Search

Le Minh Khai's SEAsian History Blog

Always rethinking the Southeast Asian past

Category

Southeast Asia

President Trump’s Opinion of Le Minh Khai

At the recent APEC meeting in Vietnam, President Donald Trump of the USA was apparently asked what he thought of Le Minh Khai by two reporters from The Guardian.

I’m amazed that reporters from such a respectable newspaper would even know about me, and I’m pleased to see that President Trump’s assessment of my work is pretty accurate. I didn’t expect that.

Popular Music in Twentieth Century Southeast Asia: A New Book!!

One topic that has received very little attention by historians is twentieth-century Southeast Asian popular culture, especially popular culture in the 1950s-1980s. There is a new publication, however, that seeks to at least partially remedy this situation by providing an overview of popular music in Southeast Asia in the twentieth century.

The book is called Popular Music in Southeast Asia: Banal Beats, Muted Histories (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017) and was written by Bart Barendregt, Peter Keppy and Henk Schulte Nordholt. Further, there is an open access version of the book that is free to download and read.

Continue reading “Popular Music in Twentieth Century Southeast Asia: A New Book!!”

Modern Southeast Asian History Seminar: Colonizing Animals (Week 4)

This week in the seminar we read some of the scholarship of Jonathan Saha, an historian at the University of Leeds in the UK.

While I discuss his scholarship in the video, it is also important to note that Jonathan maintains a wonderful “online presence” through his blog, Colonizing Animals.

 

Here are the articles that we read:

Continue reading “Modern Southeast Asian History Seminar: Colonizing Animals (Week 4)”

Seminar in Modern Southeast Asian History: Thinking Big (Week 3)

This week in the seminar we looked at “big history,” that is, history that is large in scope, be that temporal (i.e., looking at a society over the longue durée) or spatial (looking comparatively at a topic across a large geographic area).

The most famous work on Southeast Asian history that falls into this category is undoubtedly Victor Lieberman’s, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, a work that examines the trend toward state centralization in Southeast Asia over a long period of time, and then places that history in a global context.

Strange Parallels, is thus “big” in its examination of the past at both the temporal and spatial levels.

I’ve assigned Strange Parallels in seminars before, but this time we decided to look at a series of articles that take a “big” approach to the past in various ways by another scholar, historian Eric Tagliacozzo of Cornell University. My intent here was to try to give students a sense of not only what different forms of “big” history can look like, but to also give a sense of what “big” scholarly output looks like as well, as Tagliacozzo has been extremely productive, and in the academic world that is important.

Continue reading “Seminar in Modern Southeast Asian History: Thinking Big (Week 3)”

Modern Southeast Asian History Seminar: Water (Week 2)

This is a video summary of a weekly seminar that I am teaching (Fall 2017) on modern Southeast Asian History.

The readings from this week are listed below.

Peter Boomgaard, ed., A World of Water: Rain, Rivers and Seas in Southeast Asian Histories (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2007).

Jonathan Rigg, ed., The Gift of Water: Water Management, Cosmology and the State in South East Asia (London: School of Oriental and African Studies, 1992).

Lindsay Lloyd-Smith, Eric Tagliacozzo, “Water in Southeast Asia: Navigating Contradictions,” Trans –Regional and –National Studies of Southeast Asia Vol. 4, No. 2 (2016): 229-238.

Continue reading “Modern Southeast Asian History Seminar: Water (Week 2)”

Chainsmokers “Closer” Covers in Southeast Asia

I read an article last week by Ariel Heryanto called “Popular Culture for a New Southeast Asian Studies?” [in The Historical Construction of Southeast Asian Studies; Korea and Beyond, edited by Park Seung Woo and Victor T. King (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2013), 226-262.]

Essentially what Heryanto argues in that article is that popular culture is a topic that scholars have traditionally not focused on, but that if we examine what kind of popular culture is popular in certain areas we can gain an interesting perspective on “what is Southeast Asia.”

Continue reading “Chainsmokers “Closer” Covers in Southeast Asia”

Modern Southeast Asian History Seminar: Knowledge Production (Week 1)

This is a video summary of a weekly seminar that I am teaching (Fall 2017) on modern Southeast Asian History.

The readings from this week are listed below.

Continue reading “Modern Southeast Asian History Seminar: Knowledge Production (Week 1)”

Southeast Asian Studies, ASEAN and Western Scholarship

A few days ago I had the pleasure of attending two panels on “Emerging and Continuing Trends in Southeast Asian Studies” at The 10th International Convention of Asian Scholars that was held in Chiang Mai. Those panels made me think a lot about Southeast Asian Studies in Southeast Asia.

Then this morning I was reminded of those two panels when I came across a paper (in Vietnamese) that had just been uploaded to the Internet called “Vietnam at the Crossroad of Area and Global Studies: Vietnamese Knowledge on Southeast Asia and New Approaches.”

Continue reading “Southeast Asian Studies, ASEAN and Western Scholarship”

5. Going Backwards: Conclusion

[For an addendum to these opening comments, see this post.]

Ben Kiernan begins his new Việt Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present with the following sentence: “The mountains are like the bones of the earth. Water is its blood,” wrote a Vietnamese geographer in 1820.” (1)

That sentence is the perfect sentence to open this book, as it perfectly symbolizes how flawed the scholarship in the pages that follow is.

Continue reading “5. Going Backwards: Conclusion”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Le Minh Khai's SEAsian History Blog

Always rethinking the Southeast Asian past

Fifty Viss

a collection of thoughts and writings on Burma

Colonizing Animals

A blog about beasts, Burma and British imperialism

mini myna

on knowing the past in Singapore

thinkvietnam

Albert Einstein — 'What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.'

leminhkhaiviet

About Vietnamese Cultural History and Scholarship

Digital Southeast Asia

Ideas for employing digital humanities approaches to the study of Southeast Asian history