Fifty Years as Historians of Southeast Asia: Personal Perspectives

March 27, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Mānoa Campus, UHM Music Building, Room: 36

The aim of this joint presentation is to identify the major changes that have occurred in Southeast Asian Studies over the last five decades. When we first embarked on our careers, the field of Southeast Asian history, particularly the early modern period (c.1400 - c. 1830s), was dominated by Western historians. At that time a principal concern was to fill gaps in our knowledge of “what happened,” both locally and regionally. Today the explosion of research topics, access to sources, interdisciplinary connections and the development of university departments dedicated to Southeast Asia within the region has opened the door to new agendas and widening participation, notably among Southeast Asians themselves. In the West there is a disturbing academic trend to question the value of history as a discipline and area studies more generally - a trend that has serious implications for the study of Southeast Asia, both past and present. Against this background, the future of Southeast Asian Studies, and specifically history, will be increasingly dependent on the contributions of Southeast Asian scholars, and they will establish research and teaching priorities for future generations.

Event Sponsor
UHM Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Mānoa Campus

More Information
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