[Lecture] Buddhist Accounts of Maritime Crossing in the Southern Seas

No Comments

Readers in Singapore may be interested in this talk at ISEAS, as part of the Singapore’s Pasts lecture series.

Date: Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Time: 3.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2

 

About the Lecture
The talk will present select passages of Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan sources narrating the sea passages of Buddhist monks travelling by ship between India and China via Southeast Asia. In particular, it will discuss the trope of the “miraculous aversion of shipwrecks”, highlighting the elements of intertextuality that emerge from the accounts. It will then analyse a similar motif found in the Sejarah Melayu, namely the avoidance of shipwrecks by Sang Nila Utama on the occasion of his crossing of the Straits. On the basis of this passage and other textual and archaeological evidence, it will argue that the Sejarah Melayu features pre-Islamic elements drawn from a “Buddhist fund” going back to the polity of Śrīvijaya.

About the Speaker
Andrea Acri (PhD Leiden University, 2011) is Assistant Professor in Tantric Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (PSL University, Paris), and Associate Fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre. He has held various research and teaching positions in India, Singapore, the UK, and Australia. He has authored articles in international academic journals and published edited volumes on Shaiva and Buddhist tantric traditions in South and Southeast Asia, as well as wider cultural and historical dynamics of Intra-Asian connectivity. His monograph Dharma Pātañjala, originally appeared in the Gonda Indological Studies Series (Egbert Forsten/Brill, 2011), has been recently republished in India by Aditya Prakashan (New Delhi, 2017), and is being published in Indonesian translation by EFEO/Gramedia.

NSC-ISEAS Visiting Fellowship in Buddhist Studies

No Comments

Visiting Fellowship position open in Singapore focusing on Buddhist archaeology in Southeast Asia. Deadline is 31 March 2016.

banner_nalanda_sriwijaya_centre

Visiting Fellowship at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore

The Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC) of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) in Singapore pursues research on historical interactions among Asian societies and civilizations prior to the 17th century. NSC is now accepting applications for Visiting Fellowship positions from scholars at all ranks who wish to undertake research and writing under the following themes:

1. Buddhist History in Southeast Asia
2. Buddhist Links and Networks between Southeast Asia and other Asian countries
3. Buddhist Archaeology, Material Culture and Art in Southeast Asia

The Visiting Fellowship will be for one year, with a possibility of extension. Post-doctoral applicants are also welcome but should have graduated with a PhD no longer than three years prior to their successful appointment at NSC.

Commencement date will be from June 2016.
More details here.

Public Lecture: Buddhist Archaeology in Myanmar: International and Local Landscapes

No Comments

A public lecture by Prof. Elizabeth Moore on her work in Bagan.

P1050289

Buddhist Archaeology in Myanmar: International and Local Landscapes
Elizabeth Moore
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
13 April 2015, 3-4.30pm

With the 2014 UNESCO World Heritage inscription of the early Buddhist ‘Pyu Ancient Cities’, discussions are underway at the ‘Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments’ included on the country’s Tentative List revised in 2014. Bagan’s arid environment, with less than 600 mm of rainfall per annum, has helped to preserve mural paintings in several hundreds of the thousands of brick structures of the ancient city. The temples and stupas are laid out across a broad floodplain between ranges on the opposite bank of the river and to the southeast. The traditional rural setting of the temples scattered between village fields has been sustained with cultivation of sugar palms, onions and beans relying on a delicate system of water management. There is the life of the Ayeyarwaddy River as well, with sand-cultivation and boats plying up and down at small jetties. Greening projects plus the infrastructure and water needs of expanding tourism have put increasing pressure on this extraordinary ecology and way of life. The living culture of Bagan includes at least 400 active monasteries. Bagan has a deep and long-lived significance as a pilgrimage destination, where the charitable donation underlying customary repair of pagodas often runs counter to international preservation norms. There is, in addition, the relationship of villages and monasteries to temple festivals and the most popular pilgrimage circuits. Both the rich archaeology and this living heritage of Bagan are part of current research as well heritage activities at international and local levels of Myanmar’s ancient landscapes.

More details here.

Public Lecture: The Khmer Empire and its Road Network

No Comments

Cambodian archaeologist Ea Darith will be giving a presentation in Singapore next month. Readers in Singapore may want to check it out.

Update: The lecture is now in Youtube. You can view it here.

The Khmer Empire and its Road Network
Date: 12 February 2015
Time: 3.00 – 4.30 pm
Venue: Seminar Room 2, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

From the 9th to 15th century, the Khmer Empire ruled over a large area of Mainland Southeast Asia, which was bordered by China to the north; the Malay Peninsula to the south; the Mon state to the west; and Champa and Daiviet to the east. The empire’s capital was located in the Angkor area and consisted of a concentrated series of monumental structures. These included a large capital city complex which encompassed a 3×3 km area (now called Angkor Thom), and the state temple of Angkor Wat—the largest Hindu temple in the world to date. The Angkor complex also consisted of huge eastern and western water reservoirs, canal systems, hundreds of other smaller temples, as well as a road network from the Angkor capital to other provinces within its domain.

In order to solidify control over this vast area, the rulers of Angkor constructed many roads that connected the Angkor capital to its former capitals as well as new conquered territories. There were two roads to the east and northeast of Angkor which connected to the former capital cities of Sambor Prei Kuk, Kok Ker, and Wat Phu. To the west and northwest, there were two roads that had connections to Phimai, Sdok Kak Thom, and probably Lopburi. The late 12th century Preah Khan temple inscription tells us that there are 121 rest houses and 102 hospitals located along these roads and provincial cities. The inscriptions also clearly mentioned 17 rest houses along the 245-km-road from Angkor to Phimai, which was considered the northwestern region.

The Living Angkor Road Project (LARP), a Cambodian–Thai joint research project, has been conducting research along the said road since 2005. The team has already identified 32 ancient bridges, 385 water structures, 134 temples, 17 rest houses, 8 hospitals, a number of iron smelting sites, hundreds of stoneware ceramic kilns, and many habitation sites.

Registration details here.

Public Lecture: Settlement Archaeology of Late 14th to 17th Century in West Sumatra

No Comments

Another upcoming lecture at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies by Dr Mai Lin Tjoa-Bonatz, on the archaeology of West Sumatra.

Settlement Archaeology of Late 14th to 17th Century in West Sumatra
Dr. Mai Lin Tjoa-Bonatz, Research Associate, Freie Universität Berlin
Date: Monday, 24 June 2013
Time: 10.30 am– 12.00 nn
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room II
Read More

Public Lecture: Research at the Cheung Ek Archaeological Site

No Comments

Readers in Singapore may be interested in this upcoming talk at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies by Dr Phon Kaseka on the Cheung Ek Archaeological Site.

Research at the Cheung Ek Archaeological Site
Phon Kaseka, Director, Archaeology Department, Royal Academy of Cambodia
Date: Monday, 17 June 2013
Time: 3.30 – 5.00 pm
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room II

Read More

Same-Same, but Different: The Rock Art of Southeast Asia

No Comments

A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation about the rock art of Southeast Asia at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, where I am based for most of this year. My colleagues at the the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre’s Archaeology Unit made a recording of the lecture and have uploaded it on Youtube:

Part 1:

Read More

Lecture: The Decline of the VOC Trade in Indian Textiles to Southeast Asia in the 17th Century

No Comments

Readers in Singapore may be interested in this upcoming lecture by Dr. Ruurdje Laarhoven.

The Decline of the VOC Trade in Indian Textiles to Southeast Asia in the 17th Century
Date: 23 April 2012
Time: 4.00 – 5.30pm
Venue: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Seminar Room II
More details here.

Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Field School opens in Singapore

No Comments
Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Field School 2012

The Singapore part of the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Field School opened today at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Field School 2012

Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Field School 2012

The opening ceremony this morning saw an opening address by the director of ISEAS, Ambassador K. Kesavapany, the guest-of-honour Prof. Prasenjit Duara of the Asia Research Institute and a lecture on the archaeology of Singapore by Porf. John Miksic.

The participants are a varied bunch, representing the a spectrum from the East Asia Summit countries. Over the next two weeks, they will be attending lectures on various topics, getting some lab experience with handling ceramics and embarking on some field trips. I’ll be tagging along on some of these field trips to some of the museums – especially the ones I haven’t had a chance to visit yet. Stay tuned!