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Application information for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for 2020-21 and Summer 2020 now available

November 8, 2019

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships are awarded at UC Berkeley annually on a competitive basis for the academic year and for summer study.


These fellowships provide funding to students to encourage the study of less commonly taught foreign languages in combination with area and international studies. The purpose of the FLAS program is to promote the training of students who intend to make their careers in college or university teaching, government service, or other employment where knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is essential. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.


The Institute of East Asian Studies and the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, as Title VI-funded National Resource Centers, administer the FLAS fellowship program for UC Berkeley students studying East Asian (IEAS) and Southeast Asian (CSEAS) languages, while the Graduate Division disburses the funds. The application deadline for AY 2020-21 and Summer 2020 awards is Wednesday, January 29, 2020.


Details about the fellowships, eligible languages, other requirements, and the application portal are available on the Graduate Division website. Information about eligible languages for East Asia and Southeast Asia is also available at the relevant IEAS and CSEAS webpages.  


For more information about FLAS awards for East Asian languages, contact Dylan Davis, IEAS Associate Director, For more information about FLAS awards for Southeast Asian languages, contact Sarah Maxim, CSEAS Vice Chair,


UC Berkeley-UCLA April 2020 conference on 'Ethnic and Community Identity in Southeast Asia' - CALL FOR PAPERS

November 6, 2019

The Center for Southeast Asia Studies at UC Berkeley and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UCLA announce a Call For Papers for a joint conference that will be held April 24-25, 2020 at UCLA. The theme of the conference is Ethnic and Community Identity in Southeast Asia. The conference chair is Prof. George Dutton, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA, and Director of UCLA's Center for Southeast Asian Studies. The keynote speaker will be announced in early 2020.

This conference is designed to explore aspects of group and individual identity in the region. Broadly conceived, papers would consider the ways in which people are articulating, embracing, or contesting different forms and reconfigurations of personal or group identity. Such forms might encompass aspects of ethnic, gender, or religious identities, or perhaps overlaps across these and other dimensions of identity. Papers might consider the political implications of how people and groups articulate or embrace identity and possible conflicts pitting groups against the state or each other. The hope is that papers will explore newly emerging forms of identity as well as long-existing ones that are being reconceptualized or reasserted in new circumstances. Proposals from all disciplines are welcome as are ones that cross disciplinary lines. 

Possible paper topics might touch on any of the following: state ethnic labeling policies and their implications; contestation centered on competing ethnic identities and terminologies; identities or communities formulated in terms of gender or sexual orientation; identities defined in terms of religious affiliation or organizations; academic, state, or public discourse surrounding racial or ethnic identities; ethnic or identity politics that cross national boundaries and complicate state narratives.

The two centers invite submissions for presentations from scholars and graduate students conducting original research in the social sciences and humanities that address the primary theme of the conference. Abstracts (up to 500 words) should be emailed to CSEAS at UCLA by Monday, January 20, 2020. Abstracts should include presenter name, affiliation and discipline and contact information (including e-mail address).

The conference is open to all scholars and graduate students. Some travel funding is available for faculty and graduate students at UC and CSU campuses.

See the UCLA CSEAS announcement for more information. Contact: UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 11288 Bunche Hall, Box 951487, Los Angeles, CA 90095. E-mail:

The Center for Southeast Asia Studies at UC Berkeley and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UCLA form a consortium U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center for Southeast Asian Studies.


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.

Book series co-edited by Prof. Catherine Choy includes reprinting of seminal work on Philippine cuisine

October 7, 2019

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 also quoted in a recent New York Times article highlighting the legacy and influence of Doreen Fernandez on Philippine cuisine.

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.