Note from the Chair

 

Note from the Chair of the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Section of the Association of Asian Studies, March 27, 2015

 

It is with great pleasure that I presided over the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Business Meeting at the 2015 Conference off the Association for Asian Studies in Chicago. We have a much to be proud of this year as members of TLC. Our membership continues to grow, our meeting was well attended, and our members continue to support the group with many forms of contribution. Ongoing achievements for the TLC group include our active website and very successful listserv, book reviews, and ongoing financial support to graduate students (and scholars from the TLC countries) to support travel to the AAS conference.

 

TLC Business Meeting Minutes (7:30-9:30)

 

1.       This year’s meeting began with a talk by our distinguished speaker, Dr. David Streckfuss (Director of CIEE-Thailand Program at Khon Kaen University in Thailand) who reflected on his experience in Thailand and issues he has encountered as an educator and resident.

David’s talk was very well received and met with a standing ovation.

2.       Dr. Michael Herzfeld gave us a brief discussion on what is happening at Harvard to counter the many rumors that were appearing about influence of donors in the Thai Studies program. Donors are not allowed to interfere with how the program spends money. The program has several things going on, including a seminar series with Harvard-Yencheng Institute and Thai academics and other visiting scholars. They also have two lecture series – the Tambiah lecture (the inaugural Tambiah lecture was delivered by Katherine Bowie) and the Thailand at Harvard Lecture.  Another major event is a forum on human rights in Thailand. The Harvard Thai Studies program is committed to provide a space for free and open discussion for all issues. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Herzfeld.

3.       Update on the TLC website and listserv, given by Rebecca Hall: Our membership continues to grow. Today, we have 970 members, up from 760 last year at this time. The website and listserv play an important role in our expansion. The TLC website and listserv continue to be lively and are going strong. Please continue to send in updates on your publications and other events and activities pertinent to TLC. And please do send in more items/news/information from Cambodia and Laos. Other area studies groups have Facebook pages, and it has been suggested that TLC begin a Facebook page which perhaps should be decided by the board if we can find a volunteer to serve to be the administrator of the page.

 

4.       TLC/New Mandala book review updates: Bradley Davis (Historian at Eastern Connecticut University) is our new book review editor. He stopped by to introduce himself and advocate that everyone should review books for the series. If you are interested in writing a book review, please contact him at davisbrad@easternct.edu.

 

5.       Call for ideas for next year’s theme together with a proposed TLC sponsored panel. AAS is particularly interested in cohesive panels that address issues from a variety of perspectives. TLC is interested in maximizing the diversity within our group and each year we try to find a theme that works with these goals in mind. Eleven different themes were proposed, discussed, and voted on. The final decision for the 2016 theme was “Memory” which will explore the 40th anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh. This panel with be chaired by Dr. Penny Edwards. TLC will also sponsor one additional panel for the 2016 AAS which will be an in memoriam for Ron Renard, who passed away earlier this year. Stay tuned for further developments. The board will be discussing and inviting a guest speaker for the 2016 TLC business meeting soon.

 

Many interesting panel ideas were discussed during this part of the meeting and TLC strongly encourages interested parties in submitting their panels to AAS for the conference in 2016. We like to keep TLC well-represented at AAS and that requires our members to continue with their excellent, cohesive, and thought provoking panels.

 

6.       Introductions to new people: We had many new faces in the room and they were asked to introduce themselves.

 

7.       Member and membership news:

·        Ian Baird reminded everyone that the SEAC has a grad student prize to present at AAS, not many submissions.  They have until Sunday evening.  $500 prize.  Think about it for next year. Money available for grad students and scholars from the region.

·        Susan Darlington announced that her book The Ordination of a Tree is being translated into Thai and will be sold in Thailand.

·        Plug for Fulbright scholar program: Cambodia/Thailand programs for 2016/2017. New program allows scholars to travel to multiple ASEAN states – the schedule is flexible, with research conducted over 2-3 years.  Global Flex to be announced in mid-April.

·        Ian Baird: Hmong studies conference will be held in April 10-11th in Madison.

·        COTS – Ohio in October 2015; the next International Conference on Lao Studies will be at Thammasat University in 2016; and the next International Conference on Thai Studies will be held in 2017 at Chiang Mai University.

·        Cambodian literature in English/transnational literature to be published

·        Anne Hansen reminded everyone of the importance of TLC book reviews for the Journal of Asian Studies She thanked everyone who stepped up to review books this year, giving TLC literature a stronger presence in the JAS book review section.

·        Nikki Tannenbaum announced that the next issue of Contemporary Buddhism has a lot of articles from TLC members.

·        Larry Ashmun announced the Center for Research Libraries handout on SEA newspapers at CRL on microfilm.

 

8.       Nominations and elections: TLC had 4 continuing executive committee members this year and 4 outgoing executive committee members. Newly elected executive committee members are:

        Dr. Leif Jonsson (Arizona State University) TLC Chair, 2015-2017

Dr. John Marston (Colegio de Mexico), 2015-2017

Dr. Sudarat Musikawong (Siena College), 2015-2017

Dr. Angela Chiu (SOAS), 2015-2017

Grad student chair: Stephanie du Chatellier (University of Wisconsin at Madison), 2015-2017

 

Continuing executive committee members:

Dr. Taylor Easum (New York University), 2014-2016

Dr. Andrew Johnson (Yale/NUS), 2014-2016

Dr. Alison Carter (University of Wisconsin at Madison), 2014-2016

Dr. Christine Su (Ohio University), 2014-2016

9.       Graduate student conference financial support: “ Ingrid Muan Graduate Traveling Fellowship”

 

We did not have any applications from graduate students presenting at the AAS this year for funds from the Ingrid Muan Fellowship. This money is available each year to assist grad students to travel to AAS. Please do not hesitate to contact our new TLC Chair (Leif Jonsson, hjonsson@asu.edu) to apply for these funds, and keep in mind that they are available for 2016.

 

Dr. Alison Carter proposed expanding the Muan fellowship to cover unaffiliated junior scholars. Meeting attendees seemed very supportive of this proposal. The TLC Board will take up this discussion and give final approval of this change.

 

10.   Financial Report: TLC is financially stable. We are in the black and will continue that way without any problems.

11.   TLC is pleased to announce that we received $1000 from the SEAC to support scholars traveling to the AAS 2016 conference from Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia. We need to use this money and will make an announcement when the 2016 conference gets closer.

 

Thank you to everyone for making this past year a successful one! TLC could not be what it is today without all of you.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rebecca Hall

Virginia Commonwealth University

rhall8@vcu.edu

 

 

Note from the Chair of the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Section of the Association of Asian Studies, March 28, 2014 It is with great pleasure that I presided over the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Business Meeting at the 2014 Conference off the Association for Asian Studies. We have a much to be proud of this year as members of TLC. Our membership continues to grow, our meeting was well attended, and our members continue to support the group with many forms of contribution. Ongoing achievements for the TLC group include our active website and very successful listserv, book reviews, and ongoing financial support to graduate students (and on occasion scholars from the TLC countries) to support travel to the AAS conference. TLC Business Meeting Minutes (7:30-9:15) 1. This year’s meeting began with a talk from our distinguished speaker, Dr. Nicola Tannenbaum, entitled “Indigeneity and Buddhism: Buddhism and Indigineity.”
Dr. Tannenbaum spoke about the relationship between Buddhism and local practices in Southeast Asia. While local groups define what it means to be Buddhist, the similarities between local practice and Buddhist practice clearly made the adoption and adaption more feasible. Additionally, worldviews and concepts of spiritual power continue to point to relationships between lowland and highland groups in Southeast Asia. Her talk was a great reminder that we as researchers need to be cautious in our labels and more open in our exploration of these ideas across disciplines and geographies. 2. Update on the TLC website and listserv, Justin McDaniel: Our membership continues to grow and at last count TLC had 720 members! The website and listserv play an important role in our expansion. The TLC website and listserv are going strong. Please continue to send in updates on your publications and other events and activities pertinent to TLC. We like to know what our members are up to plus the listserv is a great resource for sharing recent publications. When sending in links and things, please try to include a sentence or two explaining what the link is. This is very helpful for everyone. Of great importance to TLC is the joint book review program with New Mandala. Dr. Michael Montesano is stepping down from his position as TLC book review editor in November 2014. Dr. Montesano has worked very hard to get these reviews published at New Mandala and we look forward to a new and dedicated person volunteering to fill his very large shoes. Interested parties should get in touch with Dr. Montesano directly through email (michael.montesano@gmail.com). More details will follow in the coming months. 3. Introductions to new people: We had many new faces in the room and they were asked to introduce themselves. 4. Call for ideas for next year’s theme together with a proposed TLC sponsored panel. AAS is particularly interested in cohesive panels that address issues from a variety of perspective. TLC is interested in maximizing the diversity within our group and each year we try to find a theme that works with these goals in mind. Eleven different themes were proposed, discussed, and voted on. The final decision was “Public cultures of contestation” in which contemporary forms of social protest will be explored. This panel with be chaired by Dr. Erik Davis. Stay tuned for further developments. The board will be discussing and inviting a guest speaker for the 2015 TLC business meeting soon. Many interesting panel ideas were thrown about during this part of the meeting and TLC would like to encourage interested parties in submitting their panels to AAS for the conference in 2015. We like to keep TLC well-represented at AAS and that requires our members to continue with their excellent panels. An estimated 16 panels were presented at AAS this year that discussed TLC topics. Let’s challenge ourselves to have even more next year. 5. Member news: TLC members were reminded that Dr. Joyce C. White, Director of the Ban Chiang Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, was to be speaking on "Hot Pots, Museum Raids, and the Race to Uncover Asia's Archaeological Past" at an AAS public event on Saturday evening. Members were also reminded about the upcoming EuroSEAS conference, to be held in Vienna in August 2015. The opportunity to network with our European colleagues should not be overlooked. Don’t forget to send in your abstracts for the Council On Thai Studies (COTS) Annual Meeting, to be held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 17-19, 2014. The deadline for individual abstracts and panel proposals is July 31, 2014. All submissions should be sent to Dr. Ian Baird, ibaird@wisc.edu (Chair, COTS 2014). Dr. Krisna Uk, Director of the Center for Khmer Studies, shared the great work and new programs that have been developed under her leadership at CKS. 6. Nominations and elections: TLC had 4 continuing executive committee members this year and 4 outgoing executive committee members. Newly elected executive committee members are: Dr. Taylor Easum (New York University), 2014-2016
Dr. Andrew Johnson (Yale/NUS), 2014-2016
Dr. Alison Carter (University of Wisconsin at Madison), 2014-2016
Dr. Christine Su (Ohio University), 2014-2016
Continuing executive committee members:
Dr. Rebecca Hall, Chair (Virginia Commonwealth University), 2013-2015
Dr. Thomas Borchert (University of Vermont), 2013-2015 Dr. Eve Zucker (Independent Scholar), 2013-2015 Dr. Jonathan Padwe (University of Hawaii), 2013-2015 7. Graduate student conference financial support: “ Ingrid Muan Graduate Traveling Fellowship”
If you are such a graduate student, or know such a graduate student, or if you gave a talk (not roundtable participation) at the AAS conference on a TLC subject and are a graduate student, then please send Dr. Rebecca Hall your title, abstract, and if possible the text of your paper. Also include your mailing address and institutional affiliation. CVs are also welcome. The paper need not be a polished piece, drafts are fine. Dr. Hall will forward them to the TLC executive committee to make a decision on which person or persons should win the award. No travel receipts are required as long as you spoke at the AAS. Dr. Hall may be reached at rhall8@vcu.edu. 8. Financial Report: TLC is financially stable. We are in the black and will continue that way without any problems. Our big financial accomplishment this year was raising the funds from our generous members for the Patana Kitiarsa Memorial fund established specifically to contribute to the publication of Pattana Kitiarsa’s final manuscript, The “Bare Life” of Thai Migrant Workmen in Singapore with Silkworm Books. The total donation of memorial fund was $3,678. 9. TLC is pleased to announce that we received $500 from the SEAC to support scholars traveling to the AAS 2014 conference from Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia.
Thank you to everyone for making this past year a successful one! TLC could not be a success without all of you. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca Hall
Virginia Commonwealth University
rhall8@vcu.edu