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2015, Vol.7, No.1

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    Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian Studies: Issues in Multidisciplinary Studies and Methodology

    Victor T. King | 2015, 7(1) | pp.13~57 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    The paper brings together several strands of debate and deliberation in which I have been involved since the early 2000s on the definition of Southeast Asia and the rationale of Southeast Asian Studies. I refer to the relationship between area studies and methodologies as a conundrum (or puzzle), though I should state from the outset that I think it is much more of a conundrum for others than for me. I have not felt the need to pose the question of whether or not area studies generates a distinctive method or set of methods and research practices, because I operate from a disciplinary perspective; though that it is not to say that the question should not be posed. Indeed, as I have earned a reputation for “revisionism” and championing disciplinary approaches rather than regional ones, it might be anticipated already the position that I take in an examination of the relationships between methodologies and the practice of “area studies” (and in this case Southeast Asian [or Asian] Studies). Nevertheless, given the recent resurgence of interest in the possibilities provided by the adoption of regional perspectives and the grounding of data gathering and analysis within specified locations in the context of globalization, the issues raised for researchers working in Southeast Asia and within the field of Southeast Asian Studies require revisiting.
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    Approaches in Southeast Asian Studies: Developing Post-colonial Theories in Area Studies

    Cahyo Pamungkas | 2015, 7(1) | pp.59~76 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This paper proposes an approach in Southeast Asian studies using a post-colonial framework in the study of post-colonial Southeast Asia. This framework is based on the sociology of knowledge that analyzes the dialectical relationship between science, ideology, and discourse. Post-colonial studies is critical of the concept of universality in science and posits that a scientific statement of a society cannot stand alone, but is made by authors themselves who produce, use, and claim the so-called scientific statement. Several concepts in post-colonial theories can be used to develop area studies, i.e. colonial discourse, subaltern, mimicry, and hybridity. Therefore, this study also explores these concepts to develop a more comprehensive understanding of Southeast Asian culture. The development of post-colonial theories can be used to respond to the hegemony of social theories from Europe and the United States. The main contribution of area studies in the field of the social sciences and humanities is in revealing the hidden interests behind the universal social sciences.
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    A Historical Review of Japanese Area Studies and the Emergence of Global Studies

    Shintaro Fukutake | 2015, 7(1) | pp.77~88 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This article will review the historical background of the development of area studies and the adoption of global studies in Japan. Global studies, which focuses on global issues such as migration, mainly developed in the United States and Europe, but more recently found home in universities in Japan. A characteristic of the development of global studies in Japan is that specialists in area studies have played an important role in institutionally establishing this new discipline. “Japanese area studies” has an affinity with the concepts of global studies contrary to the situation with area studies in the United States. Conventional academic societies based on area studies in Japan, however, have been forced to change as a result of globalization and the establishment of global studies in Japan. I would like to point out that there is some discrepancy between the scholarship boundaries and the actual research and educational program in area studies. I will also discuss how we should reconsider the concept of “area” by tackling global issues.
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    Approaches to Southeast Asian Studies: Beyond the “Comfort Zone”

    Mala Rajo Sathian | 2015, 7(1) | pp.89~103 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Over the last decade, the field of Southeast Asian Studies has been inundated with issues of its “territory” (or the definition of what comprises Southeast Asia), relevance and future. The methodology of approaching Southeast Asian Studies has also come under constant scrutiny providing much fodder for debate. One significant suggestion was that the field of Southeast Asian Studies should “break out of the comfort zone” (Van Schendel, Bijdragen, 2012:168(4)). This paper will explore some of the ways of approaching Southeast Asian Studies beyond that comfort zone by examining other/alternative units of studying Southeast Asia in place of the traditional (or statist) perspectives that tend to confine the field within the scope of the national/ nation-state boundaries. The paper will also provide some personal observations of the author on the current state and limitations to teaching and researching Southeast Asian Studies in the region.
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    The Mother Goddess of Champa: Po Inâ Nâgar

    William B Noseworthy | 2015, 7(1) | pp.107~137 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This article utilizes interdisciplinary methods in order to critically review the existing research on the Mother Goddess of Champa: Po Inâ Nâgar. In the past, Po Inâ Nâgar has too often been portrayed as simply a “local adaptation of Uma, the wife of Śiva, who was abandoned by the Cham adapted by the Vietnamese in conjunction with their conquest of Champa.” This reading of the Po Ina Nagar narrative can be derived from even the best scholarly works on the subject of the goddess, as well as a grand majority of the works produced during the period of French colonial scholarship. In this article, I argue that the adaption of the literary studies strategies of “close reading”, “surface reading as materiality”, and the “hermeneutics of suspicion”, applied to Cham manuscripts and epigraphic evidence—in addition to mixed anthropological and historical methods—demonstrates that Po Inâ Nâgar is, rather, a Champa (or ‘Cham’) mother goddess, who has become known by many names, even as the Cham continue to re-assert that she is an indigenous Cham goddess in the context of a majority culture of Thành Mẫu worship.
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    The Pluralism of Ethnic Cultures and Inclusive Development in the Philippines

    BAO Maohong | 2015, 7(1) | pp.139~155 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The relation of culture and development is complicated and multilayered. Inclusive development has been the national strategy of the government of President Benigno Aquino III. However, the role the culture is scarcely mentioned. This paper will try to contextualize development in Philippine history to further show the importance of national consciousness, ethnic cultures, indigenous cultures and modern culture,. This paper concludes that inclusive development of the Philippines will be achieved through glocalization, based on the creative reconstruction of cultures in and out of the Philippines.
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    A Study on Kyaikkatha: An Early Urban Settlement in Lower Myanmar

    Lei Lei Win | 2015, 7(1) | pp.157~186 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Sittaung-Thanlwin region in Lower Myanmar is an ecological niche for human settlement. Evidences of human activities in the region are seen through various archaeological sites or settlements along the coastal area between the rivers Sittaung and Thanlwin (Salween). In Lower Myanmar, scholar, U Aung Myint, discovered one major site Kyaikkatha and other small scale sites, namely, Sittaung, Kawhtin, Kadaikgyi, Kadaikkalay, Katkadit, Kelatha (little Zothoke), Ayetthama, Winka, Zothoke (big Zothoke), Lagonbyi (Sampannago), Wagaru, Laming and Ye in present day Mon State. In 1980, U Aung Myint undertook an exploration program at Kyaikkatha. After the exploration, an excavation team conducted systematic digging at Kyaikkatha in March 1986. Excavation continued occasionally at Kyaikkatha throughout the years between 1995 and 2000. It is known that Kyaikkatha, the old city, reveals a kind of monumental civilization exposing four religious structures (a stupa and three monasteries). This essay looks into the distribution of features within Kyaikkatha and infers on its social, political, and religious organization. This essay is also about a new discovery of an early urban settlement located at the apex of the Gulf of Muttama (Martaban) where a lost city of Suvaṇṇahumi flourished in the ancient days. By means of aerial photographic observations, the site had been noticed recently, which was by followed some excavations. More systematic and detail surveying may be needed to know more about the site and its features for comparison to other similar settlements of through-out mainland South East Asia.