This paper analyzes the scholarly approaches to the problem of “local” vs. “cosmopolitan” in the context of the cultural transfers between South and Southeast Asia. Taking the “localization” paradigm advanced by Oliver Wolters as its pivot, it reviews the “externalist” and “autonomous” positions, and questions the hermeneutical validity of the fuzzy and self-explanatory category of “local.” Having discussed the geo-environmental metaphors of “Monsoon Asia” and “Maritime Asia” as alternative paradigms to make justice to the complex dynamics of transregional interaction that shaped South and Southeast Asian societies, it briefly presents two case studies highlighting the tensions between the “local” and “cosmopolitan” approaches to the study of Old Javanese literature and Balinese Hinduism.
The paper demonstrates the potential contribution of integrating discursive and affective analytic regimes in framing the study of Southeast Asia. I examine the “emotional possibilities” available to migrants with particular focus on the experience of Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong thrown into relief in 2016 by news of maids falling to their deaths while cleaning windows of their employers’ above-ground apartments. First, I situate the study in recent calls for Critical Discourse Studies and Migration Studies to transcend foundational methodologies in their respective fields in order to apprehend formerly disregarded aspects of the human condition, including affect and emotion. I then briefly present the debate in the affective turn in social analysis, which has to do with rethinking the attachment of affect and discourse. My own inquiry is premised on the assertion that emotion is multidimensional. I specifically explore the usefulness of taking emotion as “affective-discursive practice” by focusing on an analysis of the appropriation of the victim role by foreign domestic helper employer groups that could be seen in pertinent news reports of selected online Hong Kong newspapers. In the end, I also emphasize the necessity of reflexivity in projects that take affect as central object of inquiry.
This paper argues that Thailand’s internal colonial model is facing severe challenges: no longer is it so possible to suppress local and regional identities, or to submerge ethnic difference in an all-embracing but potentially suffocating blanket of “Thainess.” In recent decades, Thailand’s diverse localities have become increasingly assertive. This is most acutely the case in the insurgency-affected southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, but also applies in the “red’ (pro-Thaksin) dominated North and Northeast.
As the old ruling elite faces serious legitimacy challenges, Thailand’s emerging post-colonial politics may require a radical rethinking of the relationship between center and periphery.
This article is about the emergence of Islamic modernism among Cham Muslim communities in Cambodia and Cochinchina during the early 20th century. Based on a combined critical reading of existing scholarship, historicized first-hand anthropological accounts, as well as archival sources from the National Archives of Cambodia and the Vietnam National Archives II, it argues accounts of modernists in these sources were either (1) cast through a French colonial reading of a Buddhist state lens and (2) cast through a Malay lens, based upon the Kaum Muda/Kaum Tua divide. First, it proceeds with a historical explanation of the emergence of Islam and the discourse used to describe Muslim communities in Vietnamese, French, and Cham language sources. Then, it turns the narrative toward an examination of the emergence of the "Kaum Muda" or "New Group" of reformist-minded modernist Muslims in early 20th century Cambodia. Delineating the networks of these intellectuals as they stretched across the border through Cochinchina, also highlights a pre-existing transnational element to the community, one that well predates current discussions of twenty-first-century transnationalism. Through a combination of the study of multiple language sources and historical methods, the article highlights the importance of polylingualism in the study of the history of Muslims in Southeast Asia.
In spite of being one of the first countries in Asia to establish an institution devoted to the study of the Asian region, area studies in the Philippines has languished over the years. In contrast, area studies programs of her neighbors have grown by leaps and bounds, invigorated by both public and private support. This observation becomes more glaring as Filipino scholars have made a name for themselves in the field of Southeast Asian Studies abroad.
The paper is an appraisal of the current state of Southeast Asian area studies and the extent of its operation by the Philippines’ top four universities, namely: the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University, the De La Salle University, and the University of Santo Tomas. Starting from the inception of area studies in the mid-1950s leading to a template patterned after the North American – European model, the paper then describes the challenges and its decline in the 80s toward its progression on a paradigm defined by the growing importance of, and actors within, the region. The paper expresses the view that one, the role of the government was both a boon and a bane in the development of area studies; and two, that the rapid economic growth and immense integration in the region in the last two decades gave a new impetus to Southeast Asian area studies, an enormous opportunity to capitalize on for Philippine universities.
This article examines the image of the nation of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) by comparing the history textbook and the civic textbook prescribed in state schools during the period of independence from 1948 to 1958. After the Second World War, the political conditions gave the way for the formation of the Union of Myanmar composed of ethnic nationals in Myanmar. To shape the national identity, the newly-founded independent nation in 1948, introduced textbooks in history and civics for the purpose of nation building. The paper concludes that the history textbook illustrated the golden ages of the Myanmar kingdom by way of national consolidation and portrayed ethnic nationals as homogenous; on the other hand, the civic textbook defined a citizen as one who is born and raised in Myanmar; it also included migrant Asians such as Chinese and South Asians in the fold. The history textbook aspired for the national consolidation of ethnic nationals for the strength and prosperity of the country while the civic textbook required cooperation from both ethnic nationals and migrant Asians for peace and development of the country and the world.
The Sasaq community in Lombok, Indonesia has been recognized as a peasant community with its unique and strong social capital. Sources of social capital recognition can be derived from common terms or expressions and institutions practiced in community daily life. However, there is a trend of neglecting and ignoring those values by the community, especially the youth. Through action research, we would like to revitalize social capital of the community in supporting social and economic development in the rural level. In this paper, we introduce a Strategic Leadership and Learning Organization (SLLO) approach to build community participation in solving social and economic problems. Through regular dialogue, communities come with common agreements and collective action that are perceived as emergence property. Several common agreements are intended to solve community problems actually in line with the objectives of government designated development.