Campa Asalam: Conversion, Script, and the Malay sphere: Re-orienting the cosmological geography of the Cham of Vietnam, 1651-1969 – a seminar by William Noseworthy (Wed, 28 November 2012)

Speaker: William Noseworthy (PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Date: Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
As much of the locally centered cosmology of Cham peoples was gradually incorporated into Vietnamese territory and the majority of the Cham population moved toward a diasporic state, the reliance on Indic cosmology decreased in popularity amongst the Chams of Southeast Asia. Meanwhile intellectual relations increasingly tied Chams through their communities in Vietnamese, Khmer, and Thai territory to the Malaya-Muslim world. Cham manuscripts containing the modern Cham script of Akhar Thrah are evidence of these connections. Seventeenth to nineteenth century manuscripts written in Akhar Thrah demonstrate clear parallels to Arabic qasidah literature where the love of an individual separated from the beloved who travels across vast stretches of territory then supplants their emotions onto the love of a homeland. By the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries these intellectual ties had more overt political manifestation when a series of Islamic revolts stretched across Cham communities. However, one should not focus too overtly on these worldly outbursts as they to little to explain how the Qur’an was introduced and translated to populations that predominantly did not read or write standard Arabic. In light of the gradual conquest of the Cham polities by the Vietnamese, the question of the translation of the Qur’an to the Cham through Akhar Thrah manuscripts will be the central focus of this paper.

About the speaker
William (Billy) Noseworthy is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently on a research fellowship to study Akhar Thrah manuscripts in affiliation with the Vietnamese Studies branch of the Vietnam National University (VNU). He recently had an article published in the Middle Ground Journal that focused on the question of how to reframe the teaching of Vietnamese History In light of the history of pro-Democracy movements in Vietnam and Vietnamese New-Formalist Poetry in the United States. He has also written reviews and essays for The IIAS Newsletter, Cha:An Asian Literary Journal, Studies on Asia, Explorations, New Asia Books.org, and Inrasara.com.

The “Destruction of Champa”: A more nuanced perspective – a seminar by Mohamed Effendy (Wed, 17 October 2012)

Speaker: Mohamed Effendy (PhD candidate, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Date: Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
A new age for the Cham began as the Treaty of Harmand was signed in August 25, 1883 and Binh Thuan, the Cham area, was ceded to the French. The extermination of the Cham political elite in the 19th century has been well researched by Po Dharma’s Le Panduranga and Nicholas Weber in The destruction and assimilation of Campa (1832–35) as seen from Cam sources. However, scholars by being fixated on the issue of “Destruction of Champa” have made it synonymous with “total destruction”. This presentation argues that the destruction affected different groups in a highly complex society and was not at all a straightforward process. Cham society and the religious elites survived and though they were not led by the Cham political elites anymore, were able to continue their way of life.

About the speaker
Mohamed Effendy is a PhD Candidate of the History Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a winner of several awards and prizes including the Daniel W.Y. Kwok Endowed Fund in History, John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship in History and the Moscotti Fellowship. He is also a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies.

Sisters of Dread: The Monstrous Feminine of Southeast Asian Horror Cinema – a seminar by Andrew Ng (Wed, 12 September 2012)

Speaker: Andrew Ng (Monash University Malaysia)
Date: Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
The overlapping of beliefs, histories and traditions that form the region of Southeast Asia remains evident in the way its popular cultures reflect the shared terrains that no amount of individual state or religious ideologies can erase altogether. One feature found in the horror cinema of Southeast Asia is the prominence of a single creature. Although it goes by different names in the different countries in Southeast Asia – Nang Nak in Thailand, Pontianak in Malaysia and Singapore, the Kuntilanak in Indonesia and the Matianak in The Philippines – and although what it historically and ideologically signifies for the nation-states from which it hails may sometime also vary in degrees, that it is a similar creature is ascertained by unmistakable characteristics. This seminar will consider the Thai film Nang Nak (1999, dir, Nonzee Nimibutr), a selection of Pontianak films from Malaysia made between 1957 and 2004, and the Indonesian horror film, Kuntilanak (2006, dir. Rizal Mantovani) to show the way in which these films reflect their nation-states ideological moments, and how this particular creature can accommodate ambiguous, often contradictory, meanings that simultaneously reinforce even as it undermines them. Clips from the films will be shown to supplement some of the discussions undertaken.

About the speaker
Andrew Ng is Senior Lecturer at Monash University Malaysia, where he teaches primarily literary studies. He is the author of Dimensions of Monstrosity in Contemporary Narratives (Palgrave, 2004), Interrogating Interstices (Peter Lang, 2008) and Intimating the Sacred (HKU Press, 2011).

Commodified Sexuality and Mother-Daughter Power Dynamics in the Mekong Delta – a seminar by Nicolas Lainez (Wed, 7 March 2012)

Speaker: Nicolas Lainez (PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
This presentation explores how one family from An Giang Province (Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam) commodifies the sexuality and emotional labor of the daughter for the interests of the family. The case study illustrates the way in which commodified sexual economy occurs in the context of an indebted and economically vulnerable household. In this family, “transactional sex” is one of the resources employed to repay the debt incurred. The study shows the ways in which the mother provides, initiates and maintains the conditions for the sexual commodification of her daughter through the power situated within the mother-daughter relationship, as manifested through the narrative of gratitude and duty, the use of violence and the definition of commodified relationships in fictive kinship and reciprocity.

About the speaker
Nicolas Lainez graduated from film school in 1998. He then produced a social photography project addressing human trafficking, prostitution and AIDS in Asia that was widely broadcast throughout Europe and Asia. In 2004, he resumed academic studies and obtained a Masters in Development Studies at the University of Paris I-Pantheon Sorbonne, and a Masters in Social Anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).

Currently he is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at EHES. He is also a Research Associate at the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia based in Bangkok, and Visiting Affiliate at the Asia Research Institute (National University of Singapore).

His research is based in Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore.

The First Invasion of East Timor: The Unknown Portuguese Conquest of the 17th Century – a seminar by Assoc Prof Hans Hägerdal (Mon, 13 February 2012)

Speaker: Assoc Prof Hans Hägerdal (School of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University)
Date: Monday, 13 February 2012
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
The Portuguese colonial enterprise in maritime Asia, the Estado da Índia, was severely weakened in the course of the seventeenth century. Due to competition with their Dutch rivals, the VOC, and interior problems of administration and resources, the far-flung Portuguese ’empire’ dwindled and had lost nearly all its strongholds in Southeast Asia by the time that peace with the Netherlands was negotiated in 1661-63. There was nevertheless one area that saw a significant expansion of Portuguese authority. This was Timor and its adjacent islands. This process has been insufficiently elucidated in the printed scholarly literature. During the better part of the seventeenth century the authority of the local Portuguese group was expanded through a long series of advances, often in deadly rivalry with the Dutch VOC. Drawing from recent, extensive research in colonial archives, this lecture discusses the economic and strategical factors at work in this process, and the local political culture that enabled the Portuguese mestizo population to dominate large areas without substantial support from the Estado da Índia.

About the speaker
Hans Hägerdal is one of the premier Asia scholars of Sweden. He is an Associate Professor of History at Linnaeus University in Växjö, and has written extensively on East and Southeast Asian history, in both English and Swedish. Among his publications are Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Lombok and Bali in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (2001), and as editor, Responding to the West: Essays of Colonial Domination and Asian Agency (2009). Prof. Hägerdal is known in Sweden for his popular books on Vietnamese and Chinese history, Vietnams Historia (2005) and Kinas History (2008). He has also conducted research at IIAS in Leiden, Netherlands, and the Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies in Lund, Sweden. His book Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea: Conflict and Adaptation in Early Colonial Timor, 1600-1800 (2012) has just been published by KITLV Press.