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SEA Studies Symposium 2014 – Posters

“Southeast Asia in Transition”

22 – 23 March 2014
Keble College, University of Oxford

Information is also available  on Roundtables and Academic Panels.

List of Posters:

  • Building Digital Libraries in Myanmar: the eTekkatho Project
  • Higher Education in Southeast Asia: A Necessary Vehicle of Development
  • Lyrical Memoirs: The Old ‘Dutch’ House (c.1928)
  • Research and teaching opportunities in Myanmar

Poster 1: Building Digital Libraries in Myanmar: the eTekkatho Project

Celia Russell
University of Manchester
celia.russell@manchester.ac.uk

Yin Min Tun
University of Manchester
Yin.Tun-2@manchester.ac.uk

May Thet Khine Nyein
University of Manchester
maythetkhinenyein@gmail.com

The eTekkatho project is building digital libraries for the academic community in Myanmar/Burma. In the first phase of the project, the team has developed a pilot digital library of over 900 educational and research resources covering geography, earth sciences and the environment with supporting materials in maths, IT, and English language. All the resources in the eTekkatho library are especially chosen to support the needs of the teaching, learning and research communities in Myanmar.

The library is delivered using two different mechanisms:

  • The web version uses compression and network technologies to deliver the eTekkatho library over an ultra-low bandwidth website that works over the current Myanmar Internet infrastructure.
  • In the second delivery mechanism, we use local area network topologies which means that staff and students on campus at partner institutions can access the eTekkatho library at high speed, even at those institutions with little or no Internet connection. Where we had permission, this version of the library also includes a mirror site of the MIT OpenCourseWare (over 2,000 undergraduate and postgraduate courses).

In the first year of the project, local installations of the eTekkatho library were set up at six partner institutions:

  • Yangon [Rangoon] University
  • Dagon University
  • University of Distance Education (Yangon)
  • Mandalay University
  • Myitkyina University
  • Myanmar Environment Institute

In the current phase of the project, we plan to extend the eTekkatho network to major regional universities outside Yangon and Mandalay, and introduce a new subject area of Education and teacher training. We are also looking at ways to include the 600,000+ open access resources in Europe PubMed Central and other educational, research and CPD resources for healthcare professionals into the eTekkatho model.

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Poster 2: Higher Education in Southeast Asia: A Necessary Vehicle of Development

Jae Hyun Lee
Prime Education Consulting
victor@primenj.org

Hong Gu Lee
University of Chicago

Lewin Kim
Horace Mann School

Eric DongHyuck Seo
Okemos School

Jae Han Lee
Vanderblit University

Sarun Rous
Grassroot Development Institute, Phnom Penh

Education has been identified as an essential component of development and as such, a means to combat poverty and inequality. Conversely, a lack of an educated people and education infrastructure disables a community from effectively utilizing resources, developing core competencies, and from becoming operational members of a global economy that has gradually become more integrated. Southeast Asia suffers from this lack of education infrastructure, and more importantly, from a general inattentiveness and lack of initiative to the values that education brings forth. The results of this are clear. In these regions, education is fundamentally considered a luxury as opposed to a necessity. Higher education, in particular, is merely an afterthought, but this cannot be the case. Satisfaction should not be derived from basic competencies, but through the refining of skills and knowledge, which can only be done at the higher level. While the short-term disadvantages are obvious in their nature, the long-term implication of implementing and encouraging higher education will prove to be advantageous. The goal of this paper is to do a thorough analysis of the state of higher education and its infrastructure in Southeast Asia. Case studies of countries will be conducted to show that the conclusions of the analysis hold validity as well as identifying where improvements can be made. This paper will conclude with what the direction of education holds for these countries, a cost-benefit analysis of the returns it could hold, and initiatives both domestically and done through third parties that could help the cause.

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Poster 3: Lyrical Memoirs: The Old ‘Dutch’ House (c.1928)

Melissa Ho
Goldsmiths, University of London
so204mh@gold.ac.uk

‘Old Dutch House’ is the first book of a series of ten entitled ‘Lyrical Memoirs’. It is an account of personal experiences and encounters using photography as a visual reflection to re– appreciate the ephemeral value of an Asian homeland, heritage and hybrid architecture. My contention is that the ‘Y’ generation of people aged 19 to 36 years old do not have the sense of belonging or commitment to their ancestral houses in contrast to the people who are in their late 50s to 70s from Asia and the West. My methodology is influenced by theorists such as Jacques Derrida and Roland Barthes, who critically wrote about the inspection of photographic social phenomenon, concerning the dissemination of “photographic meaning” and the ways of perceiving an ideology behind every image as a linguist. So, I took a chance and challenged myself to write a manifesto with the emphasis of five studies (sociological, psychoanalytical, semiotical, phenomenological and philosophical) analysing the context and content of my photographic archives from Asia.

This visual project & paper analyse the construction of a sense of belonging and identity through architectural photography. I question the notion of the intrinsic meaning of ‘heritage’ in urbanism, which is often taken for granted in today’s fast–forwarding society. Perhaps, it can advocate a hopeful change to the contemporary architectural studies’ status quo of the relentless pursuit to regenerate and modernize post–colonial and hybrid architectures.

Furthermore, to act as a preventive measure particularly in addressing the disregard of South East Asian heritage houses, despite there are still pockets of post–colonial Indo–European architectures inhabited by their original occupants. However, these issues are rarely theorized in the context of preserving ‘heritage’ houses in Asia. The governments’ foremost agenda is to prioritize the nation’s economic growth, new modern buildings, and the mobility of networks that interconnect cities to channel the flow of capital for “progress”. As such, a selected few propositions of property laws that support heritage ‘keep sakes’ are neither implemented nor amended, as the ‘Developing Asia’ desires to be as fully developed as the West.

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Poster 4: Research and teaching opportunities in Myanmar

Celia Russell
University of Manchester
celia.russell@manchester.ac.uk

Yin Min Tun
University of Manchester
Yin.Tun-2@manchester.ac.uk

Universities in Myanmar (Burma) are open for business and teeming with possible research partnership opportunities.  From anthropology to zoology, via gender studies, literature and phytomedicine, these cut across all faculties. However, with limited websites and email systems, it can be difficult for researchers in Myanmar to develop their international relationships. This poster presents the specific research areas in which Yangon University, Dagon University and Myitkyina University wish to develop international partnerships. We also outline the process involved in setting up a formal collaboration with a university in Myanmar.

A number of universities would also like to host short term (1 or 2 week) teaching placements for overseas lecturers. All academic subjects covered by the Burmese curricula are considered.  Please come and see us if you are interested.