Friday Forum: Nam Kim

“Archaeological Explorations of ‘Viet’ Origins: A Personal Journey”

The discipline of archaeology in present-day Vietnam has an interesting and deep history, one marked by alternating backdrops of political stability, social upheaval, and nationalistic agendas. Past and present Vietnamese researchers have been interested in a material record (dating back millennia) to consider the underpinnings of an ancient “Viet” civilization, and how landscapes, relics, and sites fit into a larger tapestry of history – both ancient and recent. Not surprisingly, these material remains have also been incorporated into modern notions of identity and projects aimed at cultural preservation. This lecture considers these themes while also highlighting my own personal engagement with archaeological research as an individual of Vietnamese ancestry.

Friday Forum: Derek Heng

Pre-modern port-cities of the Melaka Straits region were one of the most diverse places in Southeast Asia. The range of networks, the openness of the economy, the free movement of people, as well as the small population base in the region, has meant that from the inception of a port-city, the nature of the settlement and its population would reflect the multi-cultural influences that flow through the port…

Friday Forum: Mark Alves (VIRTUAL)

The goal of this talk is to present ways in which historical linguistics in greater Southeast Asia can benefit from and aid in research in archaeology and ethnohistory broadly. Southeast Asia (aka Indo-China) is known for its complex sociocultural mixing during waves of incoming groups through both settlements and trade from the Neolithic period into the era of SEAsian kingdoms. Exploration of cultural domains through proto-language lexical reconstructions, combined with information gleaned from historical phonology and research on language contact and loanwords, can provide insights into regional ethnohistory. There are, of course, limits to such data, but it is also to the detriment of ethnohistorical and ethnoarchaeological research to ignore what linguistic data has to offer…