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Announcement

Project Southeast Asia wishes to thank Dr Xin Hui Chan, who has resigned from the Project, and expresses appreciation for her many contributions over the last five years.

Pingtjin Thum
Secretary
Project Southeast Asia committee

SEA Studies Seminar – Hilary 2014 – Week 7

The final Southeast Asian Studies seminar of 2014 will be held on 6 March 2014, 2-3.30pm, at the Dahrendorf Room, St Antony’s College, Oxford.

Tu-Anh Vu-Thanh (Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow, University of Oxford; Director of Research, Fulbright Economics Teaching Program) will be speaking on “WTO and the Political Economy of Reform in Vietnam”.

SEA Studies Seminar – Hilary 2014 – Week 5

The next Southeast Asian Studies seminar of 2014 will be held on 20 February 2014, 2-3.30pm, at the Dahrendorf Room, St Antony’s College, Oxford.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn (Independent Scholar) will be speaking on the topic, ‘Is Thai Democracy Finished?’

Download the poster

Abstract:

Following the anti-government protests at the end of the year, where the protesters called for the end of parliamentary democracy and a “new” system of appointed parliaments and appointed governments, the Yingluck government decided to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections in February 2014. Amid this long-running Thai crisis, many people are asking whether Thai democracy is on its last legs. This seminar will attempt to analyse the latest situation and explain the root causes of the crisis. In doing so the idea of a “crisis of succession” will be rejected in favour of an explanation grounded in political economy. Cracks in Thai society, which developed over decades, and were finally exposed in the 1996 Asian economic crisis, are the root cause of why the middle class, the military and the conservative elites dislike parliamentary democracy and former Prime Minister Taksin Shinawat.

About the Speaker:

Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a Thai academic in exile in the U.K. The former Associate Professor of politics at Chulalongkorn University was charged with lèse majesté in late 2008 because he wrote a book criticising the 2006 military coup. Since arriving in Britain, he has been an active commentator on Thai politics, using blogs, websites, internet radio and social media. He has done a number of speaking tours at universities throughout Europe. His most recent academic writings can be accessed on his website: http://bit.ly/1cLbFtr. Out of necessity he is currently employed as an administrative worker in a local NHS hospital in Oxford where he is also a union shop steward.

New Feature: The Calendar. Submit your events!

We are pleased to announce a new feature on projectsoutheastasia.com: the Events Calendar. It lists Oxford-based Southeast Asian events. You can access it at http://projectsoutheastasia.com/events or at the sidebar to the right.

If you have a Southeast Asian event you would like to promote to the Project Southeast Asia community, please let us know via our submission form.

SEA Studies Seminar – Hilary 2014 – Week 1

The first Southeast Asian Studies seminar of 2014 will be held on 23 January 2014, 2-3.30pm, at the Dahrendorf Room, St Antony’s College, Oxford.

Danica Salazar (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in English Language Lexicography, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford) will be presenting on the topic “The vocabulary of Southeast Asian Englishes: A sociolinguistic and cultural perspective”.

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Abstract

Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines are postcolonial Southeast Asian nations where the English language continues to play an important role as a language of intranational communication, in addition to its function as an international lingua franca in the ASEAN region. This presentation will focus on the words and phrases that characterize English as it is spoken in these countries: the vocabulary that forms the basis of what is now known as Bruneian, Singaporean, Malaysian and Philippine English. These distinct lexical features have developed as a result of many years of contact between English and Southeast Asian vernaculars, and of various other cultural, historical and social factors. They are also a reflection of the linguistic creativity of the region’s English speakers. The lexicon of Southeast Asian Englishes is the subject of a current research project at Oxford University’s Faculty of English and Oxford University Press, which aims to widen the coverage of this type of regional vocabulary in the Oxford English Dictionary. Danica Salazar is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in English Language Lexicography of the University of Oxford, based in the Faculty of English Language and Literature, Oxford University Press and Hertford College. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Barcelona, a Master’s degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language from the University of Salamanca and a BA in European Languages from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, with a major in Spanish and a minor in French. Danica’s current research involves the representation of Philippine English and other Southeast Asian Englishes in the Oxford English Dictionary. She has participated in several international conferences and published books and articles on English and Hispanic studies.

About the Speaker

Danica Salazar is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in English Language Lexicography of the University of Oxford, based in the Faculty of English Language and Literature, Oxford University Press and Hertford College. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Barcelona, a Master’s degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language from the University of Salamanca and a BA in European Languages from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, with a major in Spanish and a minor in French.

Danica’s current research involves the representation of Philippine English and other Southeast Asian Englishes in the Oxford English Dictionary. She has participated in several international conferences and published books and articles on English and Hispanic studies.

SEA Studies Seminar – Hilary 2014

The term card for the Southeast Asian Studies seminar series has been released. Seminars will be held at the Dahrendorf Room, St Antony’s College, from 2-3.30pm on Thursday in Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7 (please note the change from the previous term). The seminar is convened by Dr Matthew Walton.

The first seminar on 23 January 2014 is by Dr Danica Salazar (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in English Language Lexicography, Faculty of English Language &Literature, University of Oxford) on “The vocabulary of Southeast Asian Englishes: A sociolinguistic and cultural perspective”.

‘The Rise and Decline of Radical Islam in Indonesia’ by Prof Greg Barton

Professor Greg Barton, the Herb Feith Research Professor for the Study of Indonesia and Director of the Centre for Islam and the Modern World at Monash University, will give a seminar on ‘The Rise and Decline of Radical Islam in Indonesia’ at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, George Street, Oxford, on Friday, 13 December 2013 at 3.00pm.

Abstract

Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the continued growth of tolerance and religious maturity in Indonesia? As is so often the way with Indonesia it appears to be a classic case of glass half full/glass half empty. The same government, and very often the same government officials, who are quick to trumpet Indonesian success in building religious tolerance and understanding and to bask in the reflected glory of democratic transition, social stability and economic growth, all too often turn a blind eye to mob violence targeting religious minorities. Compounding the hurt and injustice, victims of religious extremism are often described as being errant and of provoking community backlash. At the same time the rollout of local sharia legislation and the entrenchment of discriminatory practices seem to suggest that radical Islamist influence is on the rise. And yet evidence to the contrary abounds. Radical Islamist parties, such as the Prosperous Justice Party, appear to have hit a natural ceiling in electoral appeal. Social polling reveals confusing data but arguably the most important polls of them all will take place next April when Indonesia holds its fourth parliamentary election since the collapse of the Suharto regime.

Download the poster

SEA Studies Symposium 2014 – Registration now open!

Registration for the 3rd Southeast Asian Studies Symposium is now open!

Please visit the Registration page to register.

We are pleased to announce that, despite the Symposium’s expanded size and improved venue, Project Southeast Asia has kept the registration fees in line with previous Symposia. We have negotiated on behalf of Symposium delegates a 3 day, 2 night All-Access package that keeps fees exactly the same as last year.

For a limited time (until 22 December 2013), prices are discounted to:

3 Days 2 Nights All Access Residential Package: £299 / £259
2 Days 1 Night Residential Registration Package: £249 / £209
2 Days Non-residential Registration Package: £199 / £149
Saturday Registration: £129 / £99
Sunday Registration: £89 / £59

Please note that we have only 150 rooms available at the conference venue. Once they are sold, we will no longer be able to offer the above packages.

SEA Studies Seminar – Michaelmas 2013 – Week 5

The next SEA Studies Seminar is on the topic of “Viral Economies: Farming Bird Flu in Vietnam” by Dr. Natalie Porter (Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Oxford). It will be held on Wednesday, 13 November at the Deakin Room, Founder’s Building, St. Antony’s College, 2-3.30pm. For more information on the SEA Studies Seminar, please see our Seminar page.

Abstract

Recent outbreaks of swine flu, SARS and avian influenza are provoking innovative global health efforts to control diseases transmitted between species. In Southeast Asia, much of this effort centers on poultry economies, where new forms of production, circulation, and exchange are cohering around viruses and their management. Drawing on ethnographic research in Vietnam, this presentation explores how individuals navigate avian flu interventions in policymaking arenas and poultry producing communities. It reveals that pandemic flu strategies confront heterogeneous moral codes, in which animals play a dynamic role in Vietnamese knowledge hierarchies, village economies, and estimations of individual worth. This research suggests that avian flu both circumscribes and expands possibilities for regulating and valuing life in communities of humans coexisting with animals.

About the Speaker

Natalie Porter is research fellow in the BioProperty Program at the Institute for Science, Innovation & Society – University of Oxford. She is a cultural anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of science, technology, and medicine. Her regional foci include Southeast Asia and parts of the United States and Europe, where she explores intersections of biomedicine and multispecies relationships. She is developing a book-length ethnography that explores how multinational bird flu control programs affect state-making strategies and poultry production practices in Vietnam. Natalie holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in 2014 will take up an assistant professor position in anthropology at the University of New Hampshire.

SEA Studies Seminar – Michaelmas 2013 – update

Nbyen Dan Hkung Awng’s seminar on “Conflict and Development in Northern Myanmar: The roles of armed groups, NGOs, and the Chinese government” has been rescheduled to 6.30 pm at the Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony’s College on the same day. It will now take the form of a roundtable titled “Ethnicity and Experiences of Conflict in Burma”. For more information, please see the Seminar page.

Speakers
Matthew J Walton, Aung San Suu Kyi Senior Research Fellow in Modern Burmese Studies, St. Antony’s College
Nbyen Dan Hkung Awng, Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Research Fellow, DPIR
Paing Soe Hlaing, President of the Oxford Burma Alliance
Karen Hargrave, Vice President of the Oxford Burma Alliance

Abstract
The dominant narrative of the current political transition in Burma appears to be gradually becoming more positive, as formerly critical Western countries deepen their engagement with the country through encouraging investment and even initiating limited military-military relations. However, civil conflict continues in many border areas of the country, inhabited mostly by members of ethnic minority groups. And despite national and international pressure for a nation-wide ceasefire, most resistance groups remain deeply skeptical of the new Burmese government’s capacity and sincerity with regard to instituting political reforms that would address the grievances of marginalized ethnic communities.

The participants in this roundtable will address the question of how ethnic identity affects people’s experiences of conflict in Burma. Matt Walton will discuss ethnicity and differential experiences of suffering more broadly as well as the ways in which geography plays a role in mediating the effects of government/military repression. Dan Hkung will consider the Kachin struggle, a case of particular importance at present as the intensification of conflict in Kachin state has occurred alongside the widely praised “democratic” reforms of the new Burmese government. Paing Soe Hlaing and Karen Hargrave will discuss Mon perspectives on ethnic identity, conflict and political transition. Paing will relate his own experiences of the challenges of negotiating mixed Mon-Burman heritage, whilst Karen will share the perspectives of Mon friends and colleagues working to advance human rights for this ethnic population.