Cambodian-Laos programme in humanities research

Source: The Cambodia Daily 20140825

Project Manusastra capacity building aim to develop local humanities research sounds like an excellent initiative, but it makes me wonder if training programmes like these teach Southeast Asians to think like westerners rather than to develop a local theory of our own. Does anybody have any experiences in the differences between ‘western’ archaeological theory and how different Southeast Asian groups think about archaeology?

Source: The Cambodia Daily 20140825
Source: The Cambodia Daily 20140825

University Program Cultivates Local Researchers
The Cambodian Daily, 25 August 2014

The goals of Project Manusastra were bold from the start. Initiated by a French-Cambodian linguist, this university program aims to produce a new generation of Cambodian researchers capable of conducting independent research on the humanities, rather than merely supporting foreign scholars.

Launched in 2012, the program has required an uncommon commitment from both students and professors, and turned into a major exercise in foreign relations involving higher-education institutions on opposite sides of the globe.

And now, this joint project of Inalco—France’s institute of eastern languages and civilizations in Paris—and the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) in Phnom Penh is about to see its first class of 20 Cambodian and Laotian students obtain their bachelor’s degrees. At the same time, it will launch its second phase, becoming the first program in the region to offer a master’s degree in the humanities recognized throughout Europe.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

1 thought on “Cambodian-Laos programme in humanities research”

  1. Actually, at the Asia-Pacific Regional conference on underwater cultural heritage (Honolulu, 2014), Dr. Sayan Praicharnjit offered a very insightful theory about archaeology in Buddhist countries and how they both need to be integrated. You should ask him about it! I thought it was very refreshing. 😀

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