New Journal: Pratu – Journal of Buddhist and Hindu Art, Architecture and Archaeology of Ancient to Premodern Southeast Asia

Check out this new journal from Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme at SOAS. The journal is calling for papers for the inaugural 2019 issue, see here.

Journal of Buddhist and Hindu Art, Architecture and Archaeology of Ancient to Premodern Southeast Asia

Pratu: Journal of Buddhist and Hindu Art, Architecture and Archaeology of Ancient to Premodern Southeast Asia is the initiative of a group of research students in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS University of London in collaboration with departmental mentors. The journal is funded by the Alphawood Foundation, under the auspices of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme (SAAAP). The student editorial group works closely with an advisory group formed of members of SAAAP’s Research & Publications Committee.

Pratu is conceived as a site for emerging scholars to publish new research on the ancient to premodern Buddhist and Hindu visual and material culture of Southeast Asia. The journal’s remit adheres to that of SAAAP itself, covering ‘study of the built environment, sculpture, painting, illustrated texts, textiles and other tangible or visual representations, along with the written word related to these, and archaeological, museum and cultural heritage’.

Pratu means ‘gateway’ or ‘entrance’ in several Southeast Asian languages. The salience of the term for our project lies in its etymological development, where the application of Khmer morphology to Tai terminology to name architectural structures of Indic fame betrays the complexity of the historical evolution of Southeast Asian Buddhist and Hindu traditions. The journal is a gateway: a space of access and transition that reflects our aim to facilitate new scholars’ first experiences with academic publishing as they move from student to early career researcher status. This includes Southeast Asian scholars who would like to reach a wider readership by publishing in English translation and benefitting from the peer-review process. In this way Pratu offers greater exposure to scholars and new research, and furthers the development of inter-institutional and international collaboration.

Source: Pratu

Need a Date? Beta Analytic is giving away AMS dates in a raffle

We are inviting all undergrad and postgrad students who need radiocarbon dating to join our raffle. We are giving away five (5) AMS dates worth US$595 each. The raffle is open to all students in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. We will select one winner per region.

To join the raffle, please fill out the form found in our raffle page which requires a description of your research that needs AMS dating. Winners are required to show proof of enrollment for any semester in 2018. For details, please visit https://www.radiocarbon.com/raffle.htm

Radiocarbon Date Raffle | Beta Analytic

Call for Papers: Decolonising Southeast Asia’s Past: Archaeology, History of Art, and National Boundaries

Call for Papers: Conference, “Decolonising Southeast Asia’s Past: Archaeology, History of Art, and National Boundaries,” 13-14 Sept 2018, at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Tha Prachan Campus, Bangkok. Abstracts due by 15 May.
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Abstract:
The construction of Southeast Asia’s past developed significantly from the nineteenth century, as a result of a search for the roots of the modern nation-state and Western colonial attempts to explain the history of colonized countries. History, Archaeology, and History of Art as disciplines therefore played an important role in this period. Today, these colonial productions are still being reproduced, although some earlier perspectives have been challenged by scholars for being based on a Western point of view.

This 2018 international conference aims to explore and reconsider Southeast Asia’s past from different perspectives, paradigms, and methodologies.
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This conference will be divided into 3 major panels:
1. Archaeology:
Major themes: post-colonial archaeology, decolonizing colonial archaeological knowledge, post-processual archaeology, and interpretative archaeology (hermeneutics)
Conveners: Dr. Rasmi Schoocongdej, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University
Dr. Podjanok Kanjanajuntorn, Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology

2. History of Art:
Major themes: post-colonial art history, post-structuralism in history of art, gender, critical thinking and ancient art, contemporary art
Conveners: Prof. Dr. Ashley Thompson, SOAS, University of London
Udomluck Hoontrakul, PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London

3. States and Borders:
Major themes: ethnic conflict and borders, knowledge without borders, the problem of state polity concepts in Southeast Asia, the problem of national borders in art history and archaeology
Conveners: Prof. Dr. Mandy Sadan, SOAS, University of London
Udomluck Hoontrakul, PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London
Panel coordinator: Assist. Prof. Pipad Krajaejun, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
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Target Participants:
This will be a fairly focused conference that aims to draw small but enthusiastic groups of scholars and researchers from a wide range of research interests on issues related to Southeast Asia. The target presenters and participants include:
– University lecturers and school teachers
– Researchers
– Non-affiliated academics
– Postgraduate students
– Government and Non-Governmental Organization officials
– General Public
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Call for Papers:
– An abstract of no more than 200 words, deadline 15th May 2018
– Submit to: decolonisingSEApast@gmail.com, AND https://goo.gl/forms/8YLmZcCSEza89NZN2
– Full papers of 3000 words, to be submitted by 31st October 2018
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Conference Format:
A typical conference with keynote papers (50 minutes + 10 minutes of questions/discussion = 1 hour) and parallel paper sessions (25 minutes + 5 minutes questions/discussion = 30 minutes).
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Conference Proceedings:
Presenters can submit their full papers to be selected for publication in the online, peer-reviewed conference proceedings.
Alternatively, papers can be submitted to peer-reviewed journals under supervision of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University such as the Journal of Liberal Arts (TCI Tier 1), the Journal of Language and Linguistics (TCI Tier 1), and the Journal of History.
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Registration and Fee:
Speakers: 1200 Thai Baht; Poster Presentations: 800 Thai Baht; Participants (including students): 500 Thai Baht [no fee distinction between Thai citizens and international presenters. Registration fees to be paid in CASH on the first day of the conference].
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Cultural Walk (Optional):
On Wednesday 12th September 2018, a cultural walk/sight-seeing will be organized to the Grand Palace or other tourist attractions in a walking distance from the conference venue. Bookings can be made on the Registration Form.
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Important dates/deadlines:
– Last day of abstract submission: 15th May 2018
– Notification of Acceptance: 31st May 2018
– Deadline for full paper submission: 31st October 2018
– Notification of Acceptance for publication on conference proceedings: 30th November 2018
– Proceedings Publication (online): 31st December 2018
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For further information, please send an email to
decolonisingSEApast@gmail.com, LATU2018@arts.tu.ac.th

Decolonise science – time to end another imperial era

via The Conversation, 05 April 2018: An important discussion to be held in the context of archaeology and Southeast Asia.

A long read on how science’s dark imperial past still shapes research today – and what to do about it.

Source: Decolonise science – time to end another imperial era

New evidence about the ancient humans who occupied Asia is cascading in

via Aeon.co, 29 MArch 2018:

Modern humans arose only once, in Africa, about 200,000 years ago. They then spread across Eurasia some time after 60,000 years ago, replacing whatever indigenous populations they met with no interbreeding. This is the ‘Out of Africa’ model, as it’s commonly known. In the 1990s, the hypothesis found widespread acceptance by palaeoanthropologists, especially when the first analyses of Neanderthal DNA seemed to indicate that Neanderthals and modern humans did not interbreed. But this popular idea is in need of revision, particularly given the number of important findings across Asia over the past few decades.

Source: In to Asia | Aeon

Job vacancies: two junior postdoctoral researchers – KITLV

KITLV-KNAW aims to be a world-class research institute for the interdisciplinary study of Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, with a focus on Indonesia and the ‘Dutch’ Caribbean. We are looking for two junior postdoctoral researchers

The applicants:
– have research experience in the field of the humanities or social sciences, on and in Southeast Asia or the Caribbean
– have completed a PhD thesis in one of these fields no earlier than February 2016
– have published at least one article in a peer-reviewed international journal
– speak at least one of the local languages of either of these areas
– preferably have affinity with new tools and research methods in audiovisual media and/or e-humanities

During their appointment the researchers:
– will conduct research within the following research clusters: State, Violence and Citizenship or Mobility and Belonging.
– are expected to prepare a project proposal which will be submitted to an external funding agency such as a NWO/VENI or ERC grant.
– will publish their thesis and write articles to be submitted to international peer reviewed journal

Source: Job vacancies: two junior postdoctoral researchers – KITLV

Funding Opportunity: Baldwin Fellowship Funded by the National Geographic Society

We are pleased to announce that The Leakey Foundation has partnered with the National Geographic Society to provide additional Baldwin Fellowship funding for paleoanthropology students from South, Southeast, and East Asia. This partnership will allow us to award more Baldwin Fellowships per year and will further help us provide students with the opportunity to get advanced education and training in paleoanthropology.

The countries included in this new opportunity are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Source: The Leakey Foundation | Baldwin Fellows Funded by the National Geographic Society

Recapping New York v. Nancy Wiener – The Antiquities Coalition Blog

via The Antiquities Coalition Blog: The first of a four-part story on the case of a New York art dealer’s arrest and her part in the looted antiquities trade.

This is the first of a four-part series that will recap the ongoing case of Nancy Wiener’s arrest for antiquities trafficking in the run-up to Asia Week 2018, held March 15-24 in New York.

Source: Recapping New York v. Nancy Wiener – The Antiquities Coalition Blog

Malaysia firms plunder sunken wrecks for rare steel used to make sensitive medical, scientific equipment

via The Straits Times, 27 Feb 2018: New research on the illegal plunder of shipwrecks in Southeast Asian waters highlight the role of Malaysian firms

SE Asia News -PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Some Malaysian salvage firms are working with an international syndicate to plunder sunken wartime wrecks in search for rare and highly-sought low-background steel, used in sensitive medical and scientific equipment.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Source: Malaysia firms plunder sunken wrecks for rare steel used to make sensitive medical, scientific equipment, SE Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther

via The Hopkins Exhibitionist, 22 Feb 2018: Not directly related to Southeast Asia, and contains spoilers to the movie Blank Panther; but the scene in discussion takes place in a museum and is quite relevant in the Southeast Asian context where many exhibits were simple taken from their host countries and put on display:

It is worth considering the aspects of the scene that are realities in the modern museum. African artifacts such as those shown in the film’s museum are likely taken from a home country under suspicious circumstances, such as notable artifacts in real-life Britain like the Benin bronzes which now reside at the British Museum. It is often the case that individuals will know their own culture as well as or better than a curator, but are not considered valuable contributors because they lack a degree. People of color are less represented in museum spaces, and often experience undue discrimination while entering gallery spaces. Finally, museums are experiencing an influx of white women filling staff roles, leading to homogenized viewpoints, and lack senior staff with diverse backgrounds. With these truths represented in such a short but poignant scene, the tension between audiences and institutions is played out to the extreme.

It is uncomfortable for many institutions to even broach the subject of the museum’s complicated relationship with audiences of color, but Black Panther has created an impeccable opportunity for institutions to begin a dialogue with their community. So many people will see this film; the scene may only reinforce their conception of museums, or it may open their eyes to the realities of the complicated relationship between the universal museum and colonialism, and museums need to be prepared to actively engage with this topic rather than avoiding the uncomfortable truths that are now out in the open on cinema screens.

Source: Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther