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ORIAS 2020 Summer Institutes for K-12 teachers and community college instructors announced

February 20, 2020

The Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS), which organizes professional development programs for K-14 teachers on international themes and issues on behalf of the eight U.S. Department of Education Title VI-funded National Resource Centers for area studies on the Berkeley campus, has announced the topics for its two 2020 summer institutes. The summer institute for community college instructors, to be held May 29-30, will focus on “People Power” while the summer institute for K-12 teachers, to be held June 22-24, will focus on “Propaganda.” The institutes are free and include lunch. The programs are held in the IEAS conference room at 1995 University Ave.  The K-12 summer institute includes the option of professional development credit for interested teachers.

IEAS gears up for BIG GIVE on March 12

February 19, 2020

The Institute of East Asian Studies will be participating in the UC Berkeley BIG GIVE campaign on March 12 to raise funds for student travel awards and fellowships. For a look at student testimonials about how fellowships and travel grants from IEAS and our centers make a difference to their academic careers, check out our special Big Give web page, and see also how donors can participate in supporting our work at Cal during Big Give.

CSEAS Spring/Summer Travel Grants - application deadline is April 1

January 29, 2020

The Center for Southeast Asia Studies manages a small travel grants program for UC Berkeley graduate students and undergraduates who are pursuing humanities or social science research on Southeast Asia.


These grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support recipients to undertake short-term research or to travel to conferences to present scholarly papers. There is no restriction as to the level, departmental affiliation, or citizenship of the applicant. Students must be in good academic standing.


The maximum award for graduate students is $1,100 for overseas travel and $500 for domestic travel. The maximum award for undergraduates is $500. The grants will take the form of a reimbursement after-the-fact. Grant awards are made based on the scholarly merit of the applications.


The application deadline for Spring 2020 is April 1, 2020. Requests for this deadline should be for travel that will be completed by October 1, 2020. Award announcements will be made approximately three weeks after each deadline.


Application process:

An application should include a brief proposal and a budget. The proposal should be up to one page in length (single-spaced) and describe the project and its relevance to the applicant’s program of study and/or the enhancement of his/her career. Proposals to present papers at academic conferences should provide information about the conference and an abstract of the applicant’s presentation. A second page of the application should outline the budget including the total costs of the project and indicate if the applicant has any other funding.


For graduate students:

The application must include the applicant’s name and e-mail address, department and advisor, date of entry into the graduate program and candidacy status and, when appropriate, the topic and status of dissertation research. The application must be signed by the student’s faculty chair. A letter of recommendation is not required.


For undergraduates:

The application must include the applicant’s name and e-mail address, major (if declared) and expected graduation date. The application must be signed by the Undergraduate Major Advisor, or, if undeclared, by the L&S Undergraduate Advisor. A letter of recommendation is not required.


Applications can be submitted either by e-mail in PDF format or as a hard copy. Please include the subject line “CSEAS travel award” if submitting by email. Submit completed proposals to: Center for Southeast Asia Studies, 1995 University Ave., 520H MC 2318, Berkeley CA 94704 or by e-mail to 

February book event highlights the reprinting of "Tikim", a seminal work on Philippine cuisine, in a series edited by Prof. Catherine Ceniza Choy

January 24, 2020

CSEAS core faculty Catherine Ceniza Choy is the co-editor, with Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, of the Brill book series Gendering the Trans-Pacific World. The latest volume of their book series is a much anticipated reprinting of the seminal book on Filipino food by the late Doreen G. Fernandez, Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture. The reprinting includes a new editor's preface by Prof. Choy. She was quoted in a 2019 New York Times article highlighting the legacy and influence of Doreen Fernandez on Philippine cuisine.

A book event celebrating the new publication was held on February 18, 2020, co-sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asia Studies and the Department of Ethnic Studies. The discussion featured remarks by Aileen Suzara of Sariwa Kitchen, a chef and educator who contributed the foreward to the new book; by Prof. Choy, the series editor; and by Diana Halog of the Filipina Food Lab.

Mu Sochua gives campus talk on women in Cambodian politics

October 14, 2019

Mu Sochua gave a CSEAS-sponsored talk on campus on October 30 on the role of women in Cambodian politics. Sochua is the Vice-President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in charge of Foreign Affairs and Public Relations. Formerly, she served as Minister of Women and Veterans' Affairs in Cambodia’s coalition government from 1998 to 2004, and was also a member of Cambodia’s National Assembly, representing Battambang. Sochua left Cambodia in 2017 following a crackdown on opposition leaders and civil society, and the forcible dissolution of CNRP by the Hun Sen government.

In her ministerial work, she mobilized 12,000 women candidates to run for commune elections, with over 900 women winning and still actively promoting the women's agenda at the grassroots level. She helped create and pass the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill, which imposes severe penalties on marital rape and abuse of minors. Her work in Cambodia also includes campaigns with men to end domestic violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS; working for the rights of female entrepreneurs; working for labor laws that provide fair wages and safe working conditions for female workers; and working for the development of communities for squatters with schools, health centers, sanitation, and employment.

In 2005, Sochua was honored with the Vital Voices Human Rights Global Leadership Award for her efforts to combat human trafficking. In 2009, she received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Eleanor Roosevelt Project at George Washington University for leadership in human rights. In 2010, Sochua received the People's Choice Human Rights Award from Global Exchange.

Mu Sochua is currently a Board Member of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights.

She received her Masters in Social Work from UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare in 1981, and was the recipient of the Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award from UC Berkeley in 2006. In 2015, Sochua was honored as Alumna of the Year by her undergraduate alma mater, San Francisco State University.

The talk was co-sponsored by Gender & Women's Studies, the Center for Race & Gender, and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies.

Prof. Nancy Lee Peluso receives environmental peacebuilding award

October 1, 2019

CSEAS core faculty Prof. Nancy Lee Peluso (Environmental Science, Policy & Management) is the 2019 recipient of the Al Moumin Award in Environmental Peacebuilding, awarded by the Environmental Peacebuilding Association, UN Environment, American University’s School of International Service, and the Environmental Law Institute. The award was presented at the Inaugural Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding held in October 2019 at UC Irvine. Prof. Peluso received her Ph.D. in Rural Sociology from Cornell University. Her research on resource policy and politics and forest and agrarian change focuses on Indonesia. 

Prof. Aihwa Ong takes over as CSEAS Chair

July 1, 2019

Prof. Aihwa Ong is the new Chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, following Prof. Pheng Cheah who has completed his five-year term. Prof. Ong will serve as CSEAS Chair until June 30, 2020, when she will be succeeded by Prof. Nancy Lee Peluso (Environmental Science, Policy & Management). 

Aihwa Ong is Robert H. Lowie Distinguished Chair in Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Her research interests cover a number of areas, including the role of science and technology in society, issues of neoliberalism and modernity, and the anthropology of citizenship. Her books include Fungible Life: Uncertainty in the Asian City of Life (Duke University Press, 2016), Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty (Duke University Press, 2006), Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (UC Press, 2003), Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality (Duke University Press, 1999), and Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia (SUNY Press, 1987). She is co-editor, with Ananya Roy, of Worlding Cities, or the Art of Being Global (Routledge, 2011); co-editor, with Nancy Chen, of Asian Biotech: Ethics and Communities of Fate (Duke University Press, 2010); co-editor, with Li Zhang, of Privatizing China: Socialism from Afar (Cornell University Press, 2008); and co-editor, with Michael Peletz, of Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia (UC Press, 1995). She received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is originally from Malaysia.

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for 2019-20

June 25, 2019

CSEAS has awarded Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) graduate student fellowships for the 2019-20 academic year to Jennifer Duque (Ethnic Studies) and Aaron Gatdula (City & Regional Planning) to study Filipino, Ngoc-Mai Phan (Ethnic Studies) to study Vietnamese, and Justin Weinstock (Anthropology) to study Thai. Chyrylle Digsay (South & Southeast Asian Studies and Legal Studies) received an undergraduate FLAS award to study Filipino.

New faculty hire in Anthropology conducts research in Thailand and Finland

June 24, 2019

UC Berkeley's Department of Anthropology has announced a new faculty hire effective July 2019. Dr. Daena Funahashi is a medical anthropologist who studies mental health, sacrifice and addiction in Finland and Thailand. She received her Ph.D in Anthropology from Cornell University. Before joining the Berkeley faculty, she was Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Aarhus University in Denmark. 

Four students working on Southeast Asia receive IEAS 2019 fellowship grants

May 7, 2019

Four UC Berkeley graduate students working on Southeast Asia-related topics have received 2019 IEAS graduate fellowships. Natalia Duong (Performance Studies) will conduct research in Vietnam and the U.S. about cultural perspectives towards the effects of Agent Orange and Caleb Ford (History) will conduct research in France about the mapping of the Sino-Vietnamese frontier, while Rina Priyani (Architecture) and Trude Renwick (Architecture) will be finalizing their dissertation research on, respectively, colonial and postcolonial urban issues in Bandung, Indonesia and modern transformations of commercial space in Bangkok, Thailand.

New website for UC Berkeley Khmer language classes

May 1, 2019

Khmer language instructor Frank Smith, in the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, has set up a website about his classes. These classes are also open via Distance Learning for enrollment by students at UCLA and UC Irvine.

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for Summer 2019

April 15, 2019

CSEAS awarded Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for Summer 2019 to Melissa Carlson (South & Southeast Asian Studies) to study Burmese in Myanmar, Oren Samet-Marram (Political Science) to study Thai in Bangkok and undergraduate Chyrylle Digsay (South & Southeast Asian Studies, and Legal Studies) to study Filipino at the University of the Philippines. CSEAS has also awarded a FLAS fellowship to UC Santa Cruz graduate student Christina Ayson (Art History) to study Filipino at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.