CFP: 10th Postgraduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies

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Of potential interest to postgraduate students. The ARI Postgraduate forum has in the past had panels for Southeast Asian archaeology.

10th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies
Date: 24-26 June 2015
Venue: National University of Singapore, Bukit Timah Campus
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Call for Papers: 5th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asia

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Sorry for posting this late – since the deadline is this Friday! Over the past few years, an number of excellent papers related to archaeology have been presented at the ARI graduate forum.

5th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asia Studies
Date: 5 – 9 Jul 2010
Venue: Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore @ BTC
Deadline for submission: 09 April
Details here
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Asian Art History at the Asia Research Institute

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Dr Moore’s presentation “Public Art and the Shwedagon in the 19-20th century” might be of interest to readers of this blog. The roundtable on Asian Art History is happening TOMORROW (29 September 2009) at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. Details and registration here.

Asian Art History Roundtable
Public Art and the Shwedagon in the 19-20th century (Dr Elizabeth Moore)
Date: Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009
Time: 4 – 5.30pm
Venue: ARI Seminar Room, Tower Block Level 10, National University of Singapore @ BTC
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Call for papers: 4th Asian Graduate Forum On Southeast Asian Studies

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The Graduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies is back again! The forum is organised by the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. Registration details can be found here.

4th Asian Graduate Forum On Southeast Asian Studies
Date: 13 Jul 2009 – 17 Jul 2009
Venue: National University of Singapore, Bukit Timah Campus & Kent Ridge Campus
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Public Lecture: A Tale of Two Kingdoms by Prof Michael Aung-Thwin

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Readers in Singapore interested in Burmese history might be interested in this public lecture by Prof. Michael Aung-Thwin on the Ava and Pegu kingdoms in 15th century Burma.

BURMA-THAI STUDY GROUP – A Tale of Two Kingdoms: Ava and Pegu in 15th-Century Burma by Prof Michael Aung-Thwin
11 Mar 2009, 3.30 pm
NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, AS3, Level 6, SEA Seminar Room 2 (#06-02)

“Burma” in the 15th century was one of reformulation as well as newness: whereas the Kingdom of Ava was a reformulation of Pagan, the Kingdom of Pegu was new. For Ava, it was a familiar situation: the same material environment and demographic base, the same economic, social and political institutions, the same language, writing system, cosmology, and culture. For Pegu, although it also shared the same script, cosmology and conceptual system, some of the same history, and used the physical infrastructure laid there by the Pyu earlier and Pagan later, the kingdom itself was new, created and led by newcomers to Lower Burma in a new socio-cultural and geo-economic setting of the late 13th century. The situation was thus a co-existence of both old and new, in time and in space. As such, Ava and Pegu represent less an irreconcilable, binary antithesis, but a workable synthesis in a dualism of differences. That dualism between Ava’s oldness and Pegu’s newness especially during most of the 15th century is an example, par excellence, of the “upstream-downstream” paradigm, a nearly universal principle in Southeast Asian history. It had consequences for both the history and historiography of Burma.

More information and registration details on the NUS Asia Research Institute Website.

Seminar: Recovering Lost Gems of Myanmar's Past: Collecting, Preserving, and Accessing Old Texts from Palm Leaves and Parabike Manuscripts

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Please find registration information at the ARI website or at the end of this post.

Recovering Lost Gems of Myanmar’s Past: Collecting, Preserving, and Accessing Old Texts from Palm Leaves and Parabike Manuscripts
by Dr Thaw Kaung

Date: 23/10/2008
Time: 16:00 – 18:00
Venue: ARI Seminar Room, 469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road, National University of Singapore @ BTC
Organisers: Dr Maitrii Aung-Thwin & Dr Titima Suthiwan
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Call for papers: Heritage in Asia

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Heritage in Asia: Converging Forces and Conflicting Values
An International Conference, 08-10th January 2009
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

Abstract Deadline: 01 September 2008
Further Details and Submission Form Available the Asia Research Institute website.

Rapid economic and social change across Asia today means the region’s heritage is at once under threat and undergoing a revival as never before. Expanding infrastructures, increasing incomes, liberalizing economies and the lowering of borders, both physical and political, are all converging as powerful forces transforming Asia’s social, cultural and physical landscapes. But as the region’s societies look forward, there are competing forces that ensure they re-visit the past and the inherited. In recent years the idea of ‘heritage’ – both natural and cultural – has come to the fore across Asia, driven by a language of identity, tradition, revival, and sustainability. For some, heritage has become an effective means for protecting those landscapes, rituals, artifacts or traditional values endangered by rapid socio-economic change. For others, it has emerged as a valuable resource for achieving wider goals such as poverty alleviation, the legitimization of narratives of place and past, nation building or the cultural profiling of citizens. And yet for others, heritage protection is an obstacle inhibiting progress, national unification, or the shedding of unwanted memories.

In a region of immensely uneven change – such that the pre-/industrial and post-industrial all co-exist to create simultaneous presents – major analytical challenges arise from the need to preserve, safeguard and restore in contexts where aspirations for modernization and development are powerful and legitimate forces. To date however, much of the analysis of heritage in Asia has relied upon inherited or borrowed conceptions, and assumptions about what should be valued and privileged. The legacies of colonialism, state-centric agendas, social inequality, and the uneasy management of pluralist populations all conspire to stifle open and innovative discussion. There is little doubt that over the coming decade the contestations surrounding heritage in Asia will continue to intensify, whereby converging forces and conflicting values are the norm.
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Public lecture: The Mỹ Sơn and Pô Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries

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From the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore:

The Mỹ Sơn and Pô Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries: On the Cosmological Dualist Cult of the Champa Kingdom in Central Vietnam as Seen from Art and Anthropology by Dr Tran Ky-Phuong

Date: 23/04/2008
Time: 15:00 – 16:30
Venue: Asia Research Institute, 469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road, National University of Singapore @ BTC
Organisers: Dr TRAN Thi Que Ha

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Public Lecture: From Indigenous to Islamic law: Jambi between the 14th and 18th Century by Dr Uli Kozok

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From the National University of Singapore Asia Research Institute:

From Indigenous to Islamic law: Jambi between the 14th and 18th Century by Dr Uli Kozok
Date: 10 Jan 2008
Time: 4 – 5.30 pm
Venue: ARI Seminar Room, 469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road, National University of Singapore @ BTC
Organisers: Dr MILLER Michelle, Jointly organized with the Department of Malay Studies, NUS

The 14th century manuscript from the village of Tanjung Tanah, Kerinci (Jambi), which is still partly written in an Sanskritised idiom, was issued by the Maharaja of Dharmasraya, the former capital of the Malayu kingdom, to provide the “chiefs of the land of Kerinci” with a code of law. This manuscript, still written in an Old Sumatran script on bark paper, was a few centuries later reissued by the Sultan of Jambi, but this time on paper and in Arabic-Malay script. The two manuscripts, both in the possession of the same family in Tanjung Tanah, does not only give us interesting insights into the changes that the Malay language underwent from the 14th to the 18th century, but also into how the arrival of Islam influenced the legal system of a Sumatran Malay polity.

About the Speaker
1989 MA, 1994 PhD Austronesian Languages and Cultures, Hamburg University. 1994-2001 Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland, 2001- Associate Professor, University of Hawaii (Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures). Main interests comprise Sumatran philology, palaeography of Island Southeast Asia, distance education.

We would gratefully request that you RSVP to Ms Alyson Rozells at 65168787 or e-mail her at

Public Lecture: "Malay Ethnic Identity: Unravelling the Historical from the Discursive"

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On face value, this looks like a lecture dealing with the politics of identity and ethnicity, but the historical approach that Prof Andaya is taking particularly through the history of the Malayu that have their origins in Srivijayan Sumatra should be quite interesting from an archaeological perspective. Courtesy of the Singapore Heritage Email List

Malay Ethnic Identity: Unravelling the Historical from the Discursive by Prof Leonard Andaya
15 November 2007
1700 hrs
National University of Singapore Bukit Timah Campus, 469 Bukit Timah Road, Blk B, Level 3, Auditorium
Organised by Asia Research Institute, East Asian Institute, Faculty of Law, Institute of South Asian Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

In recent years there has been a considerable number of works devoted to analyzing “Malay” identity. Such discussion often begins with the Malaysian Constitutional determination of who can legally claim to be a Malay. The more informed will cite social science theories on ethnicity and identity to emphasize the power relationships involved in the determination of any ethnic identity. Any discussion of Malay ethnic identity, therefore, often begins in the nineteenth century with the attempt by colonial authorities to identify, classify, and hence control. While governments changed over the years, the relationship between power and classification hence control was maintained. But is this the whole story of Malay ethnic identity? In this paper I attempt to demonstrate that the ethnic group called “Malayu” can be traced to the early history of the archipelago. By adopting a historical approach extending deep into the past, it is possible to see how the discursive identity associated with power relationships operated on one level, while another level existed in the marketplace. Practical economic and social factors at the ordinary level of people’s lives helped to sustain ethnic identities that did not always coincide with the government’s prescriptions. It is this dual perception that helps to ameliorate some of the harshness that at times pervades government ethnic rhetoric.

About the Speaker:
Professor Andaya received a BA in History from Yale University, and an MA and PhD in Southeast Asian history at Cornell University. He has held positions at the University of Malaya, the Australian National University, the University of Auckland, and the University of Hawaii, where he has been professor of Southeast Asian history since 1993.

His area of research specialization is Malaysia and Indonesia in the early modern period (c. 1500-c. 1800). Among his publications are The History of Johor (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1975), A History of Malaysia (with Barbara Watson Andaya) (London: Macmillan, 1981), The Heritage of Arung Palakka: A History of South Sulawesi in the 17th Century (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982), and The World of Maluku: Eastern Indonesia in the Early Modern Period (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993). A second edition of A History of Malaysia was published in December, 2000. His latest book is called, Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka, and will be published by the University of Hawai’i Press in March, 2008.

He was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to conduct research in Indonesia and The Netherlands in 2008 for a book on the history of eastern Indonesia in the early modern period.