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Southeast Asia Center

For information about conferences and call for papers, visit our "Resources" page.


This Week

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All Events

April 2014

Climate Change, Global Health, and the Inequalities of Risk: Crossing Borders and Disciplines to Re-map Vulnerability and Resilience

Thursday April 17, 2014 to Friday April 18, 2014

HUB 145 and Petersen Room, Allen Libraries (4th Floor)

Sponsored by Jackson School of International Studies, Southeast Asia Center, Program on Climate Change, Department of Global Health, Department of Geography, and Department of Anthropology



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Saturday April 19, 2014
9:00am - 3:00pm
Savery 167, University of Washington

Department of Asian Languages and Literature and Southeast Asian Center University of Washington


This one-day conference provides a forum for students who have been learning Indonesian from institutions in the US and around the world to use Indonesian in presenting their research and topic interests. Participants will have the opportunity to share their ideas and gain valuable experience in presenting their work for discussion with other students. Presentation and discussion will be conducted in Indonesian.

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Screening of "Soekarno: Indonesia Merdeka"

Sunday April 20, 2014
6:30-10:30 pm
Kane Hall, UW Campus, 4069 Spokane Lane, Seattle, WA

Lead actor Ario Bayu and executive producer Amrit Punjabi

Permias Seattle

Lenka Savina 206.4226.6184

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Cambodian Son screening and director Q&A

Tuesday April 22, 2014
6:30-8:30pm (doors open at 6)
UW Kelly Ethnic Cultural Theatre 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE

Masahiro Sugano

Southeast Asia Center, JSIS, UW/RUPP Social Work Partnership, School of Social Work, Social Workers Asian Pacific Islanders (SWAPI), Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA & D), Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center,


Cambodian Son captures the inspirational story of Kosal Khiev’s journey from prisoner in America to world-class poet in Cambodia. The documentary follows Kosal’s life after receiving the most important performance invitation of his career—to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Kosal would travel to London having only taken two flights prior; first, as a 1-year-old refugee child whose family fled Cambodia and, then as a 32-year-old criminal “alien” forcibly returned to Cambodia in 2011. This documentary follows a volatile yet charming and talented young man who struggles to find his footing amongst a new freedom that was granted only through his deportation.

Entry is free but seating is limited so please reserve a ticket at: http://goo.gl/eHPOz6

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Empty Orchestra: Karaoke and Queer Performance

Wednesday April 23, 2014
4 pm
Smith 306

Karen Tongson, English and Gender Studies, University of Southern California

Department of History, Department of English, and the Simpson Center for the Humanities


In her talk, Karen Tongson uses the global phenomenon of karaoke to re-evaluate prevailing paradigms of originality and imitation in aesthetics, critical theory, queer studies and media economics, while also offering a preliminary account of karaoke cultures and technologies from Asia and the United States. Karaoke is a compound Japanese word: “kara” means “empty,” and “oke” is the contraction of “o-kesutora,” or “orchestra.” Though the conceptual origins of karaoke are largely apocryphal, and have been linked by journalists, enthusiasts, and scholars to folk forms of group-singing and sing-along entertainments across a wide historical span from medieval Europe, to Anglo-American vaudeville, to post-World-War-II Japan (from which the name of the activity is derived), the origins of the first karaoke machines can be traced back to Japan and the Philippines in the early-to-mid 1970s. This presentation will take into account the form’s “machine” invention, and the inter-colonial disputes that have arisen as a result while exploring karaoke’s meaning, and its mobilization as a metaphor for contemporary forms of “copying” and creativity in a post-digital age.

Karen Tongson is Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (2011). Her work has appeared in numerous venues in print and online, including Social Text, GLQ, and Novel: A Forum on Fiction. She is the series editor for Postmillennial Pop at NYU Press, and just completed a multi-year term as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. Her current book project, Empty Orchestra: Karaoke. Critical. Apparatus., critiques prevailing paradigms of imitation in contemporary aesthetics and critical theory, while offering a genealogy of karaoke technologies, techniques, and desires.

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Rick Barot: a Poetry Reading and Discussion at UW

Tuesday April 29, 2014
4 pm
Communications Building 226 at the University of Washington

Rick Barot

Asian American Studies Research Collective


For our fourth event this year, the AASRC (Asian American Studies Research Collective) is hosting a poetry reading and seminar discussion. The discussion will focus on the intersections between poetics and engaging/creating Asian American communities. Professor Rick Barot (Pacific Lutheran University) will be reading from his work and leading discussion.

Born in the Philippines, Rick Barot grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and is the author of The Darker Fall (2002) and Want (2008). His poems and essays have appeared widely in journals such as Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, and others.

The reading and seminar will be held Tuesday, April 29th at 4:00pm, Communications 226. Supported by the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

All students, faculty and community members are welcome to attend! There will be food (banh mi!) and refreshments.

Find out more about AASRC here:

Questions? E-mail Jane Wong: janew5@uw.edu.


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Workshop for Educators: Exploring Asia: Asian Cities – Growth and Change

Tuesday April 29, 2014
5:00 - 8:00 pm
The Vancouver Room, Seattle Times Building, 1000 Denny Way, Seattle, WA 98109

The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and Newspapers In Education


The Asia Centers and the Center for Global Studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington are proud to present Exploring Asia: Asian Cities - Growth and Change, its 2014 Newspapers In Education Series and Workshop. The five-part series, in conjunction with The Seattle Times, includes articles on Vietnam, China, India, and Central Asia, in addition to an overview article. The workshop will include presentations by series authors as well as an introduction to the curriculum guide that pairs with the articles.

This workshop is one aspect of a collaborative project between the Newspapers In Education program of The Seattle Times and the University of Washington Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies Asia and Global Studies outreach centers as well as the East Asia Resource Center. The project consists of a five-article series, a teaching guide, and this workshop for K-12 educators.

Designed with high school readers in mind, each article in the online newspaper series entitled Exploring Asia: Asian Cities - Growth and Change, focuses on cities of Asia. The teaching guide provides a lesson plan for each article that includes activities to do with students before, during, and after reading the featured article. Together, the articles and accompanying lessons take students on an exploration of contemporary urban issues in several Asian countries, asking students to look at the issues from multiple perspectives and investigate the complexities and challenges of Asia's rapidly growing cities.

The cost of registration for the workshop is $30.00, which includes three Washington State clock hours, dinner, and curriculum guide. To register for the workshop, please complete the online registration form at 

To view curriculum and video from last year's workshop, go to http://depts.washington.edu/nie/curriculum.htm

For more information, please email the South Asia Center at snodgras@uw.edu.

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Deconstructing the Myth of “Indian Smell” in Vietnam: The Early Formation of the Annamese Nation

Wednesday April 30, 2014
Thomson 317, Seattle, WA

Chi Pham, Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, University of California, Riverside

Asian Languages and Literature


It is not difficult to find in Vietnamese oral and written conversations discriminatory statements against Indian smell, which is believed to be associated with Indian food: Indian food and its association with bad odors are seen as traditional and unchangeable. Old Hanoians still openly use the folk saying “'ông Tây đen nằm trong cái bồ, đánh cái rắm thành bánh ga-tô” [the black Westerner lies in basket breaking wind and using it to make cakes]” if someone mentions Indian migrants. The folk saying suggests the agitated feelings against Indian food, eating and Indian sanitation: their food smells like waste; it is made of waste. This saying has been circulating around Northern Vietnam at least since the early 1970s; evidence of it can be found in the novel by Duyên Anh, Con thúy : truyện dài published in 1972. Vietnamese in the South are familiar with the adjective usage of the term “cà ri.” Commonly, “cà ri” is a noun referring to curry power and curried foods. In Southern Vietnam, the word also implies stinginess, dirtiness and cunningness. For example, “He is very “cà ri!”; “How cà ri he is!” Using the term “cà ri”, the term for a typical Indian food, to name immoral and unclean dispositions in general shows how deeply the negation of Indian food is mentally rooted among Vietnamese.


Analyzing Vietnamese newspaper articles and literary works, I examine here how racist discourses of smell have been central to the historical discrimination against Indians, known as Chà và, in Vietnam. I argue that the circulation of the Indian smell in Vietnamese works reflects the social, political, and economic tensions between Indian migrants and the Vietnamese at the time of the formation of an awareness of a Vietnamese nation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In other words, growing perception of an intellectually and economically unique and promising identity of Annam was concurrent with making visible and problematic the Indian smell and the presence of Indians in Annam.


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May 2014

2014 Graduate School Public Lectures: Claire Jean Kim

Thursday May 1, 2014
6:30 - 8 pm
Kane Hall 120

Claire Jean Kim, associate professor of Political Science and Asian American studies at the University of California, Irvine.

UW Graduate School UW Alumni Association, Comparative History of Ideas, Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP), Latin American and Caribbean Studies - Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies


In recent years, there have been a number of impassioned disputes over how immigrants of color, native-born minorities and Native people in the U.S. use animals in their cultural traditions. The struggle over San Francisco Chinatown’s live animal markets and the Makah whaling controversy in the Pacific Northwest are examples of cases where animal advocates charge these groups with cruelty and/or doing ecological harm, while group representatives push back with charges of racism and cultural imperialism.

In her lecture, Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species and Nature in a Multicultural Age, professor Claire Jean Kim will explore how to bring justice to both sides of competing moral and political claims, and examine what justice looks like in a multi-racial, multi-species world.

Claire Jean Kim is an associate professor of Political Science and Asian American studies at the University of California, Irvine. She received a B.A. in Government from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. Learn more.

Free, but advance registration is required:

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2014 Student Colloquium Department of Asian Languages and Literature

Saturday May 3, 2014
9 am - 4 pm
UW, Savery 408 & 409

Department of Asian Languages and Literature


 The organizers of this year’s departmental colloquium invite students (graduates and undergraduates) to submit proposals/abstracts to present on May 3rd at the University of Washington.

Although we are a department of “languages and literature”, we invite all applicants regardless of discipline to submit proposals within the general area of “Asian Studies”. All topics and issues are welcome from all parts of Asia (South, East, Southeast, Central, etc.).

We are hoping to get a good mix of presenters this year from many departments here at the University of Washington and from our fellow scholars from the region. This is a great opportunity for students to gain experience in presenting formal academic papers in a smaller, informal atmosphere. Share your ideas and learn what your fellow Asian studies scholars are up to.

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Who liberated whom? : Remembering the Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia

Thursday May 22, 2014
4:30 pm
Thomson 101

Satoshi Nakano, Professor of History, Hitotsubashi University

History Department, Southeast Asia Center, East Asia Center


 Among the Japanese today, the place of Southeast Asia in the History of World War II is conspicuous for its absence. Instead, there continues to be the myth that the war in Southeast Asia could be and should be remembered as the war of Asia’s liberation from the West. In this talk, I examine the wartime and postwar narratives written and told by Japanese civilians and military officials sent to Southeast Asia during the war. They speak about the occupiers’ intentions and motivations in their military adventures; what reactions they expected to find from the occupied; and what finally they learned from the whole experiences in Southeast Asia. What emerges in these narratives is a broad sense of the limits of Japanese cultural and material resources in negotiating with the Asian “others.” I also point out that Japanese wartime and postwar narratives suggest not so much the Japanese liberation of Asia from the West as the Japanese being liberated by Asian nationalism and Western modernity from the already failing and dying Japanese Empire.

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Saturday May 24, 2014

Indonesian Students Association of UW and the Southeast Asian Center


 On May 24, 2014, ISAUW will once again be presenting our largest cultural event of the year, “KERATON 2014: THE AUTHENTIC INDONESIAN MARKET.” Traditional food, souvenir bazaar, traditional dances, games and other interactive activities will be carried out throughout the night. All these highlights of the night will be thoroughly selected to showcase the indigenous Indonesian culture. In addition, we will proudly be presenting Batik, the traditional Indonesian clothing, as the dress code for the night.
This is also an effort to introduce Batik and traditional activities to
the global audience.

The perfomances will consist of traditional dances and music like Tari Legong, Gamelan, Angklung, and many more. In addition, Batik demonstration and showcase compliments the experience for the night. Delicious Indonesian cuisine from different regions will also complete the night. The food featured will include popular Indonesian dishes such as Rendang, Nasi Padang, Satay, Lontong Cap Gomeh, Mie Bakso, and many more mouth-watering food.


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Saturday May 31, 2014

University of Washington

Department of Asian Languages and Literature and Southeast Asian Center, University of Washington


 This one-day conference provides a forum for students who have been learning Tagalog from institutions in the US and around the world to use Tagalog in presenting their research and topic interests. Participants will have the opportunity to share their ideas and gain valuable experience in presenting their work for discussion with other students. Presentation and discussion will be conducted in Tagalog.


We welcome the applications from intermediate high and advanced Tagalog students from all fields, including but not limited to history, literature, linguistics, political science, archeology, environmental studies, economics and anthropology. Intermediate high and advanced (non-native) speakers who are not students will also be considered.

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Saturday May 31, 2014

University of Washington

Department of Asian Languages and Literature and Southeast Asian Center, University of Washington


This one-day conference provides a forum for students who have been learning Khmer from institutions in the US and around the world to use Khmer in presenting their research and topic interests. Participants will have the opportunity to share their ideas and gain valuable experience in presenting their work for discussion with other students. Presentation and discussion will be conducted in Khmer.

We welcome the applications from intermediate high and advanced Khmer students from all fields, including but not limited to history, literature, linguistics, political science, archeology, environmental studies, economics and anthropology. Intermediate high and advanced (non-native) speakers who are not students will also be considered.

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Ongoing Events

Cambodia Service-Learning Semester Program


In collaboration with the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) and Pāññāsastra University of Cambodia, Global Service Corps (GSC) is proud to launch a Service-Learning Semester Study Abroad Program based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this January.


15 Credit Semester Program: The Role of Civil Society and Buddhism in Post-Conflict Cambodia

Spring: January 7 - April 21, 2013
Fall: September 9 - December 22, 2013 (tentative dates)

Providing an insider’s look into social development in post-conflict societies, the semester course allows students to examine the role that civil society and Buddhism play in rebuilding Cambodian communities following the Khmer Rouge genocide. Incorporating
academic, field work, and group project components, the program is an expansion of Global Service Corps’ community development work in Cambodia and is built on GSC’s successful service-learning study abroad programs in Tanzania. Students attending the 15 week semester program will qualify for 15 transferable semester credits from the University at Albany.

The program consists of three areas of focus: an intensive three-week foundations course, nine weeks of field work with an NGO engaged in development work in Cambodia, and a final Capstone project.

Foundations Course (three weeks):

Students will: review key social sectors in Cambodia with a focus on the needs of poor communities to promote inclusive development; examine the unique challenges faced by post-conflict societies; analyze models of social and community development from Cambodia and other countries; and, study the role of Buddhism in development in Cambodia.

The course will be taught at Pāññāsastra University of Cambodia (PUC) in Phnom Penh under PUC professor Dr. Susan Hagadorn, a six-year resident of Cambodia with over 25 years of experience in the public health, non-profit, and NGO sectors. Dr. Hagadorn has extensive knowledge of social development in Cambodia, and wrote her EdD Dissertation on “Khmer Rouge Survivors Retell Culture for the Children of Cambodia.” Buddhist staff and students at PUC will join Dr. Hagadorn in the classroom to provide a unique cultural exchange experience and an in-depth look at the role of Buddhism in Cambodia.

During the first three weeks students will also have the opportunity to experience Buddhist culture firsthand through a two-night stay at one of the most significant monasteries in Cambodia. Students will engage in meditation, chanting, alms giving, and other rituals
at the wat and may also have the opportunity to teach beginning English to wat residents.

Field Work (nine weeks):

After the foundations course, students will gain hands-on development experience interning with an NGO involved in development work in and around Phnom Penh. Based on the background of the volunteer and the needs of the community at the time, placements may be in the fields of human rights, public health, mental health, education, politics, or cultural renewal.

Capstone Project (three weeks):

The final three weeks of the program will consist of academic classes and group work in which students will integrate their course work and field experiences, culminating in final group presentations on their projects as well as required academic papers.

For more information on this program as well as other opportunities for students, please visit http://globalservicecorps.org/site/for-students/

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Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Initiative - awards for Visitor Scholars and for U.S. Fulbright Specialists

Mark Howard in ECA/A/E/EAP at HowardME@state.gov

Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Initiative

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is pleased to announce the FY 2013
competition for the Fulbright US.-ASEAN Initiative. The Department of State is piloting a small number of regionally competed new awards for Asian Fulbright Scholars and U.S. Fulbright Specialists that will support ASEAN initiatives.

The Fulbright U.S.–ASEAN Initiative is open to university faculty, government officials, and
professional staff of think tanks and other NGOs. There are two parts to this initiative, one for Asians and the other for Americans.

1. Asian Fulbright Scholars: Provides opportunities for travel to the United States for
scholarly and professional research on issues central to the ASEAN-U.S. relationship.
Award periods are flexible and should be congruent with the needs of the project. The
minimum period for an award is two months, the maximum period six months. Awards
will provide a monthly stipend for grantees, together with round-trip air travel.

2. U.S. Fulbright Specialists: Awards qualified U.S. faculty and professionals, in select
disciplines, to engage in short-term collaborative two to six week projects focusing on the
ASEAN-U.S. relationship at host institutions in ASEAN countries. Awards will provide a
daily stipend for grantees, together with round-trip air travel. Participating host
institutions must cover grantee in-country expenses or provide in-kind services for food
and housing.

Additional details and instructions for applying to the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Initiative here.

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Inviting Faculty to List Undergraduate Research Opportunities


This message is being sent to all Faculty with approval from the Office of the Provost.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to list your undergraduate research opportunities on the Undergraduate Research Program (URP) website and to encourage you to take advantage of our resources for faculty. The opportunity form, where you can post a defined project or indicate your willingness to serve as a mentor to undergraduate researchers, takes only a few moments to complete and is available at:

URP staff assist students in all fields to find research experiences. We maintain a listing of current UW opportunities and local and national programs. We also produce the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, planned this year for May 17, 2013.

For information on incorporating undergraduates into research and scholarship and for funding resources, please visit our Research Mentor information section available at: www.washington.edu/research/urp/faculty. If a student working with you has a presentation accepted to a national conference, please encourage her/him to apply for an Undergraduate Research Conference Travel Award. Further details can be found at:

Finally, I encourage you to utilize URP as a resource for consultation regarding requests for support of undergraduate research as a supplement to faculty research grants or for discipline-based undergraduate research programs.

The URP office is located in 171 Mary Gates Hall. We can be reached by phone
at 206-543-4282 or email at urp@uw.edu.


Janice DeCosmo
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Director, Undergraduate Research Program

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact urp@u.washington.edu 

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Learn Khmer/Cambodian Online and/or Abroad this Summer

Chhany Sak-humphry - sak@hawaii.edu

Interested in taking Online Courses in Khmer (Spring 2013)?

Study Khmer language and Culture in Summer 2013 in Cambodia:

These two programs are for anyone (student or non-student). Register via Outreach College at University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Any questions after viewing these websites, please contact Chhany Sak-humphry - sak@hawaii.edu

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Southeast Asia Center
University of Washington
303 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-9606 tel
(206) 685-0668 fax

Laurie Sears, Director

Rick Bonus, Director of Graduate Studies

Sara Van Fleet, Associate Director

Tikka Sears, Outreach Coordinator

Molly Wilskie-Kala, Program Coordinator

Chris Grorud, Program Assistant

Lauren Pongan, Outreach Program Assistant