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19 minutes | 6 days ago
Decolonising Research Collaboration Practices in Indonesia: A Discussion with Elisabeth Kramer
For the next five weeks, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts on research partnerships in Southeast Asia. In the context of COVID-19, it has become clear that working in partnership is a critical part of being able to do research in Southeast Asia. Through interviews with University of Sydney academics working across all disciplines and at all stages in their careers, this mini-series will highlight strategies that our members have used to build and sustain partnerships with collaborators in Southeast Asia.In our final episode in this mini-series, Dr Thushara Dibley speaks with Dr Elisabeth Kramer about her collaboration with Indonesian partners on tobacco control in Indonesia, the challenges she encountered as an Early Career Researchers, and how she shifted her approach to academic research to focus on positive impact on real-world problems in Southeast Asia.Disclaimer: This interview was recorded in December 2020. Some of the data mentioned may not be up to date.Dr Elisabeth Kramer is Deputy Director at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the intersection between discourse, identity and politics in Indonesia. Current research interests include corruption, the tobacco industry and political empowerment for people with disabilities.You can follow Elisabeth on Twitter @liskramer.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.
21 minutes | 13 days ago
The Subject and the Partner in Malaysia: A Discussion with Fiona Lee
For the next five weeks, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts on research partnerships in Southeast Asia. In the context of COVID-19, it has become clear that working in partnership is a critical part of being able to do research in Southeast Asia. Through interviews with University of Sydney academics working across all disciplines and at all stages in their careers, this mini-series will highlight strategies that our members have used to build and sustain partnerships with collaborators in Southeast Asia.For our fourth episode in this mini-series, Dr Thushara Dibley speaks with Dr Fiona Lee about a unique research project she's been managing on cultural archives in Malaysia, where her research partner is also the subject of her research.In the podcast, Fiona mentioned that the ad was published in the mid-20th century; however, the correct date is 1934, as can be seen on the Malaysia Design Archive website: https://www.malaysiadesignarchive.org/advertisement-tiger-beer/.Dr Fiona Lee is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. She researches and teaches in the fields of postcolonial studies, 20th and 21st-century literature, and cultural studies. Her research explores the history of decolonisation and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in Malaysia and Singapore, through the prisms of literature and the arts. She earned her PhD in English and a Women’s Studies Certificate at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in 2014. At CUNY, she taught literature and writing courses, as well as participated in various digital teaching and learning initiatives. From 2014-2016, she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cultural Studies at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.
18 minutes | 20 days ago
Building Relationships in Vietnam from a Distance: A Discussion with Jeffrey Neilson
For the next five weeks, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts on research partnerships in Southeast Asia. In the context of COVID-19, it has become clear that working in partnership is a critical part of being able to do research in Southeast Asia. Through interviews with University of Sydney academics working across all disciplines and at all stages in their careers, this mini-series will highlight strategies that our members have used to build and sustain partnerships with collaborators in Southeast Asia.In the third episode in this mini-series, Dr Thushara Dibley interviewed Associate Professor Jeffrey Neilson about a new collaborative project investigating sustainable agricultural production in Vietnam. He talks about the challenges of building relationships with partners you’ve never met before, beyond language barriers and closed international borders, and how this has had unexpectedly positive consequences for the project.Jeff's research focuses on economic geography, environmental governance and rural development in Southeast Asia, with specific area expertise on Indonesia. Jeff’s research interests are diverse and include issues of food security and food sovereignty, the global coffee industry, the global cocoa-chocolate industry, agrarian reform movements, sustainable livelihoods and alternative measures of well-being, agroecology, and environmental governance. He is currently leading a five-year research project examining the livelihood impacts of farmer engagement in value chain interventions across Indonesia. This research is contributing to cutting-edge international debates on the development effects of sustainability and certification programs, Geographical Indications and direct trade initiatives.Jeff is a fluent Indonesian language speaker and has conducted extended periods of ethnographic field research in the Toraja region of Sulawesi, where he pursues research in cultural change, landscape history, the ceremonial economy and oral poetic traditions.You can follow Jeffrey on Twitter @JeffreySydney.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.
20 minutes | a month ago
Delving into the Unknown in Myanmar: A Discussion with Michael Dibley
For the next five weeks, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts on research partnerships in Southeast Asia. In the context of COVID-19, it has become clear that working in partnership is a critical part of being able to do research in Southeast Asia. Through interviews with University of Sydney academics working across all disciplines and at all stages in their careers, this mini-series will highlight strategies that our members have used to build and sustain partnerships with collaborators in Southeast Asia.In the second episode in this mini-series, Dr Thushara Dibley interviewed Professor Michael Dibley about a collaborative project looking at food security and malnutrition in Myanmar - a country he had previously never worked in before, and where he had to rely on local partners to navigate an array of complex challenges.Michael Dibley is a Professor in Global Public Health Nutrition and an internationally renowned nutritional epidemiologist with major research outputs and translation over the past 30 years. Professor Dibley is Co-Director of the Global Health & Nutrition Research Collaboration (GHNRC) at the Sydney School of Public Health and the founding member of The South Asia Infant Feeding Research Network (SAIFRN). Professor Dibley’s contributions have illuminated the double burden of under and over-nutrition prevalent in many countries across the Asia-Pacific. He has conducted many large multi-centre trials and has in-depth knowledge of the conduct and analysis of large-scale community-based cluster RCTs. He has also directed research assessing the magnitude of childhood and adolescent obesity, micronutrient deficiencies in women and children, infant and young child feeding practices, and a wide range of associated environmental, social and behavioural risks factors and their effects on health in South and Southeast Asia and Africa.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.
18 minutes | a month ago
Working with Government in Timor-Leste: A Discussion with Jenny-Ann Toribio
For the next five weeks, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts on research partnerships in Southeast Asia. In the context of COVID-19, it has become clear that working in partnership is a critical part of being able to do research in Southeast Asia. Through interviews with University of Sydney academics working across all disciplines and at all stages in their careers, this mini-series will highlight strategies that our members have used to build and sustain partnerships with collaborators in Southeast Asia.In our first episode, Dr Thushara Dibley speaks with Associate Professor Jenny-Ann Toribio about a ten-year long research collaboration that she’s developed with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Timor-Leste to combat animal diseases.Jenny-Ann is Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the University of Sydney. Jenny-Ann has conducted extensive applied research focused on biosecurity, emergency animal diseases and zoonoses in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and Timor-Leste. Recent research of note in Australia includes evaluation of avian influenza risk for commercial chicken farms in New South Wales and risk awareness and risk mitigation practices among horse owners in relation to Hendra virus. Further afield, she has led collaborative research in eastern Indonesia on the evaluation of the risk for highly pathogenic avian influenza and classical swine fever with poultry and pig movement respectively; in Timor Leste on smallholder pig production and health; and in Fiji on evaluation of zoonotic tuberculosis risk for dairy farmers.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.
20 minutes | a month ago
Exploding the Archive: A Reimagining of Archival Records in Malaysia with Dr Beth Yahp
What exactly is an archive? Who and what are involved in the making and naming of memory projects as archives? What kinds of stories become told through archives, and what stories are muted?Dr Beth Yahp chats with Dr Thushara Dibley about her work with Malaysia Design Archive, exploring the inner workings of the archive-making process, and inviting us to pay closer attention to the everyday stories of objects around us. This conversation is based on Beth’s participation in a series of Living Archives workshops developed in collaboration with Dr Fiona Lee from the Department of English and Ezrena Marwan and jac sm kee from Malaysia Design Archive.Originally from Malaysia, Beth Yahp is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, whose work has been published in Australia and internationally. Her novel The Crocodile Fury was translated into several languages and her libretto, Moon Spirit Feasting, for composer Liza Lim, won the APRA Award for Best Classical Composition in 2003. Beth was the presenter of ‘Elsewhere’, a program for travellers on ABC Radio National (2010-2011). Her latest publication is a collection of short stories, The Red Pearl and Other Stories (Vagabond Press, 2017). Her travel memoir Eat First, Talk Later (Penguin Random House, 2015) was shortlisted for the 2018 Adelaide Festival Award for Literature (Non-Fiction). Beth teaches Creative Writing at the University of Sydney.Find out more about Malaysia Design Archive on their website: www.malaysiadesignarchive.org/For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: sydney.edu.au/sseac.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
Rethinking Rural Livelihoods and Food Security in Myanmar with Assistant Professor Mark Vicol
After decades of economic and political isolation, Myanmar’s rural economy is rapidly shifting from a narrow reliance on low-productivity agriculture, to a more diverse array of farm and non-farm activities. This transition poses urgent policy and scholarly questions for the analysis of inequality, livelihood patterns and food security among the country's rural population. Despite some gains, poverty, landlessness, access to non-farm job opportunities, and food insecurity remain significant challenges for rural Myanmar.Assistant Professor Mark Vicol caught up with Dr Thushara Dibley to discuss his work investigating the changing relationships between livelihood patterns, land, poverty and food security in Myanmar, arguing that in order to create impactful change, we need to rethink food and nutrition security and adapt to the local context.Mark Vicol is Assistant Professor in the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University, and an honorary associate of the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. Mark is a human geographer by training and his research focuses on the intersections between rural livelihoods, smallholder agriculture and patterns of agrarian change in South and Southeast Asia.You can follow Mark on Twitter @markvicol.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: sydney.edu.au/sseac.
22 minutes | 2 months ago
A Thai Contemporary Artist on Identity, Power, and the Space In-Between: A Discussion with Phaptawan Suwannakudt
As a Thai-Australian woman artist, Phaptawan Suwannakudt has long battled prejudice and discrimination relating to her gender. This disappointment with society’s dictates features at the heart of Phaptawan’s artistic practice. Spanning more than four decades, Phaptawan’s rich body of work includes paintings, sculptures and installations, informed by Buddhism, women’s issues and cross-cultural dialogue. Now her talents are on display on the global stage once again, in ‘The National 2021: New Australian Art’ from 26 March to 5 September 2021.In this episode of SSEAC Stories, Phaptawan Suwannakudt chats to Dr Natali Pearson about identity, power, and placemaking in the space in-between, recounting how she overcame hurdles to her artistic education and practice in what was once a male-dominated art scene, to become one of Australia’s and Thailand’s most prominent female artists.Phaptawan Suwannakudt (born in Thailand, 1959), is an internationally acclaimed Thai contemporary artist. She trained as a mural painter with her father, the late master Paiboon Suwannakudt, and subsequently led a team of painters that worked extensively in Buddhist temples throughout Thailand in the 1980s-90s. She was also involved in the women artists group ‘Tradisexion’ in 1995, and later in ‘Womanifesto’. Phaptawan relocated to Australia in 1996 where she completed a Master of Visual Arts at the Sydney College of the Arts. She has exhibited extensively in Australia, Thailand and internationally. Most recently, her work was featured in 'Beyond Bliss', the Inaugural Bangkok Art Biennale in 2018-2019, as well as in the 2020 Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts in Melbourne, Australia. Many of her works are held in public and private collections locally and overseas, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Gallery of Thailand, the National Gallery Singapore, and the Thai Embassy in Paris, among others. You can find more information about Phaptawan Suwannakudt on her website: phaptawansuwannakudt.com/.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: sydney.edu.au/sseac.
25 minutes | 2 months ago
Decolonising Conservation Practices and Research: Seeing the Orangutan in Borneo with Dr June Rubis
Around the world, orangutans are widely recognised as an iconic species for environmental and wildlife conservation efforts. The rainforest in the Malaysian state of Sarawak is one of last remaining habitats of the nearly extinct Bornean orangutan. While conservation efforts have made the region a top priority for protecting orangutans, these efforts often sideline the indigenous peoples who live along the great apes.Dr June Rubis speaks with Dr Natali Pearson about her lifelong work in orangutan conservation, and reflects on mainstream conservation narratives, politics, and power relations around orangutan conservation in Sarawak and elsewhere in Borneo. In describing the more-than-human relations that link the indigenous Iban people and endangered orangutans, Dr Rubis encourages us to rethink our relationship to the environment, and to learn from indigenous knowledge to decolonise conservation and land management practices.June Rubis is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Indigenous Environmental Studies of the Sydney Environmental Institute at the University of Sydney. She researches Indigenous conservation and land management practices from a decolonial perspective, with a particular focus on Malaysian Borneo. Her recent project has focused on the human-environment and human-animal relationships within the multi-scalar forces of conservation in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. She is a former conservation biologist, with twelve years of conservation fieldwork and Indigenous rights issues in Borneo (both Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo), and was born and raised in Sarawak. She is currently the co-chair of "Documenting Territories of Life" programme with the ICCA (Indigenous Communities Conserved Areas) consortium.You can follow June on Twitter @JuneRubis.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
Combating African Swine Fever in Timor-Leste with Associate Professor Paul Hick
Since it first arrived in Asia in 2018, African swine fever virus has caused a devastating pandemic resulting in more than a quarter of the global pig population being killed by this disease. As there is currently no vaccine or treatment for this disease, which has a nearly 100% mortality rate in infected pigs, a strong focus has been placed on preventative biosecurity measures. But this strategy has proved particularly challenging in Timor-Leste, where pigs often roam freely around villages.In this episode, Associate Professor Paul Hick speaks to Dr Thushara Dibley about his work reducing the impact of African swine fever and other animal diseases on local livelihoods in Timor-Leste.Paul Hick is an Associate Professor in veterinary virology at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science. Paul’s skills in field epidemiology and laboratory tests for animal disease are used to provide better understanding of complex multifactorial diseases across a range of farming systems. The goal is to reduce the burden of disease and promote ethical and sustainable animal production.Paul has 10 years’ experience studying disease in aquaculture in Indonesia where he aimed to help adapt to a food secure future through improved health, welfare and production of aquatic animals. Recently he has embarked on the new challenge of improving disease surveillance in Timor-Leste. A focus of these activities will be capacity building of the veterinary service to support diagnosis of disease and provide preventative advice for improved health, welfare and production.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
21 minutes | 3 months ago
Reducing Poverty through Digital Finance Schemes in Myanmar: A Discussion with Dr Russell Toth
Financial inclusion has been one of the most prominent issues on the international development agenda in recent years, as access to payments, remittances, credit, savings and insurance services have been shown to improve economic resilience and livelihoods. While bank account access remains low in many developing countries, widespread access to mobile phones is providing a platform to push financial access even into remote areas. The Covid-19 pandemic has only reinforced the importance of digital finance, which provides a safe, socially-distanced means to transact, including for distribution of social assistance transfers. In this episode, Dr Russell Toth spoke to Dr Thushara Dibley about his work on digital finance schemes and how owning a mobile phone can help lift people out of poverty in Myanmar.Russell Toth is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Sydney. He is a development microeconomist, focusing on the development of the private sector in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, on topics such as financial systems, digitisation, agricultural value chains, and small and medium enterprises. His research often involves partnering with private and public sector organisations to evaluate programs intended to improve private sector development outcomes. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.You can follow Russell on Twitter @russell_toth.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
26 minutes | 3 months ago
Trading Birds of Paradise: A Brief History by Jude Philp
Long praised for their splendid plumage, birds of paradise are a rare sight only to be found in the remote rainforests of New Guinea and associated islands. They are among the earliest animals to have the inglorious honour of obtaining legal protection against their trade. While the trade in the species is more than a millennium old, it was only in the late 19th century that globalisation pushed some bird of paradise species towards extinction.In this episode, Jude Philp, Senior Curator at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, explores the dark history of the trade in birds of paradise, the destruction of their habitat, and the ways in which local people have tried to protect the species.About Jude Philp: As Senior Curator of the Macleay Collections at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, Jude Philp is interested in stimulating research into the collections and increasing the purposefulness of museum holdings through exhibition, research, and events. Jude's current research is in the world of 'British New Guinea' and the 19th-century practice of natural history for museums. She recently published Recording Kastom: Alfred Haddon’s Journals from the Torres Strait and New Guinea, 1888 and 1898 (2020, Sydney University Press) in collaboration with Anita Herle. In 2021, Jude will publish a chapter entitled ‘Circulations of Paradise (or How to Use a Specimen to Best Personal Advantage)’, in the book Mobile Museums: Collections in Circulation (2021, University College London Press, edited by Felix Driver, Mark Nesbitt, and Caroline Cornish).For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.Dr Natali Pearson is Curriculum Coordinator at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.
26 minutes | 4 months ago
COVID-19 and Migrant Workers in Southeast Asia: A Discussion with Emeritus Professor Philip Hirsch
COVID-19 has had such far-reaching impacts that it can be, and has been, studied from the perspective of almost any academic discipline. For geographers, the ways in which COVID-19 affects place, space and movement is particularly consequential. It is at once a global phenomenon, yet it also ties us to localities in a way not experienced for a very long time in our increasingly mobile and interconnected world.In Southeast Asia, the impact of COVID-19 has been particularly severe for migrant workers, who have found themselves un- or under-employed and sometimes stranded as economic activity has shut down and borders have closed. Professor Hirsch is part of a wide-ranging review of the implications of COVID-19 for migrant workers across the Asia-Pacific region, bringing in four main dimensions: what does it mean in terms of governance/rights, gender, public health and the environment?On the occasion of International Migrants Day on 18 December, Professor Philip Hirsch spoke to Dr Natali Pearson about the impact that the pandemic has had on migrant workers in mainland Southeast Asia, and how we can better protect this vulnerable community.Philip Hirsch is Emeritus Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sydney, where he taught from 1987 to 2017. He has written extensively on environment, development, natural resource governance and agrarian change in the Mekong Region. He is now based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Books published over the past 10 years include the (edited) “Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia” (Routledge 2017), (co-authored) “The Mekong: A socio-legal approach to river basin development” (Earthscan 2016), (co-authored) "Powers of Exclusion: Land dilemmas in Southeast Asia" (NUS Press and Hawaii University Press 2011) and (co-edited) "Tracks and Traces: Thailand and the work of Andrew Turton" (Amsterdam University Press 2010). In 2021, University of Washington Press will publish his co-edited, “Turning land into capital: development and dispossession in the Mekong Region”. Professor Hirsch is fluent in Thai and Lao, speaks intermediate Vietnamese and elementary Khmer.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
17 minutes | 4 months ago
Beating Plastic Pollution in Timor-Leste with Professor Thomas Maschmeyer
As environmental emergencies go, the explosion of plastic waste is right up there. With global plastic production exceeding 300 million tonnes each year, the world has generally looked at it as an unsightly menace to be removed, but Professor Thomas Maschmeyer has gone beyond that idea. His work challenges our perceptions of waste, by turning plastic into an asset that people actively seek out to recycle because it can make them money. What he created might just clean up the planet and lift people out of poverty.Professor Thomas Maschmeyer speaks to Dr Thushara Dibley about his ground-breaking work developing catalytic technology that can recycle any kind of plastic and turn it into a valuable resource, and how he is helping Timor-Leste become the world's first plastics-neutral country.Professor Thomas Maschmeyer is Founding and Executive Chairman of Gelion Technologies (2015), Co-Founder of Licella Holdings (2007) and inventor of its Cat-HTRTM technology. He is also the Principle Technology Consultant for Cat-HTR licensee’s Mura Technologies and RenewELP. In 2001 he was one of the founding Professors of Avantium, a Dutch High-tech company. Most recently he was awarded Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation (2020) – Australia’s top prize in the field.He concurrently holds the position of Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sydney, where he established and leads the Laboratory of Advanced Catalysis for Sustainability and served as Founding Director of the $150m University of Sydney Nano Institute (2015–2018). In 2011 he was elected youngest Foreign Member of the Academia Europea as well as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and, in 2014, of the Royal Society of NSW. In 2019 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Universities of Ca’Foscari Venice and Trieste in recognition of his scientific and societal contributions in chemistry.He has authored 330+ publications, been cited 13,000+ times, including 24 patents. He serves on the editorial/advisory boards of ten international journals and received many awards, including the Le Févre Prize of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2007), the RACI Applied Research Award (2011), the RACI Weickhardt Medal for Economic Contributions (2012), the RACI R. K. Murphy Medal for Industrial Chemistry (2018) the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science (2018), the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies’ Contribution to Economic Development Award (2019).For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
23 minutes | 5 months ago
Transforming Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Vietnam: A Discussion with Professor Patrick Brennan
Globally, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with over 1 million cases detected annually. The disease is particularly worrisome in Vietnam, where breast cancer incidence has more than doubled over the last two decades, making it the leading cancer among Vietnamese women, ahead of cervical and uterine cancers. It has also demonstrated a high level of aggressiveness, with over 80% of breast cancer patients presenting with local or distant metastases, while only 28% of breast cancers in Australia were diagnosed in late stages. Thus mortality rates are twofold higher in Vietnam compared with developed countries. Professor Patrick Brennan talks to Dr Natali Pearson about his decade-long work on improving breast cancer detection in Vietnam.Professor Patrick Brennan is a leading researcher at the University of Sydney's School of Health Sciences. His research involves exploring novel technologies and techniques that enhance the detection of clinical indicators of disease, whilst minimising risk to the patient. His research has involved most major imaging modalities including X-ray, computerised tomography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, with a particular focus on breast and chest imaging. His research findings have translated into improved diagnosis and management of important disease states such as cancer, musculo-skeletal injury, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
23 minutes | 5 months ago
Projectland: Life in a Lao Socialist Model Village with Associate Professor Holly High
In her latest book, Projectland: Life in a Lao Socialist Model Village (University of Hawaii Press), due out in May 2021, Associate Professor Holly High argues that socialism remains an important consideration in understanding “the politics of culture and the culture of politics” in Laos. She contends that understanding socialism in Laos requires moving past the ideological condemnations and emotion-laden judgements that marked the Cold War era, as well as paying attention to everyday experience.In this episode, Associate Professor Holly High talks to Dr Natali Pearson about her decades-long anthropological fieldwork in rural parts of Laos, recounting little-known stories of life in a remote village in Sekong Province. She explores the role of the State in shaping local aspirations, world views and beliefs, as well as discusses notions of gender and how socialist values of equality, unity and independence have influenced the lives of women in one of Laos' model villages.Warning: This episode contains discussions of gender-based violence which may be distressing to some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.Associate Professor Holly High is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney. She has been researching Lao PDR since the year 2000. Her work has been characterised by long-term fieldwork in rural and remote Laos, where she studies everyday experience in relation to larger issues in Laos and the world. Her research has looked at poverty reduction projects and agricultural, cultural, and health policies. In 2020, Associate Professor Holly High was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship for her work on reproductive health policy rollout in Laos.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
20 minutes | 5 months ago
Social Media, Grassroots Activism and Disinformation in Southeast Asia: A Discussion with Dr Aim Sinpeng and Dr Ross Tapsell
Social media has become a crucial avenue for political discourse in Southeast Asia, given its potential as a “liberation technology” in both democratising and authoritarian states. Yet the growing decline in internet freedom and increasingly repressive and manipulative use of social media tools by governments means that social media is now an essential platform for control. “Disinformation” and “fake news” production is growing rapidly, and national governments are creating laws which attempt to address this trend, but often only exacerbate the situation of state control.In this episode, Dr Aim Sinpeng and Dr Ross Tapsell discuss their new book, From Grassroots Activism to Disinformation: Social Media in Southeast Asia (ISEAS Publishing, 2020), with Dr Thushara Dibley, and explore some of the more recent controversies surrounding social media use in Southeast Asia.Aim Sinpeng is a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the University of Sydney. Her research interests centre on the relationships between digital media, political participation and political regimes in Southeast Asia. Aim is particularly interested in the role of social media in shaping state-society relations and inducing political and social change. Aim received Facebook research grants to study hate speech in the Asia Pacific (with Fiona Martin) and the effectiveness of countering misinformation strategies (with Denis Stukal). Her other scholarly works examine popular movements against democracy in democratising states. She is co-editor of From Grassroots Activism to Disinformation: Social Media in Southeast Asia (ISEAS Publishing, 2020). She is the author of a forthcoming book, Opposing Democracy in the Digital Age: the Yellow Shirts in Thailand (University of Michigan Press). You can follow Aim on Twitter: @aimsinpeng.Ross Tapsell is a Senior Lecturer and researcher at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, specialising in Southeast Asian media. He is the author of Media Power in Indonesia: Oligarchs, Citizens and the Digital Revolution (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) and co-editor of Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence (ISEAS Publishing, 2017) and From Grassroots Activism to Disinformation: Social Media in Southeast Asia (ISEAS Publishing, 2020). He has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, VICE and other publications in the Southeast Asian region. Ross is currently Director of the ANU's Malaysia Institute, and is involved in the ANU's Indonesia Project and the academic blog New Mandala. You can follow Ross on Twitter: @RossTapsell.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
25 minutes | 5 months ago
Southeast Asian Performance, Ethnic Identity and China’s Soft Power: A Discussion with Dr Josh Stenberg
From glove puppets of Chinese origin and Hakka religious processions, to wartime political theatre and contemporary choirs and dance groups, the diverse performance practices of ethnic Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia highlight the complexity of minority self-representation and sense of identity of a community that is often considered solely in socioeconomic terms. Each performance form is placed in its social and historical context, highlighting how Sino-Southeast Asian groups and individuals have represented themselves locally and nationally to the region's majority populations as well as to state power.In this episode, Dr Josh Stenberg talks to Dr Natali Pearson about Sino-Southeast Asian self-representation in performance arts, and challenges essentialist readings of ethnicity or minority. In showing the fluidity and adaptability of Sino-Southeast Asian identities as expressed in performance and public display, Dr Stenberg enriches our understanding of Southeast Asian cultures and art forms, Southeast Asian Chinese identities, and transnational cultural exchanges.Dr Josh Stenberg is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney. A scholar of Sino-Southeast Asian performance and literature, he examines the intersection of ethnic and political identity through the cultural performance of minority ethnic communities. He is the author of Minority Stages: Sino-Indonesian Performance and Public Display (University of Hawaii Press, 2019). In 2020, Dr Stenberg was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to conduct further research into the reception of China's state-funded cultural diplomacy initiatives among Overseas Chinese communities in multicultural societies.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
23 minutes | 6 months ago
Improving Food Security in Laos and Cambodia: A Farmer’s Perspective with Associate Professor Russell Bush
Southeast Asia's demand for protein in the form of animal meat is increasing by more than 4% every year. This has important consequences for regional food security and household incomes and wellbeing. Laos and Cambodia are ideally placed in the region to meet the demand. However, current livestock production and health practices pose a constraint and are preventing this opportunity from being realised. In addition, farmers in both countries contend with high costs of production, variable returns and changing government policy, which is similar to the situation experienced by Australian farmers.Associate Professor Russell Bush talks to Dr Natali Pearson about his work towards improving livestock health and food security in Laos and Cambodia, and describes how better livestock management can have a transformative impact on livelihoods.Associate Professor Russell Bush is an expert in applied Livestock Production within the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, leading research and teaching activities in Southeast Asia and Australia. He is also a cattle and sheep producer from southern New South Wales with over 45 years’ experience which provides a unique perspective when interacting with smallholder farmers in Laos and Cambodia where three multi-year ACIAR funded livestock research for development projects have recently concluded. A/Prof Bush recognises the value of participatory training involving multi-disciplinary teams to ensure key messages are conveyed to stakeholders, including farmers (industry), support personnel, government, and university staff/students. He has also worked on previous livestock projects in Indonesia, China, and Pakistan.If you'd like to know more about Associate Professor Bush's work, head to the Mekong Livestock blog: mekonglivestock.wordpress.com/publications/.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
25 minutes | 6 months ago
Myanmar’s Disciplined Democracy and the 2020 Elections: A Discussion with Dr Roger Lee Huang
Myanmar is scheduled to hold general elections in November 2020. While the country has experienced political liberalisation since 2011, the latest Freedom House Report ranked Myanmar as “not free.” Dr Roger Lee Huang talks with Dr Natali Pearson about Myanmar's ongoing regime transition, arguing that the country’s "disciplined democracy" contains features of democratic politics, but at its core remains authoritarian.Dr Roger Lee Huang is Lecturer in Political Violence with the Department of Security Studies & Criminology at Macquarie University. Roger has broad research interests in the politics, international relations, and security of East and Southeast Asian states. He has previously researched and worked in political and policy circles in Myanmar, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.Roger recently published 'The Paradox of Myanmar's Regime Change' with Routledge. Find out more and purchase the book here.For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
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