The Southeast Asia Forum experienced an embarrassment of riches in 2009-2010. In no previous academic year had the Forum enjoyed the intellectual company of so many first-rate scholars working on Southeast Asia at Stanford. They were six in all—Marshall Clark (Australia), James Hoesterey (US), Juliet Pietsch (Australia), Thitinan Pongsudhirak (Thailand), Sudarno Sumarto (Indonesia), and Christian von Luebke (Germany)—three for the full academic year and three for two months apiece. All six visitors shared their findings and thoughts on Southeast Asia in talks hosted by SEAF. Not least among the pleasures of having them at Stanford was a Spring 2010 seminar in which they read each other’s work in progress and shared ideas as to how it might be improved. These conversations gave specific, heuristic, and collegial meaning to the abstract notion of “a community of scholars.”
Here are brief updates on all six as of the end of June 2010:
A lecturer in Indonesian studies at Deakin University in Australia, Dr. Clark came to Stanford on sabbatical to spend two months at Stanford in Spring 2010 writing up and sharing his research findings with US-based colleagues. Publications associated with his stay at APARC include two books, Maskulinitas: Culture, Gender and Politics in Indonesia (Monash University Press, 2010) and Indonesia-Malaysia Relations: Media Politics and Regionalism (co-authored with Juliet Pietsch and forthcoming in 2011), and two articles, “The Ramayana in Southeast Asia: Fostering Regionalism or the State?” in Ramayana in Focus, and (with Dr. Pietsch) “Generational Change: Regional Security and Australian Engagement with Asia,” The Pacific Review During his time with SEAF he presented papers at venues including the Association for Asian Studies convention in Philadelphia in March 2010. In April at the University of California-Berkeley at the Islam Today Film Festival he moderated a discussion of the ins and outs of making movies in Indonesia and Malaysia. (2010).
He returns to his position on the faculty of Deakin University.
Dr. Hoesterey was awarded the Walter H. Shorenstein Fellowship to spend the academic year at APARC working on several projects, including revising his University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral dissertation into a book. Based on anthropological research in Indonesia on media-savvy Muslim preachers, Sufi Gurus and Celebrity Scandal: Islamic Piety on the Public Stage should be under review in 2010 for possible publication in 2011. Also in the pipeline are an essay, “Shaming the State: Pop Preachers and the Politics of Pornography in Indonesia,” to appear in a volume he is co-editing with political scientist Michael Buehler, and chapters in Muslim Cosmopolitanisms and Digital Subjectivities: Anthropology in the Age of Mass Media. During his fellowship he spoke to audiences at several US universities. In March 2010 he was elected incoming chair of the Indonesian and East-Timor Studies Committee of the Association for Asian Studies.
In Fall 2010 the BBC-Discovery Channel series “Human Planet” will feature Dr. Hoesterey’s work as a cultural consultant with documentary-film makers in West Papua. He will spend AY 2010-11 in Illinois as the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic Studies at Lake Forest College.
Dr. Pietsch is a senior lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University. During her two-month sabbatical at Stanford in Spring 2010 she worked on two books: Indonesia-Malaysia Relations: Media, Politics and Regionalism (with Dr. Clark) and (with two other co-authors) Dimensions of Australian Society (3rd ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). In April, jointly with Dr. Clark, she spoke at the Berkeley APEC Study Center on “Indonesia-Malaysia Relations and Southeast Asian Regional Identity.”
Dr. Pietsch returns to her faculty position at the Australian National University.
Dr. Pongsudhirak is an associate professor in the Department of International Relations in the Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University, whose Institute of Security and International Studies he also heads. He was selected to spend a month at Stanford in Spring 2010 as an FSI-Humanities Center international scholar, and was supported for a second month by FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. During his time on campus he focused on the turbulent politics of Thailand—in an article drafted for the Journal of Democracy, in a number of shorter pieces, in lectures at various venues, and in interviews with media around the world. (For a filmed interview on 4 June 2010, see http://absolutelybangkok.com/thitinan-on-continuity-change/.)
Dr. Pongsudhirak will briefly rejoin some of his Stanford colleagues at a conference on Asian regionalism to be hosted by APARC in Kyoto in September 2010. Meanwhile he continues his scholarship and teaching at Chulalongkorn.
An Indonesian economist specializing on poverty reduction, Dr. Sumarto spent AY 2009-2010 at APARC as an Asia Foundation fellow writing up research, lecturing on and off campus, and advising Indonesian officials on anti-poverty policy. Notable among the publications resulting from his residence at Stanford is a book, Poverty and Social Protection in Indonesia (Singapore / Jakarta: ISEAS / Smeru Institute, May 2010), which he co-edited and most of whose chapters he co-wrote. Noteworthy, too, is a co-authored essay, “Targeting Social Protection Programs: The Experience of Indonesia,” in Deficits and Trajectories: Rethinking Social Protection as Development Policy in the Asia Region (forthcoming, 2010). Indonesia-related subjects of writing in progress include lessons from the cash transfer program, how such transfers have affected political participation, and the impacts of violent conflict on economic growth. During his stay at Stanford, Dr. Sumarto was chosen to co-convene the September 2010 Indonesia Update conference in Canberra on “Employment, Living Standards, and Poverty in Contemporary Indonesia” and to co-edit the resulting book.
Dr. Sumarto returns to Jakarta to become a senior research fellow at the Smeru Institute, which he co-founded and directed, and to continue his work on poverty alleviation in Indonesia.
Former Shorenstein fellow Dr. von Luebke completed the first year of a two-year German Research Foundation fellowship at Stanford writing a book on democracy and governance in Southeast Asia. Before the end of 2010, Gauging Governance: The Mesopolitics of Democratic Change in Indonesia should be in the pipeline toward publication. Other relevant work includes “Politics of Reform: Political Scandals, Elite Resistance, and Presidential Leadership in Indonesia,” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs (2010), and a co-authored piece on current economics and politics in the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (2010). Pending revision and resubmission is an article on the political economy of investment climates in Indonesia. In the course of the year he spoke on his research before audiences in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia, and co-organized a panel on Southeast Asian politics to be held at the annual conference of Oxford Analytica in the UK in September 2010.
Dr. von Luebke’s plans for AY 2010-11 at Stanford include research and writing on Indonesia and the Philippines and teaching a course on Southeast Asian politics