FASS Bookshare, Fall Semester: Southeast Asian Art, Culture, and Colonial History

The 10th session of FASS Bookshare was held on Thursday, October 11th, 2018, and featured Professor Maurizio Peleggi (NUS Department of History), Assistant Professor Gerard Sasges (NUS Department of Southeast Asian Studies), and Associate Professor David Teh (NUS Department of English Language and Literature) speaking about their research experiences and motivations for their recently published books.
Sasges presents his latest book, Imperial IntoxicationThis edition of Bookshare focused on Southeast Asian Art, Culture, and Colonial History, highlighting Prof Peleggi’s Monastery, Monument, Museum: Sites and Artifacts of Thai Cultural Memory (University of Hawai`i Press), Dr Sasges’ Imperial Intoxication: Alcohol and the Making of Colonial Indochina (University of Hawai`i Press), and Dr Teh’s Thai Art: Currencies of the Contemporary (MIT Press).

Emerald Buddha
Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand by Gremel Madolora

After Associate Professor Itty Abraham, Head of the NUS Department of Southeast Asian Studies introduced the authors, Prof Peleggi discussed how he bridged cultural history with art theory when writing a cultural history of Thailand using art and artifacts.

Rượu cần
Rượu cần (rice wine) in a shop in Vung Tau, Vietnam by Genghiskhanviet

Next Dr Sasges shared how he was inspired to write a book about Vietnam that does not focus on communism. He explained that one reason Vietnam’s alcohol monopoly came to be is because the state was unresponsive to citizens, but worked closely with industry.

Vasan_Sitthiket
Self portrait of Vasan Sitthiket, Thai painter and performance artist, before a stage performance in Trang province, Thailand.

Lastly Dr Teh talked about how he conceptualized the social,cultural, and institutional currencies that contemporary artists in Thailand circulate. He shared how he as a curator engaged with these artists and their work, and how he characterized their relationships with their homeland.

The event ended with a lively question and answer session, followed by refreshments and informal discussions between the authors and audience members. Stay tuned for the next session of Bookshare, scheduled for Friday, 8 March, 2019!

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