News & Announcements


Recent Stories

Upcoming Performance: The Rebirth of Apsara!

January 17, 2024

CSEAS is delighted to promote two upcoming Bay Area performances of The Rebirth of Apsara. 

Created and Choreographed by Charya Burt

Commissioned score by Chinary Ung

Commissioned text by Kalean Ung

Co-Produced by New Performance Traditions/Paul Dresher Ensemble

The Rebirth of Apsara is a full-length dance/theatre work that investigates the relationship between art and war exploring how Cambodian arts and in particular Apsaras, fabled female celestial beings, have embodied the essence of Cambodian culture from ancient mythology to its post genocide resurrection. Mirroring her own life’s journey as an artist to explore the impact Apsara has had on both Khmer civilization and Cambodian artists of today, Charya Burt will set her re-imagined classical dance gestures to a musical score by renowned Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung.

Co-produced by the Paul Dresher Ensemble with the support of a Hewlett 50 Arts Commission, the “Rebirth” features esteemed dancers from Cambodia, and with live music performed by acclaimed Vietnamese multi-instrumentalist Van-Anh Vo and the Paul Dresher/Joel Davel Invented Instrument Duo. Cambodian-American theatre artist Kalean Ung will provide social and historical context using poetry and narrative to dramatize how today’s multigenerational Cambodian-American artists are empowering the Cambodian diaspora and redefining the Khmer spirit.

Premiere: Thursday, February 1, 7:30 pm, at Green Music Center, Weill Hall, Sonoma State University (1801 E. Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park)

Arrive early to experience the lobby exhibition on Cambodian culture, myths, and dance. The exhibition is part of the performance experience and will provide context for the performance itself.

Post-performance discussion: 20-30 minutes
Moderator:  Dr. Christine Su, College of San Mateo
Panelists: Dr. Toni Shapiro-Phim, Brandeis University; Dr. Chinary Ung, composer; Charya Burt, and artists performing in the production

Find more info and buy tickets here.

Second Performance: Sunday, February 4, 3:00 pm, at Z Space, 450 Florida St, San Francisco

Find more info and buy tickets here.

New Course Announcement! Insular Southeast Asia

January 10, 2024

This Spring, the new course Southeast Asian (SEASIAN 101B): Introduction to the History, Religion, and Culture of Insular Southeast Asia, is offered. It fulfills the Literature and Arts Breadth  L&S Requirements, and the History breadth requirement is in the process of being approved.  Please contact Professor Sylvia Tiwon ( with any questions. 

Position Announcement! Assistant Professor of Islamic Southeast Asia

September 25, 2023

The University of California at Berkeley is hiring a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor specializing in the Islamic Worlds of Southeast Asia, in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies.

The successful candidate will have a rigorous grounding in the culture, literature or history of one or more Islamic communities or movements in Southeast Asia. We especially welcome applications from specialists of Indonesia and the Malay world. Advanced literacy in at least one relevant research language in addition to English is required.

Tenure-track Assistant Professors at Berkeley are expected to excel in research, teaching and service. Duties will include developing and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Southeast Asian studies, with a special focus on the Muslim experience in Southeast Asia, supervising and mentoring graduate students, and contributing to the Departmental and university mission through service. For more on the Department’s dynamic research and teaching community and our programs, please visit:

The Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies is committed to upholding the university’s principles of community so that every individual can be successful in a healthy, welcoming, and safe environment. We believe that our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share fully our commitment to these values. The successful candidate will share our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and our support of equitable access to opportunities for learning.


Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement on Contributions to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at Berkeley. 

  • Statement of Research

  • Statement of Teaching

  • Writing Sample 1 of 2 (Applicants are required to provide a total of two writing samples) - Sample of recent, sole-authored scholarly work, in English (published or unpublished) of up to 10,000 words.

  • Writing Sample 2 of 2 (Applicants are required to provide a total of two writing samples) - Sample of recent, sole-authored scholarly work, in English (published or unpublished) of up to 10,000 words.

  • Authorization to Release Information Form - A reference check will be completed only if you are selected as the candidate to whom the hiring unit would like to extend a formal offer. 

Reference requirements

  • 3 required (contact information only)


Open date: September 22, 2023

Next review date: Friday, Nov 10, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Please see the full announcement here.

New GETSEA Mini-Course

September 14, 2023

Applications are now open for GETSEA’s Fall 2023 Mini-Course!

GETSEA is offering one free and virtual mini-course this fall on topics in Southeast Asian studies, open to graduate students from a wide range of backgrounds. Current graduates students at a GETSEA member institution receive first priority in admission to the courses, though graduate students at any institution who research in and around Southeast Asia may apply for admission to take a mini-course.

These courses do not offer course credit for students at their home institutions. However, students are encouraged to work with a faculty member at their home institution to count the course towards an independent/directed study/reading credit. Mini-courses have a workload roughly equivalent to that of a one-credit course – approximately 45 hours in total, including class time, readings, and other work.

Details about our previous mini-courses are available here, and any questions or proposals can be submitted to us at

 This is a golden colored square with the name of the mini-course, Anarchism in Southeast Asia, in stylized white font, and a simple white graphic of a mountain and an ocean wave.

Anarchism and Southeast Asia

Taught by Wong Tian An, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Offered virtually from October 11 to November 15, 2023, Wednesdays, 8:00pm-10:00pm Eastern Time.

Full syllabus available here.

Apply here.

Application deadline: September 29

Three Berkeley Graduate Students Receive CSEAS FLAS Awards

September 14, 2023

CSEAS is pleased to announce that three UC Berkeley graduate students have received FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships for the 2023-2024 academic year. FLAS Fellowships are a wonderful opportunity for undergraduates and graduate students who are US citizens or permanent residents to study a Southeast Asian language at the intermediate or advanced level, and to undertake related international or area studies coursework. The program is funded by the US Department of Education, and the fellowships are awarded at UC Berkeley annually on a competitive basis for both academic year and summer study. This year’s three awardees, Chyrylle Digsay, Victoria Huynh, and Sydney To, describe the impacts of FLAS in their own words:

Chyrylle Digsay is using her FLAS to study Advanced Filipino as part of her JD program at Berkeley. Chyrylle emphasizes, “I aspire to be a lawyer who has the full capacity and expertise to serve her people. Thus, I applied to the FLAS Fellowship Program because I hope to receive the training and support to become a lawyer who can provide excellent legal services and Filipino translations to her fellow Filipinos. With the FLAS Fellowship, I will be able to refine my Filipino language skills and understanding of Southeast Asian culture which will be significant in my future professional practice.” 

Victoria Huynh’s FLAS supports her study of Advanced Vietnamese as she pursues her doctorate in Ethnic Studies. Victoria relates, “I decided to apply for FLAS in Vietnamese because I realized that I couldn't study issues in my own community without really understanding our histories, knowledge, and ways of moving through the world, expressed in our own languages. My research interests broadly circle around the question of how war and trauma have shaped the lives of Vietnamese people across homeland and diaspora, and our efforts towards reconciliation and healing, whether through spiritual practice, storytelling, or social movements. I don't know that I would have seen these transnational connections without FLAS coursework, in critical conversation with my Ethnic Studies training.”

Advanced Vietnamese is also the language of study for Sydney To, who is a doctoral student in the English Department. Sydney shares, “I'm eager for this chance to take a deeper dive into Vietnam War literature from historically neglected perspectives, particularly works written by Southern Vietnamese and racial minorities in the U.S. I've found the Center for Southeast Asian Studies to be such a vibrant intellectual hub, and I feel fortunate for this chance to continue working closely with Cam Nguyet Nguyen, Hanh Tran, and Peter Zinoman.”

If you are a UC Berkeley student interested in applying for FLAS, please reach out to, and check the CSEAS FLAS webpage for updates about the next application cycle, which will open in early 2024.

New course! "The Architects of Power"

August 24, 2023

Are you interested in U.S. foreign policy? Want to learn more about how it's made? Enroll in "The Architects of Power!"

PubPol 198 sec. 005: INDO-PACIFIC ALLIANCES (2 units)

The Architects of Power: The U.S. System in the Indo-Pacific is an interdisciplinary Goldman Public Policy School DeCal taught by two former State Department interns. In this class, we’ll tackle the history, design, and management of U.S. alliances and alignment in the world’s largest continent. We’ll engage with news articles and some academic literature to understand how policymakers use their means to achieve their ends. There will be guest lecturers throughout the semester including current and former senior leaders from across the government.

There will be 3 short memos written throughout the semester and a final group project to write an options paper for an official in government akin to those used in the Department of State. Attendance and participation are mandatory.

All majors are encouraged to enroll! This is a 2 unit P/NP course that can be counted towards the Public Policy minor. Enroll by searching for the course code in CalCentral: 29835.

If you have any questions, email rm51916@berkeley.eduand/or

Section 005: Wheeler 108 Wednesday 6:30-8pm

Join Balinese Gamelan Class in the Fall!

August 4, 2023

This Fall, don't miss out on the opportunitiy to enroll in Music 146B (Balinese Gamelan). The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:00 pm in Room 255 of Morrison Hall, lead by Lisa Gold & Ni Nyoman Srayamurtikanti. 

Prof. Lisandro Claudio takes over as CSEAS Chair

July 5, 2023

Prof. Lisandro E. Claudio is the new Chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, following Prof. Nancy Lee Peluso, who served as Chair since July 2020. CSEAS extends deep thanks to Prof. Peluso in appreciation of her guidance of the Center and achievements in supporting Southeast Asia Studies at Berkeley, especially during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With much excitement, CSEAS extends further thanks to Prof. Peluso for her leadership role in securing a major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation Initiative on Southeast Asia for the project, “Southeast Asian Lives and Histories” (SEALIVES).

CSEAS is similarly thrilled to welcome Prof. Lisandro Claudio, Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Asian History from the University of Melbourne. Prof. Claudio is an intellectual and cultural historian of the Philippines, with a broad interest in the history of global liberal thought. His book Liberalism and the Postcolony: Thinking the State in Twentieth-Century Philippines (NUS, Kyoto, and Ateneo de Manila Press) received the 2019 George McT. Kahin Prize from the Association of Asian Studies and the 2019 European Association for Southeast Asian Studies Humanities Book Prize.

His next book project, tentatively titled The Profligate Colonial: How America Exported Austerity Through the Philippines, 1902-1986, seeks to trace the historical and cultural roots of economic conservatism in the Philippines, from the implementation of the gold-exchange standard during the American Progressive Era to the collapse of developmentalism under the Marcos dictatorship. Apart from being a revisionist history of the Philippine economics and the American Progressive Era, it is an attempt to foreground textual methods in economic history through an examination of the relationship between discourses of austerity and colonialism.

Prior to his appointment at Berkeley, Claudio taught at Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. CSEAS looks forward to continuing its activities and programs under Prof. Claudio’s leadership.

Khatharya Um Receives Fukuoka Prize

June 9, 2023

CSEAS is thrilled and honored to share that CSEAS core faculty member Khatharya Um, Associate Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious Academic Prize for 2023 by the Fukuoka Prize Committee. Since its establishment in 1990, the Fukuoka Prize has commemorated the outstanding achievements of individuals, groups, or organizations who, in the words of the Secretariat of the Fukuoka Prize Committee, "create as well as preserve the many distinct and diverse cultures in the Asian region." They continue: "The Prize aims to foster and increase awareness of the value of Asian cultures, and to establish a foundation from which people of the Asia can learn and share with one another." The Academic Prize in particular recognizes individuals/groups that have made outstanding achievements in the field of Asian studies, contributing to the world's understanding of Asia.

In their Award Citation for Professor Um, the Fukuoka Prize Committee emphasizes Professor Um's commitment to educating the next generation and fostering a campus environment of mutual respect amidst difference. They note how she has long been engaged in the practice of envisioning "practical steps towards a peaceful and fair world." Central to this practice has been Professor Um's investigation of the history of the Cambodian civil war and genocide and her illumination of the experiences of survivors of this period, many of whom fled their homes and rebuilt communities in the US, France, Cambodia, and other locations. The new paths of research and action charted by Professor Um "construct a spirit of civic solidarity that transcends national borders."

CSEAS extends its warmest congratulations to Professor Um, and applauds her as she continues her work that creates crucial connections across time and difference, with the ever-urgent aim of enabling and enhancing collective flourishing.

We encourage you to read the full citation here.

CSEAS conference keynote lecture, on Buddhism across the South China Sea, is now on YouTube

April 19, 2023

'Journey to the South: Buddhist Connections across the South China Sea' - the keynote lecture given by Jack Meng-Tat Chia (Assistant Professor of History and Religious Studies, National University of Singapore) at the April 2023 UC Berkeley-UCLA CSEAS Conference on Networks and Knowledge in Southeast Asia has been posted to the CSEAS YouTube channel.

Jack Meng-Tat Chia (Ph.D., Cornell University) is a historian of religion whose research focuses on Buddhism and Chinese popular religion. He specializes in Buddhism in maritime Southeast Asia and has broader research interests in migration, diasporas, transnationalism, pilgrimage, and religious diplomacy. He is the author of Monks in Motion: Buddhism and Modernity Across the South China Sea (Oxford, 2020), which was awarded the 2021 EuroSEAS Humanities Book Prize and shortlisted for the 2023 Friedrich Weller Prize. He is currently working on two book projects: ‘Sisters in Dharma: A Buddhist Feminist in Postcolonial Indonesia’, and ‘Diplomatic Dharma: Buddhist Diplomacy in Modern Asia’, which is supported by the 2020 Social Science and Humanities Research Fellowship awarded by the Social Science Research Council Singapore. In 2022 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

CSEAS staff changes

March 31, 2023

Sarah Maxim retired as CSEAS Vice Chair in April, after twenty years at the center. Her successor is Alexandra Dalferro, who received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University in 2021. Dr. Dalferro’s dissertation examined silk production in Thailand, in particular among communities of Khmer silk producers in Surin province. She was a Visiting Fellow in the Thailand Studies Programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore in 2022, and is currently a lecturer at the National University of Singapore. She will join the center as CSEAS Program Director in May.

'Networks and Knowledge in Southeast Asia' - UCB-UCLA Joint Conference on Southeast Asia, April 14-15, 2023

March 29, 2023

The Center for Southeast Asia Studies at UC Berkeley and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UCLA - a consortium U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center for Southeast Asia - hosted the UC Berkeley - UCLA Conference on Southeast Asian Studies on the theme Networks and Knowledge in Southeast Asia at UC Berkeley on April 14-15, 2023.

Keynote lecture: 'Journey to the South: Buddhist Connections across the South China Sea', given by Jack Meng-Tat Chia, Assistant Professor of History and Religious Studies, National University of Singapore

Southeast Asia’s past, present, and future is shaped by its situation as a nexus of networks that has sent a complex array of people, ideas, and products along with their various ways of knowing and being across the globe. These movements have resulted in new developments of knowledge and interconnection. This conference focused on such notions of knowledge and networks in a Southeast Asian context, broadly understood as (but not limited to) cultural interactions, diaspora, migration, digital networks and social media, social and political movements, trade, collaboration and exchange, and knowledge production.

PROGRAM (updated as of April 13)

The keynote address has been posted to the CSEAS YouTube channel.

Big Thanks for the BIG GIVE!

March 10, 2023

The Institute of East Asian Studies thanks everyone who participated in the UC Berkeley BIG GIVE campaign on March 9 to raise funds for student awards and fellowships. Our special Big Give web page presents some of the stories of students who have benefited from fellowships and grants they have received from IEAS and its centers in recent years, making a difference to their academic careers.

CSEAS core faculty tenure and promotion news

November 28, 2022

Congratulations to CSEAS core faculty members Prof. Penny Edwards (South & Southeast Asian Studies) who was recently promoted to full professor and to Prof. Lisandro Claudio (South & Southeast Asian Studies) who was also recently awarded tenure and is now an associate professor. Prof. Edwards specializes in research on the culture and history of Cambodia and Myanmar. Prof. Claudio works on the history of the Philippines.

IEAS and CSEAS win new Title VI National Resource Center grants

August 8, 2022

The Institute of East Asian Studies and the Center for Southeast Asia Studies (with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, its consortium partner at UCLA) have each been awarded new grants from the U.S. Department of Education to serve as Title VI National Resource Centers (NRC) effective for 2022-2026. The new grants will support campus programs, including public lectures, workshops and conferences; library acquisitions; language instruction; and K-14 outreach. New Title VI U.S. Department of Education grants were also awarded to IEAS and CSEAS to provide Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for UC Berkeley students studying East Asian and Southeast Asian languages during the summer and academic year.

Related article: UC Berkeley international studies programs win $12 million in federal grants

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for 2022-23

August 8, 2022

CSEAS has awarded Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for 2022-23 to graduate students Sydney To (English) to study Vietnamese and to Alex Mabanta (Jurisprudence & Social Policy) and Laura Galang (Development Practice) to study Filipino.

As a U.S. Department of Education Title VI-funded National Resource Center, CSEAS administers Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for students who plan to study a Southeast Asian language during the academic year or summer. Academic year FLAS fellowships for graduate students cover tuition fees and provide a stipend of $20,000.

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for Summer 2022

May 24, 2022

CSEAS awarded Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for Summer 2022 to UC Berkeley graduate students Alex Mabanta (Jurisprudence & Social Policy) to study Filipino and to Jenny Pham (History), and Sydney To (English) to study Vietnamese. These FLAS recipients will all study at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI), the intensive summer language program hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. SEASSI will offer instruction this summer in-person for the first time since 2019.

Reminder: Check out the CSEAS YouTube channel for videos of recent webinars!

May 3, 2022

CSEAS continues to post videos of recent webinars to its YouTube channel, including the May 2 webinar book talk on 'Amnesia: A History of Democratic Idealism in Modern Thailand' by Dr. Arjun Subrahmanyan, the April 27 Burmese poetry reading, the April 20 webinar book talk on 'The Road to Dien Bien Phu' by Prof. Christopher Goscha, the April 6 panel discussion on 'The Role of Law: Interrogating the Contributions of Lawyers and Complexities of Legal Reform in Burma's Democracy's Movement' and the March 14 talk by Prof. Allan Lumba on 'Counter-Decolonization: Policing Money and Race during the Long Philippine American War'. 

CSEAS affiliated grad student receives a 2021-22 Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement

April 20, 2022

Congratulations to Alex Mabanta - a CSEAS affiliated graduate student - who has received a 2021-22 Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement for his public service!

Alex is a Ph.D. student in Jurisprudence and Social Policy in Berkeley Law School. He is the current Chair of the Filipinx and Philippine Studies Working Group, which is supported by the Townsend Center for the Humanities and affiliated with CSEAS. He also received a CSEAS Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship this year for Filipino language study, and is the incoming GETSEA Grad Council. The Graduate Education and Training in Southeast Asian Studies (GETSEA) consortium, of which CSEAS is a member, is based at Cornell University, and works to support graduate education in Southeast Asian Studies in the U.S.

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for 2021-22

July 23, 2021

CSEAS has awarded Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for the 2021-22 academic year to Christian Gilberti (South & Southeast Asian Studies) to study Burmese and Daniel Owen (South & Southeast Asian Studies) to study Indonesian, and to Paul Salamanca (Sociology) and Alex Mabanta (Jurisprudence and Social Policy) to study Filipino.

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for Summer 2021

May 14, 2021

CSEAS awarded Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for Summer 2021 to UC Berkeley graduate students Sean Cronan (History), Christian Gilberti (South & Southeast Asian Studies), Kirt Mausert (Anthropology), and Oren Samet-Marram (Political Science) to study Burmese. CSEAS also awarded FLAS fellowships to UC Santa Cruz graduate students Wayne Huang (Anthropology) to study Indonesian and Philip Conklin (History of Consciousness) to study Filipino. These FLAS recipients will all study at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI), the intensive summer language program hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. SEASSI will offer instruction this summer, as last summer, as synchronous online classes because of ongoing travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.

Get to know GETSEA

April 8, 2021

CSEAS is a founding member of the recently-established Graduate Education and Training in Southeast Asian Studies (GETSEA) consortium. The consortium was awarded a grant by the Henry Luce Foundation through its Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia (LuceSEA) with the mission of enhancing graduate education in Southeast Asian Studies across North America.

As a cross-institutional network led by the Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs) on Southeast Asia in the U.S., GETSEA is working to expand the collaborative infrastructure between the centers of Southeast Asian studies. Current programs include a virtual speaker series and specialized online mini-courses. Future plans will add a mentoring network and professional development programs for graduate students, and the creation of a framework for shared language instruction.

The Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University is serving as the administrative host for GETSEA. Along with CSEAS, the other members of the consortium include the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan; the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University; the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai’i-Mānoa; the Southeast Asia Center, University of Washington; the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and UCLA's Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

GETSEA is now also active on social media as part of its efforts to promote cross-campus collaborations and information for scholars of Southeast Asia. Check out the consortium's Facebook page and follow it on Twitter!

Library withdraws proposal to close the South & Southeast Asia Library

March 23, 2021

Founded in 1970, the South/Southeast Library (S/SEAL) is a dedicated reading room in Doe Library, UC Berkeley’s main research library. The library combines research and writing space, reference materials, and specialist consultation on site. It is a campus hub for multidisciplinary research and teaching in South and Southeast Asian studies, covering nineteen countries and over twenty indigenous languages.

The UC Library recently released a report and request for public comments on its announced plans to close S/SEAL, move its non-circulating reference collection into the main Gardner stacks, and re-locate the two subject librarians (Virginia Shih, Curator for Southeast Asia and Buddhist Studies Collections, and Adnan Malik, Curator for South Asia Collection) to a different office space.

CSEAS opposed this plan, and actively requested support from students, faculty, alumni, and friends to advocate that S/SEAL remain in its current location, and continue to fulfill its important role as a site for research and quiet study.

In the face of public pressure, including a student-led campaign and petition, the UC Library announced on March 22 that it has withdrawn this proposal, and that S/SEAL would remain in its current space.

CSEAS is pleased that S/SEAL can continue to serve as a resource for the university and community, and appreciates the many many letters of support received from friends in the U.S. and around the world.

Prof. Penny Edwards wins campus mentoring award

March 9, 2021

CSEAS core faculty Prof. Penny Edwards (South & Southeast Asian Studies) has received the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award for Late Career Faculty. The campus-wide award recognizes faculty for outstanding mentorship of graduate students at UC Berkeley. Prof. Edwards will be recognized at a virtual award ceremony this spring.

CSEAS hosts symposium on activism and resistance to the Myanmar coup

March 2, 2021

CSEAS hosted the online symposium Scholar-Activism and the Myanmar Resistance on March 9. During this event, scholar-activists analyzed and strategized for resistance to Myanmar’s military coup. The event included two panels [online] and a virtual exhibit [posted to the CSEAS YouTube channel].

Panel 1: Insights from Comparative Contexts

The first panel was a roundtable discussion with scholars and activists working in Thailand, Hong Kong and India. The panelists situated Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement within regional struggles for democracy.

Panelists: Tyrell Haberkorn (Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison); Joey Siu (Associate, Hong Kong Watch; Advisor, Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China); Jasnea Sarma (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore)

Panel 2: Analysis from Myanmar Scholar-Activists

The second panel featured presentations on the historical roots, current situation, and possible leverage points for key issues in anti-coup mobilization.

Speakers: Tharaphi Than (Associate Professor of World Languages and Cultures, Northern Illinois University); Ingrid Jordt (Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee); Kevin Woods (Adjunct Associate Professor of Geography and Environment, University of Hawaii-Manoa; Senior Policy Advisor, Forest Trends); Myat The Thitsar (Parliamentary Research and Support Program Director and Strategic Advisor, Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation /EMReF; Ph.D. candidate in Global Studies, University of Massachusetts-Lowell)

The symposium panels were co-sponsored by the Institute of East Asian Studies, the Institute of South Asia Studies, and the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley.

CSEAS Facebook page disabled

February 22, 2021

The longstanding CSEAS Facebook page has become corrupted and is no longer accessible by the center's administrators.  CSEAS has re-set its homepage Facebook link to go instead to the main Institute of East Asian Studies Facebook page. Apologies to those who were using our CSEAS Facebook feed for events information!

CSEAS virtual conference on Ethnic and Community Identity in Southeast Asia held in February

February 12, 2021

A joint conference organized by CSEAS and UCLA’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies that was originally planned to be held at UCLA in April 2020 was held online during the week of February 8, 2021. The conference, Ethnic and Community Identity in Southeast Asia, was designed to explore aspects of group and individual identity in Southeast Asia, and examine newly emerging forms of identity as well as long-existing ones that are being reconceptualized or reasserted in new circumstances. The keynote address, by Prof. Ardeth Thawnghmung from University of Massachusetts-Lowell, is available for viewing on the UC Berkeley CSEAS YouTube channel, as is the special roundtable discussion on the February 1, 2021 coup in Burma/Myanmar. George Dutton, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA, and Director of UCLA CSEAS, served as the conference chair. UC Berkeley CSEAS and UCLA CSEAS are a consortium U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center for Southeast Asian Studies. A summary of the conference and the conference panels has been posted to the UCLA CSEAS website.

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for 2020-21

August 18, 2020

CSEAS has awarded Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for the 2020-21 academic year to Alan Yeh (French) to study Vietnamese, and to three incoming graduate students: Christian Gilberti (South & Southeast Asian Studies) will study Burmese and Daniel Owen (South & Southeast Asian Studies) and Jennifer Silver (Anthropology) will study Indonesian. Rose Marie Schweis (South & Southeast Asian Studies) received an undergraduate FLAS award to study Thai.

Prof. Nancy Lee Peluso takes over as CSEAS Chair

July 1, 2020

Prof. Nancy Lee Peluso is the new Chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, following Prof. Aihwa Ong who served as interim chair for 2019-20. Prof. Peluso will serve as CSEAS Chair until June 30, 2024.

Nancy Lee Peluso is Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management in the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University. Her research focuses on resource policy and politics and forest and agrarian change in Indonesia. She is the author of Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java (UC Press, 1992).  She is co-editor, with Christian Lund, of New Frontiers of Land Control (Taylor and Francis, 2012); with Christine Padoch, of Borneo in Transition: People, Forests, Conservation, and Development, revised edition (Oxford University Press, 2003); and, with Michael Watts, of Violent Environments (Cornell University Press, 2001). Another edited volume, Taking Southeast Asia to Market: Commodities, People and Nature in a Neoliberal Age (Cornell University Press, 2008), edited with Joseph Nevins, developed out of a CSEAS symposium held in 2005. Recent journal articles include, with Peter Vandergeest, “Writing Political Forests” and with Martin C. Lukas, “Transforming the Classic Political Forest: Contentious Territories in Java” in Antipode 52:4 (2020); with A.B. Purwanto, “The remittance forest: Turning mobile labor into agrarian capital” in Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 39:1 (2018); and “Entangled Territories in Small-Scale Gold Mining Frontiers: Labor Practices, Property, and Secrets in Indonesian Gold Country” in World Development (January 2018). Her current research project on labor migration and the effect of remittances on agriculture and forest landscapes in Indonesia, a collaboration with colleagues at the University of Indonesia, New York University and the University of Hawaii, is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. This research is outlined in their recent article, “Circular labor migration and land-livelihood dynamics in Southeast Asia's concession landscapes” in Journal of Rural Studies 73 (January 2020).

CSEAS awards FLAS fellowships for Summer 2020

June 29, 2020

CSEAS awarded Foreign Languages and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for Summer 2020 to Melissa Carlson (South & Southeast Asian Studies) to study Burmese, Jocelyn Duffy (Journalism) to study Filipino, Ngoc Mai Phan (Ethnic Studies) to study Vietnamese, and Justin Weinstock (Anthropology) to study Thai. Because of the travel restrictions imposed in the spring in response to the COVID19 pandemic, the FLAS recipients who had planned to study their languages in Southeast Asia had to change their plans. Three of these FLAS fellows are now studying their languages remotely in synchronous online classes offered by the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI), the intensive summer language program hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while the fourth student is pursuing one-on-one instruction (virtually) with a tutor.

CSEAS affiliated faculty Prof. Khatharya Um receives Chancellor's Award

June 2, 2020

CSEAS affiliated faculty Prof. Khatharya Um has received this year's Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence and Equity, presented to a UC Berkeley faculty member who has "an extraordinary record of accomplishment in advancing equity, inclusion and diversity through their scholarship, research, teaching, and public or university service." The award was announced by Chancellor Carol Christ and Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Oscar Dubón. Prof. Um is Associate Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies. She served as Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies for many years, now part of Global Studies, and as faculty director of Berkeley's Study Abroad Program. Her most recent book is From the Land of Shadows: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Cambodian Diaspora (NYU Press, 2015). She is a founding member of the UC Critical Refugee Studies Collective. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley in 1990. 

Distance Learning for Burmese and Khmer, from UC Berkeley to UCLA

May 6, 2020

UCLA’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the consortium partner with CSEAS as a Title VI-funded National Resource Center for Southeast Asia, recently posted two articles about the ongoing collaboration between the two campuses in offering Distance Learning Khmer and Distance Learning Burmese. Both languages are taught at UC Berkeley by South & Southeast Asian Studies Department language instructors Frank Smith (Khmer) and Kenneth Wong (Burmese), but can accept students from UCLA as well, who attend remotely (even before all campus instruction went online!). The Khmer classes are also open to students at UC Irvine. The instruction of Khmer is partially supported at UC Berkeley by the consortium’s Title VI federal grant, while the Burmese language course is fully supported by these federal funds.

Online lecture: Lessons from the 1918 Flu Pandemic in India and Indonesia

April 22, 2020

UC Berkeley’s Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS) has been hosting a regular series of online presentations for K-14 educators about world responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. A presentation in early April, by Prof. Siddharth Chandra from Michigan State University, covered the 1918 flu pandemic in India and Indonesia, which saw high death rates and waves of transmission. The presentation is available now online as a video link or as a slide deck for download. ORIAS is supported by the eight Title VI- funded National Resource Centers at UC Berkeley, including CSEAS.

New faculty hire in South & Southeast Asian Studies conducts research on the Philippines

March 24, 2020

Lisandro Claudio has recently joined the UC Berkeley faculty as Assistant Professor of South & Southeast Asian Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne. He was on the faculty of De La Salle University in Manila prior to his move to Berkeley. His research focus is on modern history and political change in Southeast Asia, specifically in the Philippines. His publications include Taming People's Power: The EDSA Revolutions and their Contradictions (Ateneo De Manila University Press, 2014) and Liberalism and the Postcolony: Thinking the State in 20th-Century Philippines (National University of Singapore Press, 2017), which won the Association of Asian Studies George McT. Kahin Prize in 2019 for distinguished work beyond a scholar’s first book.

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. 

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. 

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.