Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series: Lecture 6 | Southeast Asia as Method: Fieldwork, Texts, and Perspectives

On November 23, 2019, Prof. Barbara Andaya from the University of Hawaii, Dr. Matthew Reeder from the National University of Singapore, and Associate Professor Chen Boyi from Xiamen University presented the lecuture of “Southeast Asia as Method: Fieldwork, Texts, and Perspectives”, the 6th session of the Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series in this semester.

Professor Andaya and Dr. Reeder focused on the role played by middle- and upper-class women in Malaysia and Thailand in the political process of the local area. Their theories have revised the long-standing male-centered modern and contemporary history of Southeast Asia.

Afterwards, Dr. Chen Boyi discussed the border dispute between Vietnam and Cambodia in modern times, and pointed out the ambiguity of the ethnic identities of the ethnic groups living in the border areas, and how modern Southeast Asian state construction has affected these border ethnic groups.

The event ended successfully in a lively discussion between the three lecturers and the doctoral students.

The Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series hosted by IIAS of Tsinghua University was launched in Fall 2019. It aims to provide scholars participating in the events with a platform of dialogue and learning with top scholars studying Asia history and culture from all over the world. China’s area studies have been vigorously developed in the context of the “Belt and Road” Initiative in recent years. However, the current area studies are often a rigid superposition of country studies and lack intra-regional and inter-regional connections and comparative studies. The root cause is the missing of a long-term historical/cultural perspective in current area studies in China. The lecture series will invite top-notch and young scholars in the field of Asia studies at home and abroad to give special lectures on their latest research findings and communicate with participants. This will serve as an opportunity to cultivate area researchers’ transnational and global perspectives, and encourage them to reflect on the traditional research paradigm based on country.

By Cheng Yao