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Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Studies Group
Association of Asian Studies

Note from the Chair of the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Section of the Association of Asian Studies, April, 2008

Note from the Chair of the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Section of the Association of Asian Studies, April, 2008

Founded in 1976, T/L/C is a group that supports the exchange of information about current research in Thailand , Laos , and Cambodia . It serves as a means of facilitating the formation of panels at AAS and other conferences and maintains a listserve and website ( www.tlc.ucr.edu ) which provides current and archived information on Thai, Lao, Cambodian politics, literature, history, economics, and religion. In addition this website includes brief reports from scholars working in the field, announcements from Southeast Asia area centers at universities in the US and abroad, news about upcoming conferences, book reviews, and an extensive bibliography of recently published books on Thailand , Laos, and Cambodia . Membership is free but small annual donations/contributions are encouraged to support the funding of the "Ingrid Muan Graduate Student Traveling Fellowship." The T/L/C holds its business meeting and sponsors an annual keynote speaker at the AAS international conference.

The T/L/C Group has changed considerably over the past five years. There has been an influx of new members, the initiation of a website, and a greater coherence in terms of objectives. The first change began with Bonnie Brereton, Sue Darlington, and Anne Hansen (the former chairs and editors of our newsletter). Anne Hansen, in particular, asked the group at the New York AAS and in the Winter 2003 edition of our newsletter, Khosana, to reflect upon our group geographically, theoretically, and practically. Why is there such a grouping when these three countries and peoples have such disparate colonial, economic, and military histories? Was the group simply an etic entity, which studied the region as an object? How did our membership, activities, and stated goals engage with post-orientalist critiques? Instead of offering answers to these questions and others Hansen, along with David Chandler, Thongchai Winichakul, John Marston, Nikki Tanenbaum, and others urged us to take a step back and look at each one of our country specialties and ask ourselves: what is the state of our field? And perhaps more importantly: what was our field? Practically, Anne Hansen began a three-year review of the state of the field by asking individual scholars to make a presentation on their country specialty. The First year, in New York, David Chandler spoke on the State of Cambodian Studies. The following year, in San Diego, Justin McDaniel spoke on the State of Lao Studies. In 2005, in Chicago, Thongchai Winichakul spoke on the State of Thai Studies. This last topic is particularly appropriate since the International Council of Thai Studies Conference took place at Northern Illinois University immediately following the AAS meeting, and many scholars from Thailand were in attendance at the TLC meeting in Chicago. The success of this "state of the field" series has led us to propose a new initiative to have a four year cycle on 'Academic Disciplines and TLC Studies." The first talk in this series was at the AAS meeting in San Francisco. The discipline was "History" and the talk was by the well-known historian, Dr. Craig Reynolds of Australian National University. The talk: "A History of Auspiciousness from Thai Handbooks" presented by Dr. Craig J. Reynolds (Australian National University). In 2007, the focus was "Anthropology." The 2007 distinguished speaker (at the AAS meeting in Boston, 7 pm, Harvard Room, Copley Marriot, Saturday, March 24th) was Dr. Judy Ledgerwood (Northern Illinois University). She offered a highly informative talk on the history of anthropological studies in Cambodia and offered a glimpse at a number of ongoing and future projects. This year in Atlanta at the 2008 meeting, the theme will be “Political Science.” Our distinguished guest speaker will be Dr. Duncan McCargo from Leeds University. He is one of the most controversial and well-known scholars of Thai politics and history in the world. He will give a talk – “ Cooptation and Resistance: The Coup, The South, and the State of Thai Political Studies.” At the business meeting we will open the floor to ideas for next year's "discipline" (Art History, Linguistics, Development Studies, Ethnomusicology, Economics, etc.).

After this series, there has been suggestions for another series on Crossing-Boundaries. These talks will bring together scholars to discuss cross-border themes in the "Golden Triangle" and Xipsongpanna (Southern China), and the "Emerald Triangle" (borders of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand), the Karen, Mon, Burmese, Thai border, and finally, the Thai-Malaysian border. These talks hope to question the notion of autonomous history, and better enlighten us on why we situate ourselves in a group with such a contested rubric - T/L/C. These meetings have given and hopefully will continue to give the members a much better sense of the issues, resources, and concerns of our chosen field(s).

The second major change in has come with the way we represent ourselves. With the departure of Sue Darlington as the editor of the newsletter, we have been struggling with finding a more practical and useful way to communicate with our members and encourage new members to join (esp. young scholars and graduate students). Justin McDaniel and the Southeast Asian Studies Program at the University of California (Riverside) has sponsored and started a website for the T/L/C to replace the print edition of the Khosana newsletter. This website and electronic version of the newsletter hopes to better serve its readers by offering frequent updates on new research, reports from the field, news about new dissertations and publications, links to important websites and wire services, and more timely book reviews, obituaries, and reflections on current events. It will also serve as a place to advertise relevant conferences, regional meetings, archive/museum openings, etc..

In early 2007 we conducted an on-line survey which yielded a large response (56 members responded to date). Based on these responses, we are particularly interested in raising funds to hire a student to help build the website in three major areas: 1) film, music, and image archives for TLC Studies; 2) Regular reports on new articles and books in the field; 3) regular political reporting from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. To this end, we are trying to raise 500 to help fund a student to assistant adding this information to the website and maintaining that site. SEAC granted the TLC 1,000 in 2007 to help fund this assistantship. It has been very successful. We have increased lour membership by over 60 people, revamped the website, added new links, new reviews, new publications, etc. Dr. McDaniel has been doing this task alone for the past year without compensation. UCR has promised to match the funding the TLC receives from donation and AAS support.

In addition to building the content of the website, we would like to attract new members to the TLC and its listserv. In 2005, we had 51 members. Today, we have 324 members. This 525% increase in membership in less than three years is thanks to the website and listserv.

Perhaps our greatest struggle has been to sponsor T/L/C panels at the AAS. While many of our members give talks on panels in history, anthropology, linguistics, economics, political science, religion, etc. there has been very little in the way of forming T/L/C panels. In 2006, we sponsored Dr. Pattana Kitiarsa's panel in honor of Charles Keyes. In Boston, we sponsored Duncan McCargo's panel on the Southern Thai conflict. However, there were only 6 panels that focus on Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia (actually, only Thailand, Cambodia and Laos are almost completely neglected at the 2007 AAS). This is something that we attempted to change in order to bring together scholars in a formal way to share ideas on issues related to Thai, Lao, and Cambodian Studies collectively. In 2008, we have been much more successful. In 2008, we sponsored Marjorie Muecke’s panel “Critiquing Re-studies: Reflections by Authors of Re-studies in Northern Thailand.” There are three papers on Lao Studies, and over 12 panels which focus in some way on Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia Studies. We are trying to increase the membership even more by offering a travel grant to 1-2 graduate students to attend the annual AAS meeting. At this year's TLC/AAS meeting in Atlanta we will also attract new members and generate discussion about contemporary events, new resources, etc.

Financially, the TLC is healthy. As of March 30, 2008, the TLC has 1314.83 USD in its primary account. In May 2007 we requested 1,000 USD from SEAC. We received this funding and UCR matched it. This funding is being used to maintain the website and hire an undergraduate technical expert. Therefore, we have 3,314,83 in funding available. 2,000.00 of this is being used to fund a student assistant. Averaging 5 hours a month, we have 14 more months of funding available to fund this student IT expert. Our goal is to maintain a minimum balance of 1,000.00 USD for future and unforeseen projects. This funding is separate from the 416.00 USD collected through annual donations. This donated funding goes towards the annual Ingrid Muan Fellowship. We plan to award one graduate student 250.00 this year. The executive committee will also generate new ideas for future funding and projects. We have requested an additional 500.00 USD from SEAC in order to provide more funding for scholars from Thailand, Cambodia, or Laos to attend the annual AAS Conference.

For more information in 2008 activities by the TLC, please see the Atlanta Meeting Agenda:

Annual Business Meeting
Atlanta, GA
7:00PM to 8:30 PM
Hanover E
April 5th, 2008

Before I list the agenda for the business meeting, let me tell you about some exciting news. This year, the TLC is teaming up with the larger SEAC (Southeast Asian Studies Council) to put on a reception in honor of the Kahin Prize. That reception begins at 8:30 immediately after a shortened TLC business meeting. All are invited to this reception. There will be members of Burma Studies, Vietnam Studies, Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei Studies, Philippines Studies there. At the reception SEAC will announce the launch of the Kahin Prize (more information and formal invitation to come later). The reception is from 8:30-10pm on Saturday April 5 in the Grand Hall Pre-function area. There will be snacks and a bar. A good time for conversation and fun after a long day of panels.

TLC Business MEETING AGENDA (7:00-8:30)

1) This year's meeting will start with a talk "Cooptation and Resistance: The Coup, the South, and the State of Thai Political Studies" presented by Dr. Duncan McCargo. This talk is the third in the TLC "discipline series." This year's focus is "Political Science."

At the business meeting we will open the floor to ideas for next year's "discipline" (Ethnomusicology, Linguistics, Development Studies, Economics, Religious Studies, Art History, etc.).

2) Call for panel ideas for a T/L/C sponsored panel. This year's TLC-Panel is on Saturday April 5th at 2:45 pm in : #151. "Critiquing Re-studies: Reflections by Authors of Re-studies in Northern Thailand." Sponsored by the Thailand/Laos/Cambodia Group (Marjorie A. Muecke, University of Pennsylvania).

This is certainly not the only panel that has Cambodian, Lao, and Thai Studies papers. I also encourage TLC members to see the list of panels below.

3) Website (tlc.ucr.edu), listserv updates.

4) Member news--we have lots of new members!

5) Nominations and Elections:
**Continuing executive committe members: Dr. ML Pattaration Chirapravati (California State University at Sacramento), Dr. Catherine Raymond (Northern Illinois University), Dr. Penny Edwards (University of California at Berkeley), Dr. Justin McDaniel (chair), (University of California at Riverside).

Erik Davis (University of Chicago) will serve for one more year as Graduate Student Chair.

These members will serve for two year terms (2007-2009).

**This year there will be a call for nominations to replace four executive committee members: Dr. Chhany Sak-Humphry (University of Hawaii), Dr. Cavarlee Cary (UC Berkeley), Dr. Susan Kepner (UC Berkeley), Dr. Gregory Green (Cornell University).

Outgoing executive committee members can be re-elected. New members can be nominated in person (and voted on) at the TLC meeting.

*Lawrence Ashmun (Bibliographer) will remain the TLC bibliographer.

6) Announcements (Please come with any information on upcoming conferences, fellowship opportunities, performances, archive openings, etc. that you would like to bring to the attention of the TLC membership. If you send me these announcements I will also post them on the TLC website).

7) Call for donations for the Ingrid Muan Graduate Traveling Fellowship.

8) Financial report.

9) Members announce new TLC related publications

10) Floor open for any other announcements.

**OTHER TLC or Southeast Asian Studies panels, events, and meetings in conjunction (numbers refer to their place in the on-line AAS meeting program. If any panel, etc. interests you the room locations are listed on-line.): http://www.aasianst.org/annual-meeting/Atlanta-Daily-Schedule.pdf

The numbers correspond to the on-line AAS schedule.

FRIDAY, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

23. The Local Politics of International Aid in Cambodia and Nepal (Caroline S. Hughes, University of Birmingham)

26. Contemporary Scales and Shapes of Resistance in Rural Southeast Asia (Dominique Caouette, University of Montreal)

28. Social Change, Gender Renegotiation, and Lao Textiles in the Twenty-first Century (Carol J. Ireson-Doolittle, Willamette University)

FRIDAY, 10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

46. Roundtable: Looking Behind and Beyond Unrest and Violence in the Malay Muslim South of Thailand (Thanet Aphornsuvan, Thammasat University)

47. Sex and Intimacy in Colonial Southeast Asia (Chie Ikeya, National University of Singapore)

48. Neoliberalism and Its Contested Forms of Knowledge in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Christina Schwenkel, University of California, Riverside)

FRIDAY, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

66. The Forgotten Decade: The 1930s in Southeast Asian History (Mark V. Emmanuel, National University of Singapore)

67. The Politics of Access: Evolving Conceptions of “Justice” and “Equity” in Contemporary Vietnam (Kristy E. Kelly, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

68. You Don’t Only Go Around Once: Rebirth and the Recycling of Souls/Selves in Mainland Southeast Asia (Nicola Tannenbaum, Lehigh University)

FRIDAY, 3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

83. “Zomia” as a Framework for Conceiving Scholarship on Upland Mainland Southeast Asia (James C. Scott, Yale University)

86. Heroism, Nostalgia and Memorial: China and Vietnam’s Contested and Collaborative Terrains in the Twentieth Century (Lorraine M. Paterson, Cornell University)

87. Postwar Vietnamese Cinema: History, Genre, and the Construction of the Gendered Subject (Lan P. Duong, University of California, Riverside)

88. Race and Civilization in Philippine Histories (Megan C. Thomas, University of California, Santa Cruz)

SATURDAY, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

103. Suspected, Rejected, and “Protected”: Eurasians as the Symbols of Empire in Colonial India, Indochina, and Japanese Occupied Malaya (Christina E. Firpo, California Polytechnic State University)

108. The New Terrain of Islamist Activism in Southeast Asia (Joseph Chinyong Liow, Nanyang Technological University)

109. Saigon: Civil Society and the Politics of Contestation, 1920-1975. Sponsored by the Vietnam Studies Group (Sophia Whitney Quinn-Judge, Temple University)

110. Individual Papers: Gender and Religion in Southeast Asia (Katherine A. Bowie, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

SATURDAY, 10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

123. Southeast Asia in Political Science: Theory, Region, and Qualitative Analysis (Dan Slater, University of Chicago)

129. Spiritual Landscapes in Southeast Asia: Changing Geographies of Potency and the Sacred (Catherine Lucy Allerton, London School of Economics)

130. Buddhism in Burma and Beyond: Religion as a Lens for the Study of Southeast Asia. Sponsored by the Burma Studies Group (Erik Braun, University of Oklahoma)

SATURDAY, 2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

150. The Politics of Syariah in Muslim Southeast Asia. Sponsored by the Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei Group (Kikue Hamayotsu, Columbia University)

151. Critiquing Re-studies: Reflections by Authors of Re-studies in Northern Thailand. Sponsored by the Thailand/Laos/Cambodia Group (Marjorie A. Muecke, University of Pennsylvania)

SATURDAY, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

166. Learning to Read across Borders: Secular and Religious Education in Laos, China, and Diaspora from 1920 to the Present (Carol J. Compton, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

169. Roundtable: Local vs. National Politics in Indonesia: The Evolving Political Landscape at the Local Level. Sponsored by the Indonesia East Timor Studies Committee (Elizabeth F. Collins, Ohio University)

170. Scandalous Hypotheses: New Approaches to Studies of the Thai State in the Shadow of the Coup (Tyrell C. Haberkorn, Colgate University)

SUNDAY, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

189. Spectacles of Identity: Public Marginality in Thailand (Sudarat Musikawong, Willamette University)

SUNDAY, 10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

204. Asian Traders and their Larger Counterparts: Continuity and Transformations (Prista Ratanapruck, Harvard University and Tina Harris, City University of New York)

205. Commodity, Art and Politics in the Production of East and Southeast Asian Cinemas (Kaiman Chang, University of Texas, Austin)

209. Individual Papers: Center-Periphery Relations in Southeast Asia (Katherine A. Bowie, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

211. Individual Papers: Globalizing States and Markets in South and Southeast Asia (Amrita Basu, Amherst College)

Dr. Justin McDaniel, University of California, Riverside










































































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