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Southeast Asia Center

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October 2014

The Thai Coup 2014: Return to the Past, Following the Chinese Model

Monday October 20, 2014
12:30 - 2:00 PM
Thomson Hall, Room 317

Charles F. Keyes (Professor Emeritus, Anthropology and International Studies)

Southeast Asia Center



On May 22, 2014, the Thai military led by General Prayuth Chan-Ocha successfully seized power of the government of Thailand. This was the 12th military coup in Thailand since 1932 when absolute monarchy was ended.

The new government headed by General Prayuth is attempting to turn back the Thai political clock to a time to before 1976 when, the new leaders believe, the country was united under the monarchy and everyone knew his place in the social order. At the same time, the new leaders are looking to China where a system of autocratic capitalism prevails as a model for the current Thai polity.

Because the latest coup in Thailand took place when much of the world’s attention has been focused on events in the turbulent Middle East and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia few have given attention to the implications of Thai coup. In this talk, I will review the recent political history of Thailand that led up to the coup and then reflect on how the coup makes Thailand a exemplar of what Michael Ignatieff has called the “new world disorder”. Finally, I will reflect on whether the Thai military’s vision of Thailand can succeed or not.

Professor Keyes' Bio:

Charles F. Keyes is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and International Studies at the University of Washington. His research focuses on religion and political-economic change, the sociology of Theraveda Buddhism, ethnic group relations, and Southeast Asia. He is interested in how states intrude into everyday lives and how minority peoples respond to modern projects of nation-building. His latest book, Finding Their Voice: Northeastern Villagers and The Thai State, was published in April, 2014.

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November 2014

Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Event: Didik Nini Thowok

Monday November 10, 2014
7:30 PM
Brechemin Auditorium

Didik Nini Thowok and Christina Sunardi

School of Music


Didik Nini Thowok, a master dancer from Java, Indonesia, is known throughout Indonesia for his unique style combining classical, folk, modern, and comedic dance forms. One of the few artists to continue the long Indonesian tradition of “Traditional Cross Gender“ in the dance form, Didik is renowned for his talent in impersonating female characters and for his skill in various dance traditions such as topeng (mask dance), Sundanese, Cirebon, Balinese, and of course Central Javanese. In this free event, Didik Nini Thowok and School of Music faculty member Christina Sunardi perform cross-gender dances and discuss Didik’s work as an artist. More info

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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

Mary Barnes, Program Assistant