Copy

Good morning!

Special Coverage of the Recent Coup in Myanmar  ○ We Celebrate Black History Month in SEARG Scripts ○ New conferences, funding opportunities, and job postings ○ Let's first look at general updates and reminders.



General Updates
 
In light of recent events, SEARG officers would like to propose an additional procedure be added to the organization's official by-laws. We will be presenting the addition to our by-laws for an organization vote next week but wanted to hear back from all of you for suggestions first. We have opened up the below Google Poll as a means to give that feedback. Google Poll.
 


Mark your calendar:


SEARG would like to thank the Harvey Goldberg Center, Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program for their co-sponsorship of this special event. Due to international promotion and a 300-person max capacity, we ask that you join us early to guarantee your seat on Friday, February 19th at 11:00pm (CST) - https://uwmadison.zoom.us/j/99794913522
As always, if you enjoy our newsletters, but have not subscribed yet, please click on the button below! Make your New Year's resolution of becoming more involved with SEARG a reality with a free subscription to our newsletter!
 
Subscribe


SEARG Scripts: Is the field Brown or white?
 Editors: Omar Dumdum, Akarath Soukhaphon, and Philip Cerepak
 
As we celebrate Black History Month, the academia is again put on the spotlight for being too white and too male. On social media, Black scholars use #BlackInTheIvory to share their experiences as victims of institutional racism. We also hear similar stories of white privilege seeping in different fields — sciences, history, economics, communication, international relations, anthropology. An underlying cause seems to point to the lack of diverse representation. Last year, a group of political science grad students at UW-Madison found that their department has never employed more than one Black faculty at a given time from 1970 to 2020. Despite their liberal progressive stance, universities have not been a safe haven for conversations about race and racism.
 
Which brings us to the question: Is Southeast Asian studies also too white? We may not have definite answers to this. Indeed, there are theoretical strides equipping scholars to resist Western colonial ideas, as well as other types of racial privileges, that may provide condescending or romanticized views of Southeast Asia, its people, culture and arts. (Emphasis on “theoretical,” as it might just be on paper.)

One area where postcolonialism is ripe is in literary studies. In this episode, we talk with Jacqulyn Teoh, a doctoral candidate at the English department, in looking at possible links of whiteness or anti-Blackness in Southeast Asian literature. As you could infer from our conversation, and as befits the topic of literature, we leave every rhetoric to your imagination and soul.
 

 

Polish-British novelist Joseph Conrad (image taken from Rosenbach.org)
 

SEARG:
Hello Jackie! Thanks so much for visiting our show. Let’s start with this mammoth of a question. "Postcolonialism" is a big term in academia that has become overused or loaded. Could you first give us a brief explanation of what postcolonialism means, and how it is used particularly in your field in literary studies?
 
Jackie:
You're right that "postcolonialism" is a "big" term. Some may say it's superannuated. Others insist that it still retains critical power. I'm going to leave it to someone whose career has been built on this very term to define it — watch: What is Postcolonialism

SEARG:
So how does one use theories or concepts of postcolonialism to examine Southeast Asian literature?

Jackie:
This depends on how you define postcolonialism in the first place, and the extent to which such theories of postcolonialism are adaptable to or challenged by SEAsian literature. But what is SEAsian literature anyway?

SEARG:
Well, for one, there is of course an intersection between postcolonialism and race. What do you think is the role of "whiteness" in Southeast Asian literature, and would you say there are traces of "anti-Blackness" in this field of arts?

Jackie:
I've not come across traces of "anti-Blackness" in Southeast Asian literature. That said, the Malaysian author Tash Aw has written an NYTimes op-ed about the way Africans tend to be treated in Malaysia. You can imagine it's not pretty. I'd say watch his future work for more on this angle. Another text which comes to mind that is not so much about anti-Blackness as it is about a Black person being in SEAsia is Richard Wright's The Color Curtain, which is basically his account of his attendance at the 1955 Bandung Conference. See also Indonesian Notebook.
 
As for "whiteness" (I refuse to capitalize the w, sorry) — just as a starting point, take a look at Joseph Conrad's Malay-world works. I also highly recommend a delightful bizarre little novella by Balzac titled Voyage de Paris à Java. But if you're thinking more contemporary — I mean, let's think about how white-adjacent Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians enterprise is.

(Editors’ note: We agree in lowercasing the term “white” in racial, ethnic, and cultural senses.)

SEARG:
What do you think are some practical approaches for artists in general, or literary authors in particular, to address the critical issues surfaced by postcolonialism?

Jackie:
No idea; I'm definitely not an artist or an author! If this question were taken seriously, the discussion would probably circle fruitlessly around the extent to which art is political and can still be called art, etc.

SEARG:
Before we let you go, can you tell us more about what you’re working on for your dissertation?

Jackie:
My dissertation explores how the concept of the "niche" can be useful for rethinking several paradigms of transnational literary interaction, with a focus on texts about Southeast Asia and by Southeast Asian/Southeast Asian American authors.

SEARG:
Thanks, Jackie, and all the best in your dissertation!
 
SEARG Members' Chronicle: Myanmar Coup
By: Matt Venker
Written February 11, 2021
 
Early on the morning of February 1st, 2021 the military (Tatmadaw) of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar detained members of the civilian government alongside numerous activists, writers, and others who have spoken out against the military. On the pretext of electoral irregularities, the military declared a one-year state of emergency, transferring acting presidential power to the military-backed vice president, Myint Swe, who transferred power to the military’s Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
           
Both within and outside Myanmar, people are asking why the military staged this coup – and why they chose this particular moment to execute it. The country’s 2008 constitution - which was itself drafted by military – enshrined the political role of the military, protecting it from civilian oversight. Over the past decade, operating within the bounds of the constitution allowed senior military officials to maintain power and access to lucrative business networks, especially those related to resource extraction, while shifting international condemnation for things like a stagnant national peace process, the genocide of the Rohingya, and stalled economic progress onto the civilian government. The seeming illogic of deposing the civilian government under these conditions has led observers to title the move ‘the Stupid Coup’ and speculate on where the ambitions and vanities of Min Aung Hlaing, who was facing a forced retirement upon turning 65 this summer, fit into the decision. Without overdetermining the role that ‘palace intrigue’ and clashes of personalities played in relationship to more structural factors, it’s worth noting that we simply might not have the exact answer as to why the coup happened, and why it happened now, for at least a while yet.
           
What we do know now, though, is that the people of Myanmar are not standing for this latest attempt to deprive them of a future free of military domination. After a cautious first day immediately post-coup, on Tuesday February 2nd, medical workers began leading a civil disobedience campaign, refusing to work under the military regime. Deposed members of parliament defied the military to form a virtual Committee Representing the Pyithu Hluttaw (the national parliament), taking virtual oaths of office and demanding to be recognized as the sole legitimate government. Over the weekend, protests exploded throughout the nation, spreading in major urban centers, small towns, and rural villages alike. By this writing on February 11th, there have been six straight days of protests, with workers from many different sectors – including labor unions, farmers, civil servants, teachers, and students, among others – have joined the work stoppage movement in an effort to disrupt the military’s capacity to get anything done so long as they are in power.  
           
The next chapter of this saga remains unwritten. The threat of violence looms large: over 200 people are reported to have been arrested for their political activities; the death of a young woman protesting against the erasure of her first ever vote was the first confirmed police killing just days before her twentieth birthday, and people fear what may come next if the military, which is seen as more trigger-happy than the police force, is further involved in the suppression of the protests. Intermittent internet shutoffs and the blocking of Facebook, combined with the recent introduction of a new cyber security law, raise concerns about the both the harsh punishment of expressions of dissent, as well as the ability of protestors to communicate amongst themselves and get news of their situation to the international community. 

Yet, observing the movement from afar, I’m struck by the potent optimism the protestors have for their capacity to take control over their own national future. People believe that this moment provides an opportunity to call not only for the release and reinstatement of NLD leaders, but for the abolition of the 2008 constitution and with it a system of rights and government forever tethered to the capricious beneficence of military despots. Protestors have felt empowered by this historical moment to proudly proclaim that they are standing up against the military as Rohingya-, as Muslim-, as gay-, queer-, and trans-defenders of democracy, publicly asserting the place these historically stigmatized identities should have in a new Myanmar. Police have switched sides to stand with protestors; stores have pulled products linked to military companies off of shelves. In a televised address last night Min Aung Hlaing plead for government workers to return to their jobs, a possible sign of the shaky footing the coup party now stands on as its pillars of support crumble all around. The road to true democracy in Myanmar remains long – but people are working hard to ensure that this coup is only a detour.

For Continuing Coverage, Matt has provided a live document with links as new events unfold: Informing Responses to the the 2021 Military Coup in Myanmar
 

SEARG Member Bios


Name: Jackie Teoh
Major Degree and Status: Literary Studies, almost out the door 
SEA Research Focus: Uh, Joseph Conrad, Pramoedya, Viet Thanh Nguyen?  
Hometown: Google Michelle Yeoh's hometown.

If asked about what you study while out on a Friday night, how would you explain without killing the party? 
Brownish people studying white people studying brownish people.

 
 
 

Name: Chanida (Jib) Chitbundid 

Major Degree & Status: Ph.D. student (3rd year) in Anthropology

SEA Research Focus (countries): Thailand

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

 

If asked about what you study while out on a Friday night, how would you explain without killing the party?

I would say my research focuses on Thai grassroots women's movements that fight for their land and community rights. If I were to the party, I would probably talk about how marginalized Thai women engage with state violence and how their knowledge contributed to understanding the postcolonial state regarding internal colonization the whole night. Let's find some time to gather together later, and I will share my Thai foods, banana cake, and Thai tea. :)  

 


Name: Jennifer Otting
Major Degree and Status:  Education Policy Studies, School of Education / Dissertator
SEA Research Focus: Myanmar/Burma- Specially, Higher Education in Myanmar/Burma
 
If asked about what you study while out on a Friday night, how would you explain without killing the party?
Broadly, I study the relationship between democracy and education. Based on an ethnographic study from 2018-2019,  I examine how higher education is shaping understandings about the idea of democracy,  and conversely how the notions of and desire for democracy are influencing higher education reform efforts. 
 
I could say more, but I don't want to kill the party. 

Call For Papers
Annual SEASGRAD Conference
“Making and Unmaking Southeast Asian Spaces”
University of California, Riverside
March 14, 2021 (Held Virtually)
Abstracts Due: February 15, 2021
--
Ub-Ufok: Explorations on Philippine Folklore 2021 Conference
Center for Philippine Studies at University of Hawaii, Manoa
September 16-17, 2021 (Held Virtually)
Abstracts Due: February 28, 2021
https://cseashawaii.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=81c9bb9ed8112bf69e8190b71&id=9c2b2587e6&e=6a164355e7
--
Inter-Asia Waters Graduate Student Conference
Yale Inter-Asia Initiative
May 28-29, 2021
Abstracts Dye: March 5, 2021
https://campuspress.yale.edu/interasiawaters2021
--
2nd Annual My Viet Story Slam
Abstracts Due: March 15, 2021
https://www.vietnameseboatpeople.org/storyslam
--
Innovative Practices and Pedagogies for Teaching Undergraduate International Development Studies
University of Indiana
June 7-8, 2021
Abstracts Due: March 31, 2021
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfxRTLK0Xgx7VMXUd_osNFknhtw2P_lVSR4O1Jyqwjsy2Bc2A/viewform
--
IFIS-MSU Conference on Indonesian Studies
Michigan State University
June 23-26, 2021
Abstracts Due: March 31, 2021
https://asia.isp.msu.edu/aifis-msu-conference-indonesian-studies
--
The Malaysian Journal of International Relations (MIJR)
General Call for Papers
Deadline: April 15, 2021
https://mjir.um.edu.my/
--
Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (EMAS)
Special Issue – “Mekong River: Towards an integrated approach of Impact, Monitoring, Modelling and Control for Environmental Sustainability”
Deadline: June 30, 2021
https://www.springer.com/journal/10661
--
Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints
Special Issue – “Science and Technology Studies”
Deadline: June 30, 2021
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1000086503805167&set=a.193884227758736
--
Independent Journal of Burmese Scholarship
Special Issue – “The Thought of Malaysian Intellectual and Sociologist, Syed Hussein Alatas (1928-2007)”
Rolling Deadline
https://www.facebook.com/groups/181511188861097/permalink/1352046601807544/

 
 
Upcoming Conferences
The Covid-19 Pandemic in Japanese and Southeast Asian Perspective: Histories, States, Markets, Societies
March 1-2, 2021 – Kyoto University
https://en.kyoto.cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/seas2020/
--
Annual SEASGRAD Conference
“Making and Unmaking Southeast Asian Spaces”
University of California, Riverside
March 14, 2021 (Held Virtually)
--
23rd Cornell SEAP Graduate Student Conference
“Links and Fractures”
March 19-21, 2021 (Held virtually)
https://cornell.box.com/s/tl3b98ut336s7q7oqsvwwfwibxd54myc
--
Empire Competition: Southeast Asia as Site of Imperial Contestation
Pace University, NYC (Held Virtually)
April 7th, 8th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, & 23rd, 2021
https://nysean.org/blog/2020/7/29/call-for-papers-empire-competition-southeast-asia-as-site-of-imperial-contestation
--
13th Annual Northern Illinois University History Graduate Student Conference
“Constructing History Through the Prism of Perspective, Identity, and Memory”
April 9, 2021 (Held Virtually)
https://mcusercontent.com/62d1829ea8928fdbe038bbee0/files/f3fe8af5-93f6-44ed-aacd-08646efa6249/2021_HGSA_Conference_Flyer_Updated_.pdf
--
University of Hawaii Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference 2021
“Innovation, Adaptation, and Resilience
April 14-15, 2021
https://manoa.hawaii.edu/asianstudies/cfp-asian-studies-graduate-student-conference-2020-innovation-adaptation-and-resilience/
--
Inter-Asia Waters Graduate Student Conference
Yale Inter-Asia Initiative
May 28-29, 2021
https://campuspress.yale.edu/interasiawaters2021
--
Reconceptualing the Cold War: On-the-ground Experiences in Asia
National University of Singapore
July 29-30, 2021
https://networks.h-net.org/node/11444/discussions/7074457/call-papers-%E2%80%9Creconceptualizing-cold-war-ground-experiences-asia%E2%80%9D

 
 
Webinars & Events
“A Village Called Versailles” Film Screening and Q&A
University of Michigan
February 18, 2021 – 7:00-8:30pm (EST)
https://umich.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yoaN9OhlS5qo697ha4LGeg
--
Mass Murder and U.S. Hegemony
University of Wisconsin-Madison – sponsored by SEARG
February 19, 2021 – 11:00pm (CST)
https://seasia.wisc.edu/friday-forum-vincent-bevins/
--
Empire of Vice: The Rise of Opium Prohibition Across Southeast Asia
University of Michigan
February 19, 2021 – 12:00-1:00pm (EST)
https://umich.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sGJ5lJoDRfy_scYWrkhRtw
--
Colonial Archives and Decolonial Museology: The National Museum of the Philippines and Philippine Collections at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
February 19, 2021 - 12:00-1:30pm (EST)
https://umich.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_K2U5GXVLQ62FAAVdw5R7Fw
--
Black Market Business: Selling Sex in North Vietnam, 1920-1945
University of California, Berkeley
February 24, 2021 – 10:00am (PST)
https://berkeley.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_y5ITeMSZQzOAr7xrjIOsEQ
--
Migration, Mobility, and the Mekong
University of Hawaii at Manoa
February 24, 2021 – 2:00pm (HST)
https://www.cseashawaii.org/2021/01/spring-2021-webinar-series-the-mekong-china-southeast-asian-transitions/
--
Ho Chi Minh’s Culture of Personality in Vietnamese Statehood
University of Carolina
March 3, 2021 – 1:00pm (EST)
https://unc.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqduCtrjMpHNUXXvoh_l-2Buo-L9UtQn4c
--
Seattle Asian American Film Festival
SEAxSEA
March 4-14, 2021 (Held Virtually!)
https://seattleaaff.org/2020/

 
 
Funding
Foreign Language and Areas Studies Scholarship (FLAS)
Summer and Academic Year
Apply by February 15, 2021
https://flas.wisc.edu/
--
Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) Scholar
For Intensive Language Training at UW-Madison, June 14 to Aug 6
Apply by February 15, 2021
http://seassi.wisc.edu
--
Fulbright-Hayes DDRA Info Session & Technical Review Workshop
February 16, 2021 – 5:00pm (CST)
Email awards@iris.wisc.edu to register
--
Mansfield-Luce Asia Scholars Network Applications
Provides funding to attend a number of academic events targeted towards the training and networking of tomorrow’s top US-Asia advisors – doctoral students, PhDs, and professionals
Apply by February 16, 2021
https://mansfieldfdn.org/blog/mansfield-luce-asia-scholars-network-application-instructions/
--
2021 CAORC-INYA Short Term Fellowship
The Inya Institute in Myanmar
Apply by March 1, 2021
https://networks.h-net.org/node/11444/discussions/6944411/2021-caorc-%E2%80%93-inya-short-term-fellowships-us-graduate-students
--
Scholarship for UW Hmong Studies in Thailand
Provides four weeks of funding for students to engage with Hmong communities in Thailand
Apply by March 1, 2021
https://hmongstudies.wisc.edu/study-abroad/
--
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship
Provides full dissertation funding
Apply by April 1, 2021
https://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpsddrap/applicant.html
--
Center for Indonesian Policy Studies
Doctoral and Post-graduate fellowships to conduct research in Indonesia for 3-6 months
No Deadline
https://www.cips-indonesia.org/fellowship-program?fbclid=IwAR0v4HzENKy4xgpPBuzljqcRLhONI_TEG5d010bwS9loTo6eHQZTpaX0Djk
--
SEALC Language Tuition Support
Provides up to half of tuition ($1,000 per semester) for studying a Southeast Asian Language digitally at another university.
Apply at least 6 weeks prior to the language program beginning
https://sealc.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1262/2020/04/SEALC-language-tuition-support-for-students-of-SE-Asian-languages-1.pdf

 
 
Jobs & Post-Docs
International Fellow
Harvard Divinity School’s Buddhist Ministry Initiative
Deadline: February 15, 2021
https://networks.h-net.org/node/6060/discussions/6661768/fellowships-international-buddhist-ministry-harvard-divinity
--
Visiting Assistant Professor in Environmental History
The Department of History at Dickinson College
Deadline: February 15, 2021
https://wisc.us14.list-manage.com/track/click?u=62d1829ea8928fdbe038bbee0&id=942deb84dd&e=03cb12bf6d
--
Mansfield-Luce Asia Scholars Network
Deadline: February 16, 2021
https://mansfieldfdn.org/blog/recruitment-open-for-the-second-cohort-of-the-mansfield-luce-asia-scholars-network/
--
Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Lifeways in Indigenous Asia
University of British Columbia
Deadline: March 7, 2021
https://asia.air.arts.ubc.ca/application-form-lifeways-in-indigenous-asia-tenure-track-assistant-professor/
--
Cornell University Press Fellowship
14-month paid position beginning June 1, 2021
Deadline: March 14, 2021
https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/CornellCareerPage/job/Ithaca-Main-Campus/Mellon-Diversity-Fellow----Acquisitions-Assistant_WDR-00024714-2?fbclid=IwAR2usxejW4Y0W5X5lnuTw9HvqramNOdjS_-MtZbKoQzGnOBlWwfUMe0l-Pg
--
American Councils for International Languages (CLS) Resident Director
Applications on a Rolling Basis
https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=27168&clientkey=58AA089E0E2C786B7FE4217373F3BCBD

 

 

Copyright © 2021 Southeast Asia Research Group, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp