Barbara Watson ANDAYA (BA Sydney, MA Hawai‘i, Ph.D. Cornell) is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i. Between 2003 and 2010 she was Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and in 2005-06 she was President of the American Association of Asian Studies. In 2000 she received a John Simon Guggenheim Award, and in 2010 she received the University of Hawai‘i Regents Medal for Excellence in Research. She has lived and taught in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her specific area of expertise is the western Malay-Indonesia archipelago, on which she has published extensively, but she maintains an active teaching and research interest across all Southeast Asia. Her most recent books are The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2006) and (co-authored with Leonard Y. Andaya) are A History Early Modern Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and A History of Malaysia. Third edition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). She is currently writing a history of gender and sexuality in Southeast Asia for Cambridge University Press and preparing a monograph on religious interaction in Southeast Asia, 1500-1900.
Peter D. HERSHOCK is Director of the Asian Studies Development Program and Education Specialist at the East-West Center in Honolulu, and holds a Ph.D. in Asian and Comparative Philosophy from the University of Hawaiˋi. His philosophical work makes use of Buddhist conceptual resources to address contemporary issues of global concern. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books on Buddhism, Asian philosophy and contemporary issues, including: Liberating Intimacy: Enlightenment and Social Virtuosity in Ch’an Buddhism (1996); Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Response to the Information Age (1999); Chan Buddhism (2005); Buddhism in the Public Sphere: Reorienting Global Interdependence (2006); Changing Education: Leadership, Innovation and Development in a Globalizing Asia Pacific (edited, 2007); Educations and their Purposes: A Conversation among Cultures (edited, 2008); Valuing Diversity: Buddhist Reflection on Realizing a More Equitable Global Future (2012); Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction (2014); Value and Values: Economics and Justice in an Age of Global Interdependence (edited, 2015); and Philosophies of Place: An Intercultural Conversation (2018).
Muhamad Ali is an Indonesian scholar of Islamic studies in the United States. He is currently an associate professor in Islamic Studies at the Religious Studies Department and is the faculty member of Southeast Asia: Text, Ritual, and Performance Program; and the director of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program, University of California, Riverside (UCR). He earned a B.A. in Islamic Studies from the State Institute for Islamic Studies, Jakarta; an MM-CAAE from the University of Indonesia and Universite Grenoble, France; an M.Sc. in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from Edinburgh University, Scotland, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, U.S.A. Dr. Ali has published books, essays, and chapters on topics related to Islam, including as jihad,violence and peace, gender, interfaith dialog and global education, Indonesian Muslims’ perceptions of Judaism and Jews, Indonesian Islamic liberal movements, and a modern history of Southeast Asia.
Pattaratorn CHIRAPRAVATI (California State University, Sacramento) is an art historian who is specialized in Buddhist art and Southeast Asian visual cultures. She has published extensively on ancient Buddhist art including the books Votive Tablets in Thailand (Oxford University Press, 2007) and Divination Au Royaume De Siam: Le corps, la guerre, le destine (Presses Universitaires de France, 2011). She is also interested in identity and the political usage of images (forthcoming book on The Politics of Dress in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Periods of Southeast Asia). She co-curated two major art exhibitions of Thai and Burmese art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco entitled The Kingdom of Siam: Art from Central Thailand (1530-1800) and Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma (1775-1950).
Chiara FORMICHI (Cornell Univ: Trained in Islamic studies (University of Rome, Italy) and the history of Southeast Asia (SOAS, London), she focuses on Islam as a lived religion and as a political ideology in 20th century Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly. As such, her interests lie at the disciplinary intersection between Islamic Studies, History, and Area Studies, methodologically resting on archival research as well as ethnography. Her current research has two foci: first, I am pursuing a comparative study of the historical genesis and contemporary status of minorities in Southeast Asia (Burma/Myanmar, Hong Kong, Malaya and Singapore). Second, she is delving into the disciplinary relation between Asian Studies and Islamic Studies.
She teaches courses on various aspects of religion in Asia, with a focus on Islam and Southeast Asia. Among these are the general education course "Controversy and Debate in Islam" and the advanced seminars "Muslim Resistance: Shi'a Islam in Asia" and "Performing Islam in Southeast Asia".
She is interested in supervising honors' theses and graduate students working on aspects of Islam in Asia (from its Central region to the Far East), and on the history of Southeast Asia.
Anne HANSEN (Univ of Wisconsin-Madison) is a historian of religion with research interests in the history of Buddhist ethical ideas and modern religious reform and social justice movements in Southeast Asia, Cold War Buddhism, colonial Buddhism, and religion and visual culture. Much of her work focuses on Buddhist ethics of care and/or “local” interpretations and expressions of Theravada Buddhist thought within larger transnational or transregional networks. Her current projects include work on Buddhist visual ethics of care in nineteenth and twentieth century Cambodia, as well as a study of Buddhist temporality during the Cold War in modern Southeast Asia. I regularly teach courses on Buddhism, Asian religions, transnational religion, Southeast Asian colonialisms and modernities, and theory and method in the study of religion.
Vina LANZONA (Univ of Hawaii at Manoa): Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she is considered a “Martial Law Baby,” having grown up under Martial Law. And then as a student at the Ateneo de Manila University, she was part of our People Power Revolution! After college, she worked briefly for the Aquino government, then came to the United States to pursue graduate studies, completing an M.A. in Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York, and a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She spent most of her twenties living in New York, eventually moving to Honolulu to join the faculty at the University of Hawai’i. Her first book was inspired by her twin passions for studying revolution and the role of women in political change. During her sabbatical year in Seville, Spain, she began work on a new book project reexamining Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, but she’ll miss drinking wine and eating tapas in Seville’s sunny plazas.
Laurie SEARS (Univ of Washington) is a social and intellectual historian of Southeast Asia with particular knowledge of the 19th and 20th century colonial Indies and postcolonial Indonesia and Java. She has spent about six years in Indonesia; her first visit to the islands of Java and Bali was in 1972-1973 before she began her graduate career. At that time she spent almost two years in central Java and Bali studying the connections between the Javanese performing arts and Javanese mystical traditions. She also lived in India for a few years and traveled between India and Greece overland several times.
She has carried out research in central Java, Bali, and Jakarta. Her specialty is the oral and written literary traditions of Java and Indonesia in Javanese, Indonesian, and Dutch. She has more recently published on the transnational discourse of psychoanalysis as it spanned the world in the 20th century. Her teaching runs from more general courses on the 19th and 20th century histories of Southeast Asia to more specialized courses on the performing arts in Java. She also teaches about Indonesian Islam, colonialism, imperial formations, and issues of diversity.
In the next few years she plans to
teach her upper division undergraduate and graduate course "Islam,
Mysticism, Politics and Performance in Indonesia" as well as
"Violence, Myth and Memory," a 300 level course that moves among
Viet Nam, the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.S. She will also teach graduate
seminars on Indonesian archives and oral traditions as well as my methodology
class that has focused on history, trauma, and memory over the past several
years. Recently she had the opportunity to teach a group of ASEAN mid-level
diplomats and teachers in the country of Brunei. This was a fascinating
experience where she learned a good deal about the differences between teaching
American college students and teaching older Southeast Asian students. She has
also traveled to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and the
Philippines over the past several decades. For the past eight years she has served as Director of the Southeast Asia Center and Program.
As a recipient of the prestigious J. William Fulbright grant by the U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program, Thawnghmung was awarded the opportunity to spend a full academic year doing research outside of the United States. She spent time in Burma conducting research on how ordinary citizens (who generally earn less than $100 a month) use various strategies to survive. She returned to Burma in the spring and fall of 2011 in order to complete her research.
As a Burmese native, Thawnghmung came to the United States for her undergraduate degree after universities in her home country were closed due to demonstrations against the military regime. She went on to do graduate work in the U.S. and came to UMass Lowell to teach, impressed with the University’s friendly atmosphere, small classroom sizes and the strong Southeast Asian population of Lowell.
As for encouraging her students to consider an international exchange or volunteer experience, Thawnghmung is a strong advocate. “If you can make an effort to venture outside the classroom to mingle with local ordinary citizens, do it,” she says. “That is the real world and it will offer you many learning opportunities.”
When she is overseas, there are a few things she misses, such as “academic freedom, the rights to have free and open discussions and debate, things that most of us here have taken for granted.” The self-described “gymnastics mom” also misses being home to follow her daughter’s practices and competitions.
Jeffrey WINTERS focuses his research and teaching in the areas of comparative and international political economy, comparative politics, state-capital relations, labor, human rights, and the politics of postcolonial states, particularly in Southeast Asia. He is also interested in international debt, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization. His central scholarly interest is in examining how power and wealth are concentrated in the hands of the few, and the effects this has on the many. His first book,"Power in Motion: Capital Mobility and the Indonesian State" (Cornell University Press, 1996), explores the highly undemocratic structural power of those who control the investment resources everyone else depends upon for their survival. With Jonathan Pincus, he co-edited "Reinventing the World Bank" (Cornell University Press, 2002). Both books were translated into Indonesian and published in Jakarta. He has also published two other books in Indonesian: in 1999, "Dosa-Dosa Politik Orde Baru" [Political Sins of Suharto's New Order], and, in 2004, "Orba Jatuh, Orba Bertahan?" [Indonesia's "New Order" Falls or Endures?]. Winters is currently working on the problem of oligarchy -- a study of the uninterrupted dominance of elites across all institutional forms and political contexts. The cases addressed include the United States, Russia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Mexico.
Peter ZINOMAN (UC Berkeley) is a member of both the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies as well as the History Department. He is currently serving as Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies. He teaches introductory survey courses on early and recent Southeast Asian history and on modern Vietnam and graduate seminars on the comparative history of Southeast Asian colonialism, nationalism and communism. His research interests include the cultural, social, and political history of modern Vietnam and the history of 20th century Vietnamese literature. His works include The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940 (UC Press, 2001) and a translation (with Nguyen Nguyet Cam) of the colonial-era novel, Dumb Luck (University of Michigan Press, 2002). He is currently writing a book on Vu Trong Phung and the emergence of modernism in Vietnam.