by the ways in which the externalities of different resource mega-projects often combine and cascade, and interact with the environmental practices of local communities, producing cumulative and unpredictable outcomes. A chaotic and semi-regulated pattern of resource concession activity in Laos is thus producing complex mosaics of environmental degradation and community (under) development. Drawing on Latour-inspired geographers such as Paul Robbins, my talk will first explore how the environmental classificatory schemes of the state and professional resource managers, which seek to delineate political-administrative jurisdictions over forests, land, water, and communities, are constantly transgressed by local, relational socio-ecological processes. Second, I explain how the establishment of this ‘relational resource frontier’ in Laos is altering regimes of political authority, and producing novel governmental orders in the countryside. The proliferation of new spatial-territorial configurations in Laos challenges our understanding not only of the multiple scales of resource governance, but also of the nature of state authority and sovereignty in an era of global connection.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009 – SHAWN MCHALE
Director, Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, George Washington University
“Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kampuchea Krom: Ethnic Violence in an ‘Invisible’ Land, 1945-50.”
This talk arises out of an accident of research — stumbling across accounts of Khmer massacres of Vietnamese in a region stretching from Phnom Penh down through the lower Mekong delta from 1945 to 1949. This fortuitous “accident” has led me, of course, to try to fathom why these killings occurred. But it also opens a window on the overlooked place of the lower Mekong delta and Khmer Krom struggles in scholarly accounts of modern Vietnamese and Cambodian history. Last but not least, I would like to suggest that these killings shed light on an enduring feature of Cambodian and lower Mekong delta life: the Khmer antagonism to the Vietnamese that has shaped post-1945 Cambodian history, including the Khmer Rouge period.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 – FRANCIS BRADLEY
Dissertator, Department of History, UW-Madison
“Islam after Apocalypse: The Rise of the Patani Shaykhs and the Transformation of Southeast Asian Islam, 1786-1869.”
In this talk I discuss the rise of the Patani shaykhs and the role they played in the development of Islamic scholarly communities around the Indian Ocean rim. At its furthest extent, the Patani scholarly network reached from Mecca to the Malay-Thai Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Cambodia, and the South African Cape, and its participants spread texts, teachings, and schools throughout those regions.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 – KENNETH M. GEORGE
Professor, Department of Anthropology, UW-Madison
“Ethics, Iconoclasm, and Qur’anic Art in Indonesia”
This talk throws light on some of the ethical and ideological energies that have animated today’s Muslim art publics by looking at the anxiety and outcry in Indonesia’s art world over the use of Qur’anic script in fashion and in painting. By looking at problems that have befallen designer Karl Lagerfeld, painter A. D. Pirous, and other Indonesian artists, I suggest how a custodial ethics for handling Qur’anic Arabic has played into the hands of Muslim religious conservatives as they extend their authority into national and transnational art worlds, and more generally how Qur’anic art has become a space of struggle over the scope of secularism, religion, and culture.
OCTOBER 2, 2009 – KRISTY KELLY
Educational Policy Studies, UW-Madison
“Whatever happened to “comrade”? Learning to Mainstream Gender in Vietnam’s Development Policy”
Kristy’s research examines transnational spaces, places and processes that inform how national and local-level policy-actors engage with global development projects, in ways that often contradict their framers’ intents. In this presentation, Kristy examines the role that education and training plays in how a key development policy called gender mainstreaming, is understood and implemented in a variety of local contexts in one country – Vietnam – where the state claims a long history of promoting women’s equality vis-a-vis men. Through a contextualization of how gender mainstreaming is accepted, resisted, ignored and/or transformed through the process of training, Kristy presents a new framework for theorizing the transnational as an important site of struggle and engagement between global and local understandings of “equality,” “rights” and “development.”
OCTOBER 9, 2009 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
OCTOBER 16, 2009 – BENNY WIDYONO
Department of Economics, University of Connecticut
“The International Dimensions of the Cambodian Tragedy”
The speaker will focus his talk on the basic premise of his recent book: that Cambodia had, during the cold war, due to its geopolitical location, experienced enormous chaos, turmoil, civil war and deep despair in the ongoing power struggle for hegemony in Southeast Asia. Thus, when the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime was ousted by Vietnamese troops on January 7 1979, diplomatic maneuverings in the United Nations in New York continued to recognize the Khmer Rouge regime as the legitimate government of Cambodia for another 11 years culminating in Paris Peace Agreements which were themselves flawed. These past unjust decisions continued to haunt Cambodia long after the Khmer Rouge was ousted and sent to the jungles near Thailand.
OCTOBER 23, 2009 – TONY DAY
Visiting Professor, Department of History, Wesleyan University
“Time and Freedom in Asian Film”
Since the 1980s, but particularly in the last ten years or so, films have become the vehicles for powerful artistic statements about the struggle for freedom in Asian societies. In my talk I want to focus on the representation of time and freedom in four rather different movies that received wide acclaim either domestically or internationally: Sepet (“Slant-Eye,” 2004, Malaysia); Mùa Hè Chiều Thằng Đứng (“summer solstice,” The Vertical Ray of the Sun, 2000, France/Vietnam); Sud Pralad (Tropical Malady, 2004, Thailand); and Hao Nan Hao Nu (好男好女, Good Men, Good Women, 1995, Taiwan). My talk will suggest variations but also common themes in the experience and perception of time, history, and human freedom in four different Asian societies.
ROOM CHANGE – 12:00PM, ROOM 336 INGRAHAM HALL
OCTOBER 30, 2009 – PARSIT LEEPREECHAA
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, UW-Madison and Professor, Social Research Institute, Chiang Mai University
“Reconstructing Ethnicity: The Role of Media Technology in Reproducing Hmong Ethnic Identity”
While the Hmong scattered in different parts of the world have had their ethnic identities gradually eroded by nationalism and globalization, they are using media technologies to reproduce and reconstruct their Hmong-ness. Hmong ethnic identity, as defined by shared memory and common sentiment, is being reproduced and reconstructed by media technologies and disseminated through kinship, business, church, and internet networks. This presentation is based on ethnographic fieldwork primarily carried out in Hmong communities in Southeast Asia and the United States.
NOVEMBER 6, 2009 – LESLIE WOODHOUSE
Professor, Department of History, University of California-Berkeley
“A ‘Foreign’ Woman in the Siamese Harem: Princess Dara Rasami and the Politics of Performing Ethnic Difference during Siam’s Fifth Reign”
This talk will shed new light on Siam’s famous Fifth Reign, which is typically known as Thailand’s era of “self-modernization” under King Chulalongkorn. At the same moment Siam began to undertake becoming “siwilai” (civilized), the practice of royal polygamy was reaching its apex, with over 150 consorts in King Chulalongkorn’s palace. Leslie’s talk will focus on one royal consort who was not herself ethnically Siamese: Princess Dara Rasami. Dara played an important political role by cementing the loyalties of her home kingdom, Lan Na, and Siam — but ultimately it was her role in shaping the Siamese perception of the people of Lan Na (now northern Thailand) which may have had a greater impact.
NOVEMBER 13, 2009 – AYEHLAPHYU MAYOO MUTRAW
Ph.D Candidate, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University
“Burma: A Struggle for [Democratic] Change”
I will discuss how the different versions of the nation’s history continue to shape the structure and dynamics of the [pro-democracy] movement for change. And, I will then put forward an additional cause of the current crisis: the competing nationalisms and the conflicting narratives to which each ethnic group subscribes. I argue that in order for a relatively successful transition to a democratic Burma to be accomplished, the military regime, as well as the non-ethnic democracy movement, must devise a system that can accommodate the nation’s rich diversity both structurally and politically.
NOVEMBER 20, 2009 – PATRICK PRANKE
Professor, Department of Humanities, University of Louisville
“‘Nibbāna Now or Never?’ Vipassanā and the Weikza-lam: Two Competing Soteriologies in Contemporary Burmese Buddhism”
Vipassana “insight meditation” and the weikza-lam “path of esoteric knowledge” are two competing soteriologies in contemporary Burmese Buddhism. As is well known, vipassana holds out the promise of freedom from sa?sara, the cycle of birth and death, in nibbana as an arahant. In sharp contrast the weikza-lam promises not the termination of sa?saric life in nibbana but rather its indefinite prolongation through the attainment of virtual immortality as a weikza-do or Buddhist wizard. In this presentation I will compare these two paths to Buddhist salvation in contemporary Burmese Buddhism and discuss the contested religious claims they make. As part of this discussion I will review what is known of the modern evolution of these traditions in Burma noting their possible historical antecedents.
DECEMBER 4, 2009 – ROSALIE HALL
Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Department of Political Science, Loyola University in Chicago; Associate Professor of Political Science, University of the Philippines Visayas
“From Rebels to Soldiers: Interrogating the Integration of Moro National Liberation Front and Falintil Combatants into the Philippine and East Timorese Armed Forces”
The lecture compares the political contexts, scope and processes of the rebel integration projects in Philippines and East Timor. It examines how integree identities (based on religion, ethnicity, region and gender) are re-negotiated or re-defined as they move from non-state to state spaces. The lessons from and implications of the integration policy to the future prospects for peace in both countries are explored.
DECEMBER 11, 2009 – NICOLA TANNENBAUM
Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Lehigh University
“Flying His Soul to Heaven: The Funeral for the Abbot of the Naaplaatsaat Temple in Maehongson Thailand”
The abbot of the Naaplaatsaat temple passed away in March of 2008, the funeral was held in February 2009. When I visited in the summer of 2008, I saw the preparations for funeral, including a sketch of the giant bird that would hold the coffin. Although I could not be there, I draw on videos, photographs, and discussions with various participants to provide this account of the funeral.The Naaplaatsaat monk’s funeral was the most elaborate one I know about.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2008 – ALFRED MCCOY
J.R.W. Smail Professor of History, UW-Madison
“Imperial Mimesis: Colonial Conquest of the Philippines & Rise of the US National Security State”
From the first hours of the US occupation in August 1898, the Philippines served as the site of a protracted social experiment in the use of police as an instrument of state power. Indeed, America’s ad hoc innovation with colonial policing was mutually transformative, central in both the transformation of the Philippine polity and the formation of an American internal security apparatus, creating supple private-public covert nexus central to US political life for much of the twentieth century.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 – ANDY HICKEN
Ph.D. Candidate, Ethnomusicology, UW-Madison
“Toraja people do not have a word for love: Popular song, emotion, and economic development in Sulawesi, Indonesia”
This paper discusses the recent emergence of romantic love songs in the popular music of Toraja, a region in Eastern Indonesia in which I did long term fieldwork. Some Toraja people, I argue, compose and listen to romantic love songs in part because the songs idealize love-marriage, critiquing traditional arranged marriage and, by implication, the economic obligations of children in the exchange-based local economy.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2008 – ANDREA MOLNAR
Anthropology, Northern Illinois University
“Pattani Malay Muslim Women’s Political Engagement in Southern Thailand”
The presentation looks at the contexts in which women do engage politically and factors influencing such engagement. I will also highlight some of the key actors and the way the young generation of women are conceptualizing politics.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 – PAUL KRAMER
Professor of History, University of Iowa
Film Showing: The Real Glory
This film is the subject of the September 26 Friday Forum talk.
NOTE LOCATION – 7:00PM, ROOM 1101 HUMANITIES
SEPTEMBER 26, 2008 – PAUL KRAMER
Professor of History, University of Iowa
“An Enemy You can Rely On: Islam, Hollywood and Philippine-American History”
This talk will explore the discursive and material production of The Real Glory (1939), the one feature-length narrative film (starring Gary Cooper) produced by Hollywood dealing with the history of Philippine-American colonialism in the early 20th century. Through a careful reading of the film itself, the novella upon which it was based and extensive archival sources relating to the film’s production, the lecture will explore race-making and the production of imperial cultures in Philippine-American history, with an emphasis on the representation of U. S. empire, on the one hand, and Christian/Muslim interactions, on the other.
OCTOBER 3, 2008 – EUNSOOK JUNG
Political Science, UW-Madison
“Taking Care of the Faithful: The Relationships between Muslim Societal Organizations and Political Parties in Indonesia”
My paper seeks to explain the political participation of mainstream and moderate Muslims in Indonesia by examining why and how the relationships between mass-based Muslim organizations and Muslim political parties have changed in newly democratized Indonesia.
OCTOBER 10, 2008 – THONGCHAI WINICHAKUL
Department of History, UW-Madison
“Between the Bad and the Worse: The Pathology of Anti-Democracy in Thailand”
Thai democracy is at the crossroads (again). Will it survive down the road or make a wrong turn and die? Let us take a look at the causes of the current political crisis in the country and its future implications.
NOTE LOCATION – 8417 SOCIAL SCIENCE (8TH FLOOR)
OCTOBER 17, 2008 – H. LEEDOM LEFFERTS
Professor Emeritus, Drew University
“Becoming Active in a Theravada Buddhist Narrative: The Vessantara Painted Scrolls of Northeast Thailand and Lowland Laos”
Scholars have paid little attention to the elements of material culture used by the people of Northeast Thailand and Lowland Laos to insert themselves into the annual retelling of the story of Prince Vessantara. A focus on material culture, especially the 30-40 meter long painted scrolls carried from forest into neighborhood and temple, highlights the assumption by participants of narrative voice, moral action, communal merit-making, and the relationship of individual to state.
OCTOBER 24, 2008 – TANET CHAROENMUANG
Political Science, Chiang Mai University
“Thailand’s Political Mess Since September 19, 2006, and Its Impacts in the North”
The talk will look at 1) the effects of the coup and its government in the North and among the Northerners who are among the strong supporteres of Thaksin; 2) political attitudes and behaviors of the northerners, esp. on the election of Dec 23, 2007; and 3) the reaction in the North to the anti-Thaksin movement which is currently against the elected government.
OCTOBER 31, 2008 – CLEO CALIMBAHIN
Dissertator, Department of Political Science, UW-Madison
“Retarding or Promoting Democracy: The Commission on Elections in the Philippines”
The Philippines serves as an excellent case to examine and understand the long-term nature of democratization. Despite more than fifty years of experience with election administration, the Commission on Elections has shown itself to be an imperfect democratic institution having gone through periods of institutional reform and deformation.
NOVEMBER 7, 2008 – TYRELL HABERKORN
Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Colgate University
“When Occupational Training is Compulsory: Identifying Violence in Southern Thailand”
In July 2007, nearly 400 citizens were arrested as suspected “terrorists” involved in Islamic insurgency in the three southern-most provinces of Thailand. Denied knowledge of the evidence mobilized against them, they were given the option of being formally charged under the criminal code or undergoing a four-month “occupational training” course. This paper examines the genealogy of compulsory “occupational training” in Thailand, interrogates the lack of legal basis for this practice, and considers it as part of the spectrum of violence perpetrated by state actors in southern Thailand.
NOVEMBER 14, 2008 – NELA FLORENDO
Department of History and Philosophy, University of Philippines- Baguio
“History and Nation-Building in Southeast Asia: The Social Purpose of Historical Narratives After 1945”
The lecture is a presentation of the historiographic upheaval that took place after Southeast Asian nations gained their political independence. Aside from the the economic rehabilitation that was urgent at that time, the Southeast Asian nations found it an imperative to re-write their histories. There are discernible patterns of memory-making that were undertaken by Southeast Asian countries, but there are also unique contexts that defined some divergences.
NOVEMBER 21, 2008 – FLORENTINO RODAO
History of Social Communication, Faculty of Journalism, Universidad de Madrid Complutense; Visiting Professor, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard
“For God and Franco: The Fascist Movement in the Philippines During the Spanish Civil War”
In the Philippines, the branch of the pro-fascist Falange Party became the first institution of the Spanish community independent to the most wealthy families of the Islands. And in spite of following their leadership in pro-Francoist activities, Falangistas focused instead into anti-oligarch policies, appropriating the fascist discourse into their own ambitions.
DECEMBER 5, 2008 – SUDARAT MUSIKAWONG
Media Studies, Willamette University
“Gendered Casualties: Memoirs in Activism and the Problem of Representing Violence, Thailand 1973-2006”
“Gendered Casualties” examines the connections between 1970s feminist activism and sexualized violence against women during the October 6, 1976 massacre as a trauma that refuses to be forgotten, but cannot be articulated. Women involved in the social movements during the 1970s were disciplined first by the operations of nationalism employed by the national security state and were later marginalized by leftist fractured memories about the 1970s.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2007 – RUTH DE LLOBET
“Creole Awakening and the Formation of Filipino Political Consciousness in the 18th and early 19th Centuries”
The awakening of a new political consciousness among the Creoles in Manila occurred within the framework of economic reforms brought by the Bourbons to the colonies at the end of the eighteenth century, as well as the disintegration of the Spanish empire, and the reformulation of the relationship between the metropolis and the remaining colonies in the first half of the nineteenth century. Out of this consciousness developed a new identity among Creoles differentiated from that of the Spaniards, setting the basis of mainstream political discourse over nation, ethnicity, and modernity in the late nineteenth century.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2007 – CHITO GASCON
International Forum for Democratic Studies
“Democratic Recession in the Philippines: What’s Going On?”
The Philippines is in the midst of a long-running political crisis characterized by serious election irregularities, systemic corruption, continuing conflicts, weakened institutions, and increased human rights violations. The talk will describe the impact of these developments on contemporary Philippine society, consider the factors that have led to this manifest decline, and explore alternatives that could respond to them.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2007 – JAMES WARREN
Southeast Asian Modern History, Murdoch University
“Typhoon : Climate, History and Society in the Philippines; Some Preliminary Thoughts”
In the Philippines more damage is caused by typhoons,and, the floods they trigger,than by any other natural hazard.This talk will examine aspects of the speaker’s thinking about framing and the impact of cyclonic storms on Philippine society and culture over five centuries.
4:00PM – Film Showing introduced by James Warren
Broken Birds: An Epic Longing
A video of a fusion of docu-drama and music theater inspired by Japanese prostitutes, known as the Karayuki-san–broken by their harsh lives in Singapore.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 – DR. PHORPHANT OUYYANONT
Sukhothai Thammathirat University; Lehigh University
“The Crown Property Bureau in Thailand and the Crisis of 1997”
This paper examines the Thai Crown Property Bureau and the ways in which the 1997 financial crisis affected it. The Bureau survived the crisis by making significant changes in its own management and investment policies, and by promoting similar reforms in two affiliated companies. As a result, the Bureau emerged with an income significantly higher than its peak pre-crisis level.
OCTOBER 5, 2007 – IAN COXHEAD
Agricuture and Applied Economics, UW-Madison
“‘I Dreamed Misery Number 1, Misery Number 2’: Burmese Workers in the Thai Economy”
Migration by Burmese workers to Thailand has risen dramatically in the past two decades. We review the available data and ask why this migration occurs. We evaluate effects on the welfare of native workers, conditions experienced by Burmese workers in Thailand, and possible effects on Burmese economic welfare. We conclude with some broader discussion of the phenomenon of South-South migration.
CO-SPONSORED BY THE CENTER FOR WORLD AFFAIRS AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
OCTOBER 12, 2007 – RICARDO TROTA JOSE AND LYDIA N. YU JOSE, PH.D.
Ricardo Trota Jose- Department of History, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; Visiting Professor, Saint Norbert College
Lydia N. Yu Jose- Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University; Adjunct Professor and International Visiting Scholar, St. Norbert College
Joint topic: “Historical Memories between the Philippines and Japan.”
Historical Memory as Soft Power: Focus on Japan and the Philippines
LYDIA YU-JOSE: This paper argues that the Philippines and Japan have both used historical memories for diplomatic purposes, but Japan tends to recount pleasant memories, while the Philippines, being the victimized state during World War II, tends to use adverse historical memories to increase its leverage with Japan. The case of the Philippines and Japan shows that the tendency to abuse pleasant memories is greater than the tendency to use adverse memories because the accurate recall of adverse memories is enough to empower the Philippines via-a-vis Japan.
Historical Memory as Soft Power: Focus on Japan and the Philippines
RICO JOSE: In the sixty years since the end of World War II, the Philippines has put up memorials to various events and personalities connected with the war. Some of these were put up by the government, others by private groups, still others by American or Japanese veterans groups. Similarly, commemorative ceremonies are held every year to mark events deemed significant either by the government (national or local), veterans groups or private organizations. The memorials and ceremonies sometimes dovetail with each other, but sometimes cause controversy, such as in the erection of a monument to the Kamikaze in October 2004. Movies dealing with the war, not being bound by the same rules or circumstances of the monuments and ceremonies, first reflected standard views of the war, moving on to explore other less popular themes.
OCTOBER 19, 2007 – INGRID JORDT
“Burma In Crisis”
Burma’s military regime has sought to solidify its hold on power, since the last popular uprising in 1988, by undertaking patronage of monks, nuns and Buddhist edifices. The talk explores whether the junta’s efforts to present themselves as legitimate rulers in Buddhist terms are now forfeit following the murder and brutal treatment of monks engaged in non-violent rebuke of the military through refusing the military’s alms. What policy implications might be drawn from mass non-violent protest against totalitarian regimes in an age when states appear to have the capability of ruling through force alone and not through moral legitimacy?
OCTOBER 26, 2007 – ELIZABETH DREXLER
Anthropology, Michigan State University
“Securing the Insecure State”
Indonesia under Soeharto was a fundamentally insecure state. The state sustained itself through anxieties and insecurities generated by historical and human rights accounts of earlier violence. This talk considers the legacies of imagined enemies In the Aceh conflict and questions the assumption of international human rights organizations that the exposure of past violence promotes accountability and reconciliation rather than the repetition of abuses.
NOVEMBER 2, 2007 – DON EMMERSON
Professor & Senior Fellow, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute for Intl. Studies, Stanford University
“Re-imagining Indonesia: NKRI, Nusantara, and the Enigma of National Identity”
Indonesian nationalists are proud that their country stretches from “Sabang to Merauke” more than 3,000 miles west to east, but in what sense is this true, on maps or in our minds? What will inspire the country’s future identities: Pancasile, Democracy, Islam, the clear-cut and non-negotiable borders of Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, or the porous and pre-nationalist ones of Nusantara?
NOVEMBER 9, 2007 – NIRWAN DEWANTO
Essayist/Poet/Editor, Founder of Kommunitas Utan Kayu, Jakarta; Fellow, Intl. Writing Program, University of Iowa
“Holy Dog, Rubber Time: 15 Indonesian Contemporary Artists”
This lecture will introduce 15 emerging Indonesian visual artists. While no longer exercising seriousness, heroism, didactism, they long for national identity as did their “modernist” precursors. Their works can be appraised as social allegory, and they debunk the nature of visual representation. Their passionate inclusion of mass culture, local craft-works, and trash, indicates that they not only to strive towards an alternate modernity, but they also allude to the absence of public space.
NOVEMBER 16, 2007 – JACQUES BERTRAND
Asian Institute, University of Toronto
“Being “Indigenous” in Indonesia and the Philippines: Contradictions and Pitfalls”
In recent years, a number of groups in Southeast Asia have tapped into the international discourse, networks, and instruments on “indigenous peoples” to gain leverage over their national governments and improve their political, social and economic status.The paper argues that efforts by groups such as Papuans in Indonesia and Igorot peoples in the Philippines for such recognition raise some unique problems. While being recognized as “indigenous” might help to build networks internationally, the “indigenous” prism creates contradictions, and perhaps even pitfalls, internally, as other groups dispute these claims to “indigeneity.
NOVEMBER 30, 2007 – THAK CHALOEMTIARANA
Director, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University
“Autobiographies of the Rich, the Gorgeous, and the Comical: Iconic Achievers in Contemporary Thai Society “
Autobiographies of famous people is currently trendy in Thailand. What do we learn about the society from the stories of movie and sport stars, TV anchors, tycoons, politicians, beauty queens, comedians and more?
DECEMBER 7, 2007 – DIEP PHAN
Agricultural & Applied Economics, UW-Madison
“Inter-provincial Migration and Inequality during Vietnam’s Transition”
Vietnam’s economic boom during the transition to a market economy has centered on very rapid growth in some sectors and some provinces, yet poverty has diminished across the entire country. With capital investments highly concentrated by province and sector, geographic labor mobility may be critical in spreading the gains from growth. Conversely, rising income inequality may be attributable in part to impediments to migration. We first use census data to investigate migration patterns and determinants. We then examine the role of migration as an influence on cross-province income differentials. The former analysis robustly confirms economic motives for migration but also suggests the existence of poverty-related labor immobility at the provincial level. Examination of income differentials between pairs of provinces reveals that the impact of migration on inequality can be either negative or positive. A robust inequality-reducing impact of migration is found for migration flows into provinces where most of Vietnam?s trade-oriented industrial investments are located.
DECEMBER 14, 2007 – KAZUHIRO OTA
Graduate School of Human Development & Environment, Kobe University
“Poverty in the Philippines: Adverse Mixture of State, Civil Society, and Market”
Why has the situation of the poor improved very slowly although anti-poverty policies have been implemented by the governments since 1980s? The functions of State, Civil Society, and Market, and the mixture of them would explain this underperformance.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2006 – IAN COXHEAD
Ag. Econ., UW-Madison
“Vietnam’s WTO Accession: Process, Progress and Prospects”
In May 2006, Vietnam and the U.S. agreed to terms under which the U.S. would support Vietnam’s bid to join the WTO. What does Vietnam stand to gain from WTO accession? What sacrifices has it made to achieve this? In 2000, Vietnam and the U.S. had signed a bilateral trade agreement. Why were new talks required? How important to Vietnam are economic relations with the US? How will WTO accession interact with the doi moi reform program?
SEPTEMBER 15, 2006 – PAUL HANDLEY
“The King Never Smiles: The Politics of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej”
In 60 years on the throne, Thailand’s venerable King Bhumibol has established an image as being above politics and as an independent force for liberal democratic values. Handley, whose recent biography of the king was banned in Thailand, will talk about how Bhumibol created this image, all the while playing an active and highly conservative political role which has stifled democratic development.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2006 – KRIS OLDS
“Global Assemblage: Singapore, Western Universities, and the Socio-Economic Development Process”
This talk focuses on the critical role of academic freedom as an underlying factor in the globalization of education services, and global knowledge flows. This issue is explored via an analysis of the 1997 to present creation of opportunities for the provision of new foreign-led or foreign-linked “education services”, especially Western higher education services, in Singaporean space.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 – WILFRIDO VILLACORTA
Professor Emeritus, De La Salle University
“ASEAN: A Continuing Experiment in Regioncraft”
The institutional development of ASEAN is a process of managing the diversity of its member countries–the differences in political systems, cultures, economic development, geo-strategic traits, and foreign relations. As ASEAN’s former Deputy Secretary-General, Villacorta examines what binds member countries, and the implications for the Asia-Pacific region’s future.
OCTOBER 6, 2006 – TERENCE LEE
Political Science Ph.D., UW-Madison & Post-Doc. Fellow, Harvard University
“Crackdown? The Military and Regime Maintenance in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand”
In a political crisis, under what conditions will militaries comply with an authoritarian regime? order to suppress demonstrations and protect the regime? The presentation analyzes the cases of military non-compliance to the task of regime maintenance during the October 1973 Thailand, February 1986 Philippines, and May 1998 Indonesia political crises in which major demonstrations led to the collapse of the Thanom and Praphat, Marcos and Suharto regimes, respectively. The presentation also examines why the Thai military complied with orders to put down pro-democracy demonstrations in May 1992.
OCTOBER 13, 2006 – JAMES OCKEY
“Identity and the Religio-nationalist pilgrimages of Haji Sulong Abdulkadir al Fattani”
OCTOBER 20, 2006 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
OCTOBER 27, 2006 – ERIC TAGLIACOZZO
Associate Professor of History, Cornell University
“Remembering Devotion: Oral History and the Pilgrimage to Mecca from Southeast Asia”
This talk explores the pilgrimage to Mecca (or Hajj) through oral history testimonies of Muslims from many countries in Southeast Asia. The talk is the last chapter of an ongoing book project which is attempting to write the history of the Hajj from this huge and extremely diverse region.
Room Change: 8411 Social Sciences
NOVEMBER 3, 2006 – THONGCHAI WINICHAKUL
“Conversations with the Perpetrators”
Thirty years after the October 1976 massacre in Bangkok, how do those who involved in the killing look back and talk about their roles in the incident? What are “patterns” of their views of the past? Is there any revealing truth? What is the future of the memory of the massacre?
NOVEMBER 10, 2006 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
NOVEMBER 17, 2006 – NONGLAK ROJANASAENG
Development Studies, UW-Madison
“Problems and Prospects of Adaptive Co-Management (ACM) of the Fishing Communities in Phangnga Bay, Southern Thailand”
There is now evidence that the plan for ACM is both feasible and applicable, and that the present conditions are conducive to such planning in at least three areas–in resource management, in a capable local community, and in the support and collaboration with stakeholders.
NOVEMBER 24, 2006 – NO FRIDAY FORUM
(Thanksgiving break Nov 23-26)
DECEMBER 1, 2006 – ERICK DANZER
“Rise of the Farmers: Democratization and Agricultural Politics in Indonesia”
In this talk, Erick Danzer describes key patterns of agricultural politics during the New Order as well as how those patterns have changed since 1998. In particular, he shows how the political position of farmers has improved as a result of economic and political liberalization.
DECEMBER 8, 2006 – MARY MCCOY
“When Stories Get Legs: Baligate, Bulogate and All the Gates”
The talk addresses the question of why some stories, and not others, get legs. Cases from both the US and Indonesia provide a key to understanding the narrative arc of non-proprietary coverage of scandal.
DECEMBER 15, 2006 – LAST CLASS DAY: NO FRIDAY FORUM
SEPTEMBER 2, 2005 – DENNI PURBASARI
Economics, University of Colorado Boulder
“Rent Seeking in Developing Countries: Firm-Level Evidence from Indonesia”
Political connections have been widely discussed in the literature of corruption, but little work has been done to empirically identify either the presence of corruption or the channels through which it operates. Using Indonesia as a case study we find that politically connected firms are more likely to receive trade protection which impose substantial welfare cost on the Indonesian economy.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2005 – ANDY SUTTON
“Beyond Bricolage? Music and Image on Indonesian VCDs”
Since their first appearance in Indonesia in the late 1990s, VCDs have become the dominant mode of distribution not only for movies but for music as well. Sutton’s lecture considers VCDs of national and regional popular music, focusing on the content of these multi-layered media products and the aesthetic puzzles they pose.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2005 – FADJAR I.THUFAIL
“Possessed Nation: Forging Political Community Five Years after the May 1998 Riots”
The May 1998 riots in Indonesia remain an uncharted space years later. Soeharto’s resignation and the New Order regime’s downfall following the riots are historic events but provide little to assure a political climate for Indonesians to revisit the legacy of past violence. Amidst this uncertainty, human rights advocacy groups and victims of New Order violence confronted the legacy of violence by holding an unprecedented national gathering of violence victims (Temu Korban Nasional) in 2002-2003. This talk charts the landscapes of possessed grievance that both the human rights activists and the victims evoke to make their experiences of suffering and injustice meaningful.
ROOM CHANGE: 1418 VAN HISE
SEPTEMBER 23, 2005 – MARY MCCOY
“Scandal in the Making of a Modern Democracy: the Case of Indonesia”
SEPTEMBER 30, 2005 – PAUL HUTCHCROFT
Poli. Sci., UW-Madison
“The Deepening Crisis of Democracy in the Philippines”
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo struggles to retain power as she faces allegations that close relatives are involved in gambling syndicates and still more damaging accusations of complicity in fixing the May 2004 elections. Unlike the crises of 1986 and 2001, when “people power revolutions” brought new leadership and nurtured fresh hopes, the crisis of 2005 reveals a democracy desperately struggling for legitimacy.
ROOM CHANGE: 1418 VAN HISE
OCTOBER 7, 2005 – JOSEPH LIOW
Institute of Defense & Strategic Studies, Singapore
“Islam and Resistance in Pattani and Mindanao”
Since 9/11, we have all been seized by how Islam appears to define the ideological and tactical parameters of conflicts involving Muslim populations. This talk hopes to critically interrogate the role of Islam in the ongoing conflicts in southern Thailand and southern Philippines.
OCTOBER 14, 2005 – RAMON SANTOS
Music, U. Philippines
“Traditional Music in Religion and Worship in the Philippines”
Prof. Santos will focus on the religious music, the liturgical and extra-liturgical rites in Filipino cultural communities.
OCTOBER 21, 2005 – NANCY SMITH-HEFNER
Anthropology, Boston University
“More Sex in the City? Youth and Sexuality in Muslim Java”
This paper looks at contemporary Muslim Javanese youth in the Central Javanese city of Yogyakarta and the current controversies surrounding youth sexuality.
OCTOBER 28, 2005 – AARON PITLUCK
Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State
“Investors and their Brokers in the Malaysian Stock Market: Some New Ideas on Investor Confidence”
Drawing on over one hundred ethnographic interviews with financial workers in Malaysia, Aaron Pitluck advocates a social networks perspective to better understand Malaysian investors’ behavior. The talk will explore implications to understand the rapid construction or destruction of investor confidence in a nation.
NOVEMBER 4, 2005 – KAREN COATES AND JEREMY REDFERN
“Cambodia Now: Life in the Wake of War”
Cambodia has never recovered from the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime and two decades of war that ripped the country apart. Award-winning journalist Coates and photojournalist Redfern speak about their new book that provides a portrait of contemporary Cambodia through its people.
NOVEMBER 11, 2005 – ERIC HAANSTAD
“The State Demands Sacrifices: Yaa Baa, Red Bull, and Ritual Killings in the Thai Drug Wars”
Haanstad investigates Thailand’s drug wars, highlighting some of the campaign’s most profitable political economies, as well as violent displays of order and overt deceptions.
NOVEMBER 18, 2005 – PEGI DEITZ SHEA
“The Search for Hope: The Whispering Cloth and Tangled Threads”
Author Pegi Deitz Shea discusses how she found her story to tell young readers about the Hmong, their struggles and their strength, their tragedies and their triumphs.
NOVEMBER 25, 2005 – NO FRIDAY FORUM (THANKSGIVING BREAK NOV 24-27)
DECEMBER 2, 2005 – JOHN PECK
Ph.D., UW-Madison Institute of Environmental Studies
“The Struggle for Fair Trade, Food Sovereignty, and Rural Justice in East Timor: Report Back from the 2005 Madison Ainaro Sister City Delegation”
John E. Peck received his PhD in Land Resources (IES) from UW-Madison in 2004. He is currently executive director of Family Farm Defenders, a national grassroots organization based in Madison, WI that works on issues of sustainable agriculture, rural justice, fair trade, consumer safety, animal welfare, farm worker rights, and food sovereignty. In Aug. 2005 John participated in a three week visit to East Timor.
DECEMBER 9, 2005 – EVAN WINET
Asian Languages and Cultures, Macalester College
“Under the Veil of Nationalism: Islam and Modern Indonesian Theatre”
Evan Winet received a Ph.D from Stanford University in Drama and Humanities in 2000. His particular areas of interest include Indonesian and Other Asian Theaters; Directing and Dramaturgy; Masks, Puppets and Performing Objects; History and Theories of Drama, Theater and Performance and Postcolonial Theory.
DECEMBER 15, 2005 – LAST CLASS DAY NO FRIDAY FORUM
SEPTEMBER 3, 2004 – MIKE BOEHM
Project Director for the Madison Quaker Projects in Vietnam
“Micro Loan Projects and Other Experimental Projects in Central Vietnam”
Micro loan projects among poor women in Quang Nai Province in Vietnam; slide show that is very moving, showing many of the women who have received loans in My Lai Village. The loan projects, which are similar to those of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, are very impressive.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2004 – ANDREW CAUSEY
Anthropology, Columbia College, Chicago
“Out of the Swim: Post-Tourism Times at Lake Toba, North Sumatra”
Andrew Causey discusses the effects of severely declining tourism on the lives of Toba Bataks living on Samosir Island, Lake Toba, Sumatra. Based on a recent return trip to the area, Causey addresses social and economic changes that have transpired since his fieldwork in 1994-1995.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2004 – KEN GEORGE
Anthropology, UW – Madison
“Violence, Culture, and the Indonesian Public Sphere: Reworking the Geertzian Legacy”
SEPTEMBER 24, 2004– ROBERT HEFNER
Anthropology, Boston University
“Islam & the Cultural Possibility of Democracy: Some Bittersweet Lessons from Indonesia”
This paper examines recent developments in Indonesian Muslim politics with an eye to assessing the obstacles and achievements of Indonesia’s civil-democratic Muslims. It also uses Indonesian case as a point of reflection on some general challenges to democratization in the Muslim world.
OCTOBER 1, 2004 – FELICIDAD A.PRUDENTE
Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, University of the Philippines
“The Jama Mapun Kulintangan: Gong Tradition of Tawi-Tawi, Philippines”
The presentation expounds on the Jama Mapun kulintangan as a metaphor of dynamic interaction within the Sulu zone. Video clips of kulintangan ensemble performance will complement the lecture.
OCTOBER 8, 2004 – PAUL KRAMER
History, John Hopkins University
“The Blood of Government: Race and Empire Between the United Sates and the Philippines”
OCTOBER 15, 2004 – BASKARA T. WARDAYA
History, Sanata Dharma University
“Cold War Shadow: U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Indonesia During the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations (1953-1963)”
With the Indonesian communists continuing to be on the rise, the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) decided to involve itself directly in preventing a communist takeover of Indonesia. Working through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in 1957-1958 the administration supported the Indonesian regional military commands in their opposition to Indonesia’s central government and military command, which the administration thought were pro-communist. In policy attitudes slightly different from those of the Eisenhower administration, the short-lived administration of President John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) presented itself to be more open to the aspiration of the Indonesian people, as it was more open to the aspirations of other newly-independent countries. The administration’s willingness to mediate Dutch-Indonesian dispute over West New Guinea as well as its eagerness to prevent Indonesia’s opposition to the Federation of Malaysia into a direct military conflict demonstrated such openness.
Continuing the Truman and Eisenhower administrations’ tradition of viewing Indonesia under the shadow of the Cold War, however, the Kennedy administration’s policies on the two issues were motivated by fear of losing Indonesia to the communists.
As it realized the importance of Indonesia to remain noncommunist and to stay neutral in the Cold War antagonism—particularly when in Vietnam the communists appeared to be gaining control by the day—the administration intended to address Indonesia’s concerns and rebuild U.S.-Indonesian relations. Unfortunately, President Kennedy’s plans to deal with the concerns and to build closer relations with Indonesia—including a plan to visit the country in early 1964—never materialized. The bullets that killed the President on November 22, 1963, also destroyed his initiatives to restore U.S.-Indonesian relations.
***260 BASCOM HALL***
OCTOBER 22, 2004 – IAN COXHEAD
Agricultural and Applied Economics, UW-Madison
“Emerging Trade with China and the Natural Resource Curse in S.E. Asia”
The rapid growth of China and its increasing integration with Asian and world markets is expected to have significant effects on the structure of production and trade in SE Asian economies, including the increased demand for natural resources. These trends will interact with decentralization, a phenomenon sweeping through Southeast Asia. If sufficiently severe, the combination of higher demand for natural resources and diminished constraints on their exploitation could expose the region to reduced rates of aggregate economic growth.
OCTOBER 29, 2004 – ADAM KNEE
Film, Ohio University
“Reappearing Bodies: The Curious Persistence of the Horror Genre in Contemporary Thai Cinema”
This talk will examine the prevalence of the horror genre in post-1996 Thai cinema. The focus will be on the genre’s consistent preoccupations with issues of gender, of the body, and of history. The talk will close with speculation as to why this genre, resonant of woman’s oppression and historical trauma, appears to so peculiarly haunt contemporary Thai culture.
***1418 VAN HISE*******
NOVEMBER 5, 2004 – MARTHA RATLIFF
Linguistics, Wayne State University
“The Hmong Homeland”
The notion of a prehistoric “homeland” is mysterious and evocative, and therefore serves as a frequent topic of folk tales and popular histories. Although linguistic evidence can only take us back so far, I have used this more secure and objective form of evidence to establish a rough location for the Hmong-Mien peoples of Southeast Asia at c. 2000 BP that contradicts popular accounts.
NOVEMBER 12, 2004 – MICHAEL CULLINANE
CSEAS & History, UW-Madison
“Bringing in the Brigands: The Politics of Pacification in the Colonial Philippines, 1902-1906”
Sponsored by Empire in Transition: A Cultural and Historical Case Study of the
Philippines Lecture Series and Friday Forum Lecture Series.
NOVEMBER 15,2004– JAMES SIEGEL
Anthropology, Cornell University
“The Expedition to Samalanga: Sword and Camera in Atjeh (1901)”
The jihad takes on multiple meanings in Islam. One example occurred in the war between Acehnese and Dutch which began in 1873. It is striking that in the war that wages today between Acehnese and the Indonesian army, the jihad in its old form is missing. Just what jihad was in the 19th and early 20th centuries and its effects on memory is approached obliquely through the use (and refusal) of photography in Indonesia. Necessarily this is accompanied by a commentary on the aesthetic of the photograph.
SPONSORED BY CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES AND THE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES.
NOVEMBER 19, 2004 – JACK RUTLEDGE
Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW-Madison
“Applications of Reproductive Biology Technology and Indigenous Knowledge to Dairying in Southeast Asia”
Increased domestic milk production is a goal of many third-world countries, but productive breeds lack tropical adaptation while tropically adapted breeds (or species) lack productive capability. For centuries it has been known that crosses of the two types yield an excellent dairy animal, but breeding from the hybrid base is fruitless. Since reproductive excess in cattle is meager and half the calves born are male and useless for milk production, systems of production based on natural reproduction utilizing the crosses are untenable. Technology intervention using sex-control and in vitro embryo production remove these impediments.
NOVEMBER 26, 2004 – THANKSGIVING RECESS: NO FF
NOVEMBER 29, 2004 – JOHN DUFFY
English/Writing Center, Notre Dame University
“Literacy, Identity, and the Hmong in Laos, 1950-1975”
This talk examines the intersections of literacy development and identity construction as experienced by the Hmong of Laos from 1950 to 1975. Duffy will discuss the role of the state, of missionary Christians, and of the United States CIA in using literacy to promote identities for the Hmong people, and he considers the ways in which the Hmong used their newly developed literacy skills to revise and re-imagine these
DECEMBER 3, 2004 – KURT SCHWABE
Environ. Sci., UC-Riverside
“Orang Asli Communities in Peninsular Malaysia: Activities, Income, and Well-being”
While overall poverty in Malaysia has been reduced to less than 8% in recent years, a disproportionate 81% of Orang Asli still live below the poverty line (Nicholas 2002). This research investigates the potential role of markets, natural resource availability, and government in influencing the poverty and well-being of one particular Orang Asli community, the Jah Hut.
DECEMBER 10,2004 – INGRID MUAN
Fine Arts, Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh
“Haunted S: Painting and History in Phnom Penh”cenes (Last Friday Forum)
This presentation considers the history of painting and the painting of history in Phnom Penh during the 20th century. Muan will briefly sketch successive representational regimes of two dimensional ornament (the Protectorate period) and the view from life (the period of Independence), before considering the way in which these two regimes intertwine to haunt contemporary painting in the city today. Bringing undercurrents to the surface through this formal analysis, Muan then considers the subjects of contemporary painting in order to speculate what these representations and their omissions – might reveal about contemporary urban society in Cambodia.