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?
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.