Le Minh Khai's SEAsian History Blog

Always rethinking the Southeast Asian past

Imagined Communities and an Imagined Southeast Asian Communitas

There are different types of knowledge that have been (and continue to be) produced about Southeast Asia, from area studies knowledge produced in places like North America, Australia and the UK, to nationalistic and ASEAN-focused scholarship produced in the region, to what I would call “academic knowledge” that is produced by scholars (mainly those studying/working in “the West” but who could be from anywhere) who focus on addressing issues in their respective academic disciplines rather than contributing to the understanding of a geographic area (as area studies and ASEAN-focused scholars do) or a nation (as nationalistic scholars do).

These different forms of knowledge exist in tension with each other, and this talk looks at ways to bridge the divides between these different ways of knowing Southeast Asia.

This is a talk that I gave for an event that I could not attend. I have edited out the parts at the beginning and the end that refer to the event, and am sharing the rest for anyone interested in this topic.

Minerva Schools, Baby Boomer Politics and the Decline of Area Studies

This is a discussion about how innovation in some sectors and the lack of innovation in others is transforming the academic landscape and contributing to the decline of area studies (cross-posting from Content Asian Studies).

Finding Confucianism in Vietnam (LMK Vlog #07)

Plenty has been written about Confucianism in Vietnam, but I find that the studies to date (particularly those in English) have generally not examined the types of texts that can really give us the clearest understanding of the role of Confucianism in the Vietnamese past.

In this video we look at one text that can do this. . . and we also talk about zombies and what can cause the universe to explode.

This History of Vietnam Will BLOW YOUR MIND (LMK Vlog #06)

I’ve long said that Christopher Goscha’s survey of Vietnamese history, Vietnam: A New History, will blow readers’ minds.

Well, here is video evidence of that:

New Mandala as Content Asian Studies

This video is an assessment of the New Mandala blog at ANU as an example of “Content Asian Studies.” For more on what I mean by “Content Asian Studies,” please visit this blog.

Spacing Out & Goscha’s History of Vietnam (LMK Vlog #05)

This video is about the importance of spacing out, and it also comments on Christopher Goscha’s “Vietnam: A New History.”

Watching Vietnamese Films in Chinese (LMK Vlog #04)

This vlog introduces and discusses a 1969 film from North Vietnam called “The Front is Calling” (Tiền Tuyến Gọi).

Hot Dogs & Ancient Việt Totems (LMK Vlog #03)

This week’s Vlog is about totems, a book by anthropologist Đinh Hồng Hải (Những biểu tượng đặc trưng trong văn hoá truyền thống Việt Nam, tập 3: Các con vật linh), hot dogs, and the need to live life in the present.

A Conversation (in Vnese) with Nguyễn Sử about the History of Vietnamese Calligraphy

This video is of a conversation that we had in the summer of 2017 with Nguyễn Sử, the author of a recent book on the history of Vietnamese calligraphy (Lịch Sử Thư Pháp Việt Nam).

In addition to being an expert on the history of Vietnamese calligraphy, Nguyễn Sử is also a scholar of religion. In early January of 2018, Nguyễn Sử was a keynote speaker at the 9th Engaging With Vietnam conference where he gave a fascinating presentation on the commercialization of religion.

This conversation is in Vietnamese. I will write a post about the book in English soon, and will try to include some of the points covered in this video.

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