SEAMEO SPAFA Archaeology Education Survey ends next week!

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SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

Have you filled up the SEAMEO SPAFA Survey on Archaeology Education in Southeast Asia yet? If you’ve been putting it off, you have only a few days left to get your opinions in.

SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

This survey is part of my work for SEAMEO SPAFA, and we are looking to understand how and where archaeology is taught in the region, what kinds of skills training is needed, and where do students go after they get their degree. This is the first time a study of this kind has ever been undertaken in the region. So far we have received over 300 responses from Southeast Asia and beyond, and the survey will close on December 5 so if you haven’t taken it, please help me out and fill it up!

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE

[Lecture] Bronze Drums of Southeast Asia by Jacques de Guerny

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Lecture at the Siam Society, Bangkok on 1 November 2018.

DATE: Thursday, 1 November 2018
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

The Bronze Age produced revolutionary innovations like the drums, stronger and more sonorous than their wooden and skin predecessors. They created new rites and bestowed on their owners a prestige even in the afterlife. On their drumhead (tympanum) and their cylindrical base, the drums were engraved with decorations open to interpretation, including the iconic frogs deemed to control the rain. Southeast Asian communities bestowed a new mission on the drums, not only as a source of sound but also to evoke values deemed crucial for everyday life or for the afterlife, from the steppes to the tropics. From inception to the present, the evolution of bronze drums spans around 2,500 years. Rituals have been conducted in their presence, from modern south China and Vietnam to Indonesia, including Indochina and Thailand. Bronze, an alloy resistant to corrosion, elevated the status of these objects from simple pots to valuable masterpieces of creativity, at the crossroads of spiritual and commercial values. They belong to the treasures of humanity, housed within museums around the world and still used at solemn ceremonies, including the funeral rites in October 2017 of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In my talk, I will trace the evolution of bronze drums across centuries and Southeast Asian cultures, in Cambodia, China, Laos, Indonesia/Bali, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.

When Thailand and Australia were closer neighbours, tectonically speaking

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via The Conversation, 20181019

via the Conversation, 19 October 2018: The geological periods when parts of Thailand and Australia were part of the same land mass go very far back in time, even before the dinosaurs, but an interesting read about the ancient history of our rocks.

This was a time before the dinosaurs, when the first forests turned the land green and giant dragonflies tracked airways through the vegetation.

Our work suggests that some fictional time-travelling Phuket beach-lover could have walked to the Pilbara in Western Australia. A pre-Jurassic culture vulture in Ayutthaya could have trekked over an ancient Indonesian-like volcanic island chain, and some Khao Yai elephant-ancestor could have rampaged through the site of the Perth CBD.

Source: When Thailand and Australia were closer neighbours, tectonically speaking

Lost in literature: why we need to stop the quest for Suvarnabhumi

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via New Mandala, 10 October 2018: Is Suvarnabhumi even a real place?

While we have to appreciate the profound work of scholars like O.W. Wolters, H.G. Wales, Georges Coédes, and the impeccable work on Chinese texts by Paul Wheatley, historians have gotten used to treating Suvarnabhumi or its synonyms in other languages as a historical-geographical fact. I argue, instead, that Suvarnabhumi is a literary device. We need to work together as archaeologists, linguists, local and international, art historians, historians and heritage scholars to get rid of the idea of Suvarnabhumi as a physical location. I am not saying we should stop studying Suvarnabhumi, but perhaps it is time we stop treating it as a piece of empirical source material.

Source: Lost in literature: why we need to stop the quest for Suvarnabhumi [Part 1] – New Mandala

CFP: EUROSEAS Conference Berlin 2019

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The next EuroSEAS conference will be held in Berlin from 10-13 September 2019 and will be hosted by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Call for Panels
The European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) will hold its 10th conference from 10 to 13 September 2019 at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. As an international and multi-disciplinary organisation, EuroSEAS invites scholars and PhD students from all academic disciplines with an interest in Southeast Asia to submit panels that explore relevant research topics from an interdisciplinary perspective as well as discuss theoretical and methodological aspects of research generated in the field of Southeast Asian Studies.

Proposals are also invited for a limited number of roundtable discussions about recent developments in Southeast Asia and for laboratories that would develop cross-disciplinary collaboration. Proposals for panels, roundtables and laboratories do not need a list of participants, just an abstract and a convener will do!

Panels
Panels consist of a convener, 3-4 presenters, and if possible, a discussant. Double sessions of max 6 presentations are allowed. We invite panels on a wide range of topics in the social sciences and humanities of Southeast Asia. We prefer panels with a geographical comparative approach and panels that cross disciplinary boundaries. We especially invite panels on climate change, literature, performing arts, and archaeology – fields that were underrepresented in previous conferences.
Submission format: (1) title, (2) convener, (3) brief description of panel, max ½ page, (4) single session (1 x 90 min.): 3-4 presenters; double session (2 x 90 min.): 6 presenters, (5) optional: discussant.

Roundtables
Roundtables address current issues and new developments, and consist of a convener and max. 6 participants who prepare brief statements followed by audience discussion.
Submission format: (1) title, (2) convener, (3) explain in ½ page urgency of topic, (4) max 6 presenters.

Laboratories
Laboratories are closed meetings for young scholars to develop innovative cross-disciplinary plans. Laboratories run for half a day and consist of a convener and max 8 participants. Towards the end of the conference conveners will present the results of these meetings to a larger audience.
Submission format: (1) title, (2) convener, (3) explain in ½ page plans for discussion and collaboration, (4) max 8 participants.

Deadline
Please send your proposals to euroseas@kitlv.nl by 1 December 2018.

Inquiries
For inquiries, please contact Henk Schulte Nordholt (euroseas@kitlv.nl).

Please help take this survey on archaeology education in Southeast Asia

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SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

Regular readers of this blog will know that I work full-time in SEAMEO SPAFA, the Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts under the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization. I am currently conducting a large-scale regional survey to understand archaeology education in Southeast Asia: What is the regional archaeology education and industry landscape like? Where do people study archaeology in Southeast Asia? Where else in the world can you study about the archaeology of Southeast Asia? And what are the emerging training needs for regional archaeologists? To that effect, I hope you can help by taking part in our survey:

SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

The survey is open to everyone, anywhere in the world but especially since you are reading this blog, I am interested to hear from you. The online survey takes around 10-20 minutes to complete, and you can also choose to take the survey in Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, Myanma, Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia. The data gathered from the survey will be very useful in informing educators about the current needs in the region and help with medium-to-long term planning.

Your input is important! Please take the survey here: http://www.seameo-spafa.org/archaeology-education-survey/

Southeast Asian population boomed 4,000 years ago

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Clare McFadden, lead author. Source: ANU

via Science Daily/ANU, 20 September 2018: A new paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science shows evidence for a rapid population growth in Southeast Asia around 4,000 years ago using an analysis that takes into account the proportion of children and infants in population measurements.

Clare McFadden, lead author. Source: ANU

Clare McFadden, lead author. Source: ANU

Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have uncovered a previously unconfirmed population boom across South East Asia that occurred 4,000 years ago, thanks to a new method for measuring prehistoric population growth.

Using the new population measurement method, which utilises human skeletal remains, they have been able to prove a significant rapid increase in growth across populations in Thailand, China and Vietnam during the Neolithic Period, and a second subsequent rise in the Iron Age.

Source: Southeast Asian population boomed 4,000 years ago — ScienceDaily

SPAFACON2019 Call for Sessions

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SPAFACON2019 logo

It’s back! The 3rd SEAMEO SPAFA International Conference on Southeast Asian Archaeology will be held next year from 17-19 June 2019 (with optional site visits and workshops on 20-21). This time, the conference is jointly organised by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA) and the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture, Thailand. Disclosure: SEAMEO SPAFA is my employer, and I am part of the organising committee of the conference.

SPAFACON2019 logo

Right now we are accepting proposals for sessions and also starting up a mailing list for conference announcements. For more information on either, please visit the official conference website: http://www.seameo-spafa.org/conference2019/

New Journal: Asian Archaeology

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Asian Archaeology is a new journal focusing on… well I think the name is quite self-explanatory. I will add a link to the resources page.

Asian Archaeology is an academic English-language journal that publishes original studies based on field archaeological data as well as new theoretical and methodological analyses and synthetic overviews of topics in the field of Asian archaeology. The geographic scope of papers primarily extends across eastern Asia (including China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and the Russian Far East), mainland and island Southeast Asia, and Australia. The journal’s readership is international, with a target audience of scholars and students with English-language backgrounds from Europe, North America, and Asia. By breaking down the language barriers toward access to the archaeology of eastern Asia, Asian Archaeology serves as a central, international forum for the study of Asian archaeology. The journal aims to contribute not only to a better understanding of the history and cultures of Asia, but also to the development of a global approach to archaeology, and thus to play an active role in promoting the development of world archaeology and Asian archaeology

Source: Asian Archaeology – Springer

Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia Grants

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Impending grant opportunity from the Henry Luce Foundation. Formal calls or proposals are expected to be out later this year. For more details, please click on the link below.

The Henry Luce Foundation is pleased to announce our Directors’ approval in June 2018 of the Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia (LuceSEA). The central objective of LuceSEA is to strengthen the study of Southeast Asia in American higher education by providing resources for the creation of models, strategies and partnerships that not only bolster existing program structures but also take them in new directions.

LuceSEA is a multi-year grants competition designed to encourage innovation in Southeast Asian studies through support for

  • work in new and emerging areas of inquiry and the expansion of direct engagement with scholars and institutions in Southeast Asia;
  • collaborations and networks that link academic centers to each other and with partners outside academia; and
  • the enhancement of core scholarly infrastructure for teaching and research relevant to Southeast Asia.

Within American philanthropic circles, the Luce Foundation is unique in its longstanding support for Southeast Asian studies. It is an appropriate moment for the Foundation to reinvest in the field, to ensure that it remains vibrant and relevant.

Source: Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia