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Monument, Image and Text
Interpreting Southeast Asia's Past: Monument, Image and Text contains 31 papers read at the 10th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists. The authors present new research on monumental arts, sculpture and painting, epigraphy and heritage management across mainland Southeast Asia adn as far south as Indonesia. New monumental arts research includes papers focused on the enduring enigma of the Bayon of Angkor, as well as material on the great brick temple sites of the state of Champa, neighbors of the ancient Khmers. The sacred art of Burma, Thailand and southern China incites new analysis of sculpture and painting including the first study of the few surviving Saiva images in Burma. The collection includes an account of a spectacular find of bronze Mahayana Buddhas, an analysis of the sculpted bronzes of the Dian culture, and an assessment of the purpose of making and erecting sacred sculptures in the ancient world. Ancient Khmer materials, including recently discovered Cambodian ceramic kiln sites, are the main focus of new research on craft goods and crafting techniques that treat the source, dating and adoption of amalgam gilding among Khmer craft specialists; the sandstone sources of major Khmer sculptures; and the rare remaining traces of paint, plaster and stucco on Khmer stone and brick buildings. More widely distributed goods also receive attention, including Southeast Asian glass beads. There are also contributions to Southeast Asian heritage and conservatioin, including research on Angkor as a living World Heritage site, and discussion of a UNESCO project on the stone jars of the Plain of Jars in Laos that combines recording, safeguarding, bomb clearance, and eco-tourism development.
Writing and Regionalism in Modern Thailand
Regional characteristics and regional language feature prominently in discussions of Thai identity, but there is little mention of regional literatures. In northeastern Thailand’s Isan region, authors write primarily in Thai, but it is possible nonetheless to identify an Isan literature, which played a significant and at times pivotal role in the development of Thai literature in the second half of the 20th century, as authors grappled with how their origins and experiences related to the Thai centre. Martin Platt’s account of Isan literature is an important first step toward a broader study of regional literatures in Thailand, and shapes a model that has relevance for examining literary works in other Asian countries.
A Political Biography of Mohammad Natsir
As Indonesia's leading Muslim politician in the second half of the 20th century, Mohammad atsir (1980-1993) went from heading the country's first post-independence government and largest Islamic political party to spending years in rebellion and in jail under the Soekarno regime. After initially welcoming Soekarno's overthrow in 1965, he became one of the most outspoken critics of the successor Suharto government's increasingly autocratic rule. Natsir's copious writings stretch from his student days in the late colonial period, when his debates with Soekarno over the character of Indonesian nationalism first attracted public attention, to the years immediately preceding his death when his trenchant criticisms brought him the enmity of the Suharto regime. They reveal a man struggling to harmonize his deep Islamic faith with his equally firm belief in national independence and democracy. Drawing from a wide range of materials, including these writings and extensive interviews with the subject, this political biography of Natsir places the important Muslim politician and thinker in the context of a critical period of Indonesia's history, and describes his vision of how a newly independent country could embrace religion without sacrificing its democratic values.
A Political, Social, Cultural and Religious History, c. 1930 to Present
The Javanese -- one of the largest ethnic groups in the Islamic world -- were once mostly "nominal Muslims", with pious believers a minority and the majority seemingly resistant to Islam's call for greater piety. Over the tumultuous period analyzed here -- from colonial rule through japanese occupation and Revolution to the chaotic democracy of the Sukarno period, the Soeharto regime's aspirant totalitarianism and the democratic period since -- the society has changed profundly to become an extraordinary example of the rising religiosity that marks the modern age. Islamisation and Its Opponents in Java draws on a formidable body of sources, including interviews, archival documents and a vast range of published material, to situate the Javanese religious experience from the 1930s to the present day in its local political, social, cultural and religious settings. The concluding part of the author’s monumental three-volume series assessing more than six centuries of the on-going Islamisation of the Javanese, the study has considerable relevance for much wider contexts. Beliefs, or disbeliefs, about the supernatural are important in all societies, and the ﬁnal section of the book, which considers the signiﬁcance of Java’s religious history in global contexts, shows how it exempliﬁes a profound contest of values in the universal human search for a better life.
Work & Life in Vietnam Today
Through 67 interviews and 59 photographs, It’s a Living reveals the energy and struggle of the world of work in Vietnam today. A goldfish peddler installing aquariums, a business school graduate selling shoes on the sidewalk, a college student running an extensive multi-level sales network, and a promotion girl intent on moving into management are just a few of the people profiled. Based on frank and freewheeling interviews conducted by students, the book engages a broad range of Vietnamese on their feelings about work, life and getting ahead. By providing a ground-level view of the texture of daily working life in the midst of rapid and unsettling change, the book reveals Vietnam today as a place where ordinary people are leveraging whatever assets they have, not just to survive, but to make a better life for themselves, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Volume 1 (1997) through current issue
The Journal of Burma Studies is one of the only scholarly peer-reviewed printed journal exclusively on Burma. The Journal of Burma Studies is jointly sponsored by the Burma Studies Group and the Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University. It is published twice a year (June and December) by NUS Press, National University of Singapore. The Journal seeks to publish the best scholarly research focused on Burma/Myanmar and its minority and diasporic cultures from a variety of disciplines, ranging from art history and religious studies, to economics and law. Published since 1997, it draws together research and critical reflection on Burma/Myanmar from scholars across Asia, North America and Europe.
Vol. 1 (2005) through Vol. 4 (2008)
Journal of Chinese Overseas publishes research articles, reports and book reviews dealing with Chinese overseas throughout the world, and the communities from which they trace their origins. Moving across regions and disciplines, the Journal examines Chineseness in its many diverse settings. With a Board of Editors drawn from fields as varied as history, anthropology, sociology, geography, cultural studies and political science, the Journal contributes to transnational studies, as well as the study of Chinese communities in specific national contexts.
Environment, Cosmology and Sovereignty
The indigenous people of Southern Vietnam, known as the Khmer Krom, occupy territory over which Vietnam and Cambodia have competing claims. Regarded with ambivalence and suspicion by nationalists in both countries, these in-between people have their own claims on the place where they live and a unique perspective on history and sovereignty in their heavily contested homelands. To cope with wars, environmental re-engineering and nation-building, the Khmer Krom have selectively engaged with the outside world in addition to drawing upon local resources and self-help networks. This groundbreaking book reveals the sophisticated ecological repertoire deployed by the Khmer Krom to deal with a complex river delta, and charts their diverse adaptations to a changing environment. In addition, it provides an ethnographically grounded exposition of Khmer mythic thought that shows how the Khmer Krom position themselves within a landscape imbued with life-sustaining potential, magical sovereign power and cosmological significance. Offering a new environmental history of the Mekong River delta, this book is the first to explore Southern Vietnam through the eyes of its indigenous Khmer residents.
This is the first book to look at labor in Malaysia's service sector, and also the first to use the labor market segmentation approach to study Malaysian labor. As in most other countries, the service sector in Malaysia has long accounted for more of the labour force than manufacturing. Studies of those working in the service industry in developing countries have tended to focus on the public sector and, in recent decades, the informal sector.
Precarity and Bangkok's Urban Poor
The informal economy in Bangkok, Thailand, offers upward mobility but is fraught with risk. For members of the urban lower class, residence and occupation are closely inter-connected. Shifts in priorities in housing, occupation and education as family circumstances change affect the way they deploy their limited financial resources, while home fires and job lay-offs make it necessary for poor communities to accommodate frequent changes of residence and variations in production and consumption. People with limited resources are extremely sensitive to uncertainty. Living with Risk examines how lower class communities in the inner city and the urban fringe of Bangkok view their employment prospects and living conditions, and how they manage risk. The author draws on two case studies, one considering the situation of women who became self-employed after losing factory jobs during Thailand’s economic restructuring in the late 1990s, and the second a community displaced by a devastating fire. The book’s detailed examination of the dynamics of the informal economy makes a substantial contribution to the literature on development economics in urban areas.