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).