PAST EVENTS at the Center for Khmer Studies
Siem Reap Conference 2012
History of Religion Religious Studies in Cambodia:
Understanding the Old and Tracing the New. Siem Reap June 9-10, 2012 The 2012 conference brought together international specialists, colleagues and students from all the disciplines, who share a common interest in Cambodian and Southeast Asian religions, from prehistory to the modern period. The aim was to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of religion in order to render the richness of pre-modern Southeast Asian religions, and in particular, Khmer religion. By comparing pre-modern Southeast Asian civilisations, what can be understood of the common or characteristic choices of Indian religious features they each made? Consequently, what can be concluded about the local systems of beliefs followed at the time? For further information CLICK HERE
Post Conflict Cambodia: UNTAC and the Road to Economic Growth
Dr. Benny Widyono Phnom Penh 11th May / Siem Reap 18th May (Please Confirm Participation)
In this talk, Former United Nations Secretary General’s Representative in Cambodia, Dr. Benny Widyono, will analyze how the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia created by the Paris Peace Agreements bridged a transition from Cambodia’s state of deep internal conflict and despair to a period of rapid economic growth. He will do so within the context of Post Conflict Peace Building (PCPB) outlined by the United Nations in its Agenda for Peace. For more information click the link Post Conflict Cambodia Lecture
The Siem Reap Giant Puppet Project
Wat Damnak, February 2012 CKS again hosted the spectacular Giant Puppet Project in February this year. The project is a local community children’s art initiative that aims to provide a creative outlet for disadvantaged children in Siem Reap. Siem Reap came to a virtual standstill as the giant puppets paraded through the streets in fun-packed, light filled evening of celebration. There were more children than ever taking part in the initiative to create the enormous puppets right here on the lawn at Wat Damnak. At least 15 teams took part in the event which raised awareness about issues such as endangered species, hygiene, local cultural awareness and environmental awareness. Over 500 disadvantaged children took part in the workshops, which aim to foster independence and confidence, while building a sense of community spirit and cohesion.
Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Scholarship in Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
Workshop, January 11-13, 2012 In an effort to extend CKS outreach in Southeast Asian Studies, the Center submitted a joint proposal with the American Institute for Sri Lanka Studies (AISLS) to CAORC, requesting support for a collaborative workshop in January 2012, entitled Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Scholarship in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Its aim was to juxtapose and contextualize the two countries’ shared experiences of colonial rule and their lingering effects on society. Despite broad commonalities between the two countries, including: Theravada Buddhist majorities, struggles to define the political role of Buddhism, a turbulent post-colonial period, there are some interesting divergences. One difference – institutional continuity in Sri Lanka, institutional rupture in Cambodia – may account for greater attention to colonialism that is found in contemporary Sri Lankan scholarship and public culture. Through comparison of the two national trajectories, workshop participants attempted to rediscover nationally-specific “common sense” assumptions that inform contemporary scholarship. The conference presentations and discussions were broken into three components: 1) colonial constructions of Sri Lanka and Cambodia, 2) the role of colonialism in contemporary public culture and scholarship in Sri Lanka and Cambodia, 3) globalisation and contemporary “colonizations” in Sri Lanka and Cambodia Outside the conference the Sri Lankan group enjoyed their stay in Siem Reap, visiting the temples and socialising with CKS team. Healthy debate and discussion ran on during coffee breaks and during the evening when both groups visited some of the many great restaurants Siem Reap has to offer. Click Here for the workshop agenda and presentation abstracts
Transforming Cambodia Studies: Social Change and Cultural Transistions since 1979
Workshop, 7-9 July, 2011 in collaboration with: The Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University The Consortium of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles The Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley Since 1979 Cambodians in Cambodia and in Cambodian communities overseas have had to contend with multiple transitions; from war to peace, from one political-economic system to another and from virtual diplomatic isolation to regional and global re-integration. Inquiry into the outcomes and expressions of these transitions is still ongoing and uncertain. This conference aims to focus attention on new scholarly inquiry into the nature and impact of these transitions as they affect power relations, communal organization, identity formations and rural-urban as well as transnational migrations. Papers are being selected from the fields of: • History • Political Science • Sociology • Human Geography • Ethnic Studies • Migration Studies • Anthropology • Religious Studies • Visual and Performing Arts. Conference details (i.e. attendance fees and program) will be posted shortly. Download conference schedule
Archaeometallurgy in Cambodia: Current Research and Future Prospects
Workshop and Conference, Siem Reap, 5th–7th March 2011 Conference and Workshop Download Agenda and Abstracts A Reception for the Center for Khmer Studies Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, 2002 With discussions from Dr. Lois de Menil, President, and Mr. Olivier Bernier, Vice- President: “A New Cambodia: Reclaiming the Future” Cambodia Artists Project: Phase III The Center for Khmer Studies hosted a New England Foundation of Arts (NEFA) conference titled Cambodia Artists Project: Phase III; in collaboration with the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh (RUFA); and additional funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. The aim of the NEFA conference was to discuss and exchange ideas for future partnership programs between the US and Cambodia in the domain of the performing arts. Among the institutions represented were various funding institutions, NEFA, Rockefeller Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Asia Society. The US Tour production managers were Angkor Dance Troupe, Joyce Theater, Lisa Booth Management, New World Theater, Apsara Dance Company. Individual scholars and artists from University of Dartmouth College, UC Berkeley, University of Tucson, Arizona, Cambodian Artists Residency, and the Royal University of Fine Arts, Cambodia, also attended. The aim of the conference was to acquaint US collaborators with the existing conditions and facilities of RUFA, highlighting the first steps needed towards further promoting the preservation, revitalization and expression of Khmer performing arts both locally and internationally.
Vernacular Architecture Exhibition
Siem Reap, June 2002 – Phnom Penh, January 2003
Displayed at the CKS’s conference hall in Siem Reap and later in Phnom Penh, “Vernacular Architecture” was the first exhibition of its kind in the field of architecture in Cambodia. It was curated by the CKS Deputy Director François Tainturier, with the assistance of Madeleine Giteau, an art historian from the Ecole Francaise d’Extrême Orient, and the Honorable Eang Soeung, known for his typology of traditional wooden houses in the 1960s. This well received exhibition displayed and interpreted photographs of houses from different parts of Cambodia. Hok Sokol, an outstanding young Khmer architect, played a key role in the exhibition, contributing detailed architectural drawings as well as computer-generated graphic design. Khmer vernacular architecture refers to the wooden structures used in daily and domestic life by villagers and monks throughout Cambodia. Often decorated with rich ornamentation, these beautiful structures demonstrate remarkable skills in carpentry and styles that vary from one province to another. Construction techniques also incorporate beliefs, rituals, and traditions that Cambodian people have respected for generations. Like many aspects of Khmer culture, these traditions are mainly orally transmitted and have weathered both major historical tragedy and rapid socio-economic change. The perpetuation of these vernacular traditions is being seriously challenged, threatening a significant part of Cambodia’s cultural and built heritage. Old traditional wooden houses are increasingly being dismantled and their timber structures sold for their resale value while pagodas are torn down and replaced by concrete structures that have far less distinctive style. This popular exhibition sought to raise awareness of the unique significance of Cambodia’s built heritage and to pay tribute to the traditional vernacular buildings and building techniques remaining throughout Cambodia in order to encourage their preservation.
2nd Forum on Arts and Culture in the Mekong Region
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap,
February 17-23, 2003
Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the CKS was proud to host this conference, whose aim was to develop a strategy for future partnerships among individuals and institutions involved in the domain of the performing and visual arts in the Mekong region. A particular focus was the context of the performing and visual arts in Cambodia. The Forum involved over 50 participants, including cultural institute directors, individual artists and scholars, donors and former ACC grantees involved in Southeast Asian arts and culture. The CKS’s spacious conference hall in Siem Reap enabled local and international artists to present and discuss the development of their work through videos, tapes, slide presentations and live performances. The performing arts is a dynamic field in Khmer studies whose multidisciplinary study affords a deeper understanding of Khmer culture. Emphasizing the importance of preserving traditional art forms alongside promoting new expressions of creativity, the Forum highlighted in its conclusions the need for well-researched documentation and increased outreach for the performing arts to serve as an educational, cultural expression of the Cambodian community, both locally and internationally.
Contemporary Research on Pre-Angkor Cambodia
Siem Reap, January 10-12, 2005
With the development of scholarship on Angkor, many mysteries that once surrounded that temple complex have been unraveled. Unfortunately, research on Pre-Angkor Cambodia has not received as much as attention as studies on the era that followed it. The aim of this conference was to emphasize the urgency in increasing research on Pre-Angkor Cambodia, as it would not only help shed light on some of the remaining mysteries of Angkor, but also on the history of the country in general. This conference brought together many scholars, both local and international, from various fields and diverse backgrounds, by including topics such as archaeology, bio-archaeology, osteoarchaeology, music, linguistics. In so doing, the CKS hoped to generate awareness of the importance of understanding the past not only to underline the need for further study on Pre-Angkor Cambodia, but also to bring to light the results of their respective research on the era in question. Click here to view conference program and abstracts.
History of Medicine in Southeast Asia
Center for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap,
January 9-10, 2006
This international conference, the first of its kind, promoted research in all aspects of the history of medicine Southeast Asia in order to foster closer fellowship among all medical historians and greater cooperation among scholars and students, especially those practicing in the region. Committee: Professor Rethy Chhem, Chair Professor Harold Cook, Member Professor Laurence Monnais, Member Sponsors: The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College of London, UK The University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada The Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada Download agenda, and abstract here
Water in Mainland Southeast Asia
Center for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap
November 30 – December 2, 2005
A cross-disciplinary workshop on the many aspects of water in Mainland Southeast Asia, organized by the Centre for Khmer Studies (CKS) and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, Amsterdam. Click here to for conference details and links to papers.
Rethinking Mainland Southeast Asia: Comparing Social and Cultural Challenges
Center for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap – Cambodia
, February 25-27, 2006
Building on the first and second sessions of the Rockefeller Foundation-funded CKS capacity-building courses on Contemporary Southeast Asia and Cultures and Identities of Mainland Southeast Asia (February 2005 to January 2006), this conference provided a forum in which early career Cambodian academics could present their research alongside international scholars with related interests. The conference emphasized developing comparisons between Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia. These comparisons were presented within individual papers or through panel sessions.
Phnom Bakheng Workshop on Public Interpretation
CKS, Wat Damnak, Siem Reap
5th June, 2006
Phnom Bakheng, the tenth-century temple-mount, has been designated by the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC) as an urgent priority – the “most threatened temple in Angkor.” As Angkor continues to draw a new influx of tourists each year, an integrated plan for the visitor experience at Phnom Bakheng is necessary to ensure a “managed visit” where visitors are accommodated and educated about the history of Phnom Bakheng and about the ongoing conservation methods developed to protect and maintain the site. The conference, organized by the World Monuments Fund under the auspices of the APSARA Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap, was held at CKS’ campus at Wat Damnak in Siem Reap. It brought together leading international experts from a range of disciplines in order to gather the most current research on this key monument over time. During the two-and-a-half days, participants developed an unprecedented model for planning for this site by focusing on not only conservation requirements but also on the demands of tourism and the needs of local populations. Among the participants were Khmer experts whose ongoing contributions to site preservation engage the local population in the safeguarding of their patrimony. The publication of the proceedings includes contributions from specialists on the site’s history, ecology, art and architecture, tourism, and heritage planning. Jane Clark Chermayeff & Associates, worldwide leaders in interpretation and consultants to the World Monuments Fund, served as the principal organizer of this conference and as the editor of this seminal publication. Click here for for conference proceedings.
Council of American Overseas Research Centers: Biennial Overseas Meeting
Phnom Penh & Siem Reap
22-28 June, 2006
CKS hosted The Council of American Overseas Research Centers’ (CAORC) 2006 Biennial Overseas Meeting. CKS is the sole member of CAORC in Southeast Asia. Representatives from 18 established and developing member institutions met to discuss current projects, such as the Digital Library for International Research, fellowships and language training programs, exchange ideas and network to create and discuss joint initiatives, as well as to learn about Cambodia and the Center for Khmer Studies. Attendees included representatives from the following centers: American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) Catherine Vanderpool, Chair, CAORC Executive Committee American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Ralph Nicholas, President Purnima Mehta, Overseas Director American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) Guy Welbon, President American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) Mark Kenoyer, President W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) John Spencer, U.S. Director American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) Benson Harer, CAORC Board Member Charles Van Siclen, Acting Librarian American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) I. William Zartman, Vice-Chair, CAORC Executive Committee Thor Kuniholm, TALM Director Keith Walters, Treasurer Donna Lee Bowen, Vice-President Kerry Adams, Executive Director Robert Parks, CEMA Director American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) Barbara Porter, Overseas Director American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS) Maria deJ. Ellis, U.S. Director Elizabeth Vermey, AIYS Treasurer American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT) Nancy Leinwand, U.S. Director Antony Greenwood, Overseas Director – Istanbul Bahadir Yildrim, Overseas Director – Ankara American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS) Erica Ehrenberg, Executive Director West African Research Association Heritage Wat (WARA) Jennifer Yanco, U.S. Director American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS) Jeanne Marecek, President Ira Unamboowe, Executive Director, Colombo Mexico-North Research Network (MNRN) Greta de Leon, Executive Director Center for South Asia Libraries (CSAL) Bernard Reilly, President American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) Charles Krusekopf, U.S. Director Joseph Lake, President American Institute of Afghanistan Studies (AIAS) Tom Barfield, President Center for Khmer Studies Lois de Menil, President Philippe Peycam, Overseas Director Lesley Perlman, Deputy Director and Director of Operations, Siem Reap Ayrine Uk, Director of Operations, Phnom Penh Emma Bunker, CKS Board member Council of American Overseas Research Centers Mary Ellen Lane, Executive Director Heidi Massaro, Deputy Director Robin Presa, Program Manager Lisa Rogers, Grants Administrator Eddie Dutton, Program Assistant Diane Ryan, DLIR Program Coordinator David Magier, Library Consultant. The event was also attended by the U.S. Department of State Tom Farrell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Academic Exchange Programs.
Living Capital: Sustaining Diversity in Southeast Asian Cities
10-11 January 2007
The Centre for Khmer Studies ‘Initiating Urban Studies in Cambodia and Capacity Building in Higher Education Conference’, in collaboration with The New School University, New York. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Institute for Cultural Enterprise. Click here to download Abstracts (PDF) Conference Advisory Committee: Abdou Maliq Simone, Kate Frieson, Chean Men, Paul Rabé Conference Organizing Committee: KHENG Pythou Kethya, SOK Leang, Erin Lin, PHY Sopheada Click here to download Agenda (PDF)
Local Practice and Trans-National Dynamics in Mainland Southeast Asian Religions:
Historical and Contemporary Patterns CKS, Siem Reap
February 23-24, 2007
Developing from the third semester session of CKS Rockefeller Foundation-funded Building Capacity In Higher Education program, this two-day conference provided a forum in which early career Cambodian academics presented their research alongside international scholars with related interests. With an emphasis on developing comparisons between Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia, individual presentations and panel discussions provided opportunities for the presentation of research, trends and analyses covering the importance of religion in Southeast Asia in the past, present and future. In Southeast Asia, as in the rest of the world, religion has become a more and more salient issue as transnational processes break down traditional assumptions about the modern secular nation state. Scholars were invited to take a fresh look at religion in the new social context. A long-term, multi-disciplinary study with a regional approach that identifies and compares cross-border networks and patterns requires addressing these and other questions: How well have Buddhism, Islam and Christianity weathered the Communist and post-Communist eras? How are they affected by religious and secular influences from abroad? What has been the impact of evangelical Christianity, and how have Cambodians and other Southeast Asians reacted to it? How many young persons pursue a religious vocation, even for a short time? What do young people in urban areas believe, and what effect, if any, does religious teaching have on their behavior? What historical roots do current transnational patterns have? How is religious “tradition” remembered and reconstructed in the new social context? And finally, what comparisons can be made between what is happening in Cambodia and in neighboring countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Burma)? Click here to download Abstracts (PDF) Conference Advisory Committee: John Marston, Kate Frieson, Chean R. Men Conference Organizing Committee: Sopheada Phy, Sreypich Tith Click here to download Abstracts (PDF)
Ancient Khmer Ceramics: New Archaeological Findings, Production and the Revival of Techniques
CKS, Siem Reap
13-15 December 2007
This conference brought together Cambodian and international scholars, specialized in ancient Khmer and mainland South East Asian ceramics, with contemporary potters and craftspeople, working to revive ancient production techniques. In light of illicit trading in antiquities, the conference objective was to raise awareness of the archaeological importance of ancient Cambodian and mainland South East Asian ceramics and to highlight the new opportunities for sustainable economic development in the region through contemporary ceramic technology. Conference Advisory Committee: Dr. Dougald O’Reilly, ChairProf. John Miksic, Mr. Chhay Rachna, Dr. Philippe Peycam, Mr. Serge Rega,Mr. Eric Llopis, Miss Suzanne Freilich Click here to download Abstracts (PDF) Photo activities of conference (PDF) Minutes of conference discussion on prospective collaborations (PDF) Collaborating organizations included: Centre for Khmer Studies (CKS) www.khmerstudies.org The National Center for Khmer Ceramics Revival www.khmerceramics.com This center is organizing the International Khmer Ceramics Festival, of which the conference is a part of. (www.khmerceramics.com/IKCF/program_uk.htm) Heritage Watch www.heritagewatchinternational.org
Higher Education in Southeast Asia:
Global Challenges for Intellectual Capital Building Center for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap
10-11 January 2008 Wat Damnak, March 5-6, 2002 – Phnom Penh, March 8-10, 2002
Building human resources is essential to economic and social development. Whatever the stage of its development, each Southeast Asian country has tried to address this fundamental issue by improving the higher education system. Holding onto skilled human resources is yet another challenge in the context of global competition for highly qualified human resources. This conference provided a platform for experts from Southeast Asian institutions of higher education to explore three major themes in a comparative context. The first covered faculty development, which is the key human resource for any educational institution that wishes to provide students with the best learning experience. The second theme targeted the analysis and evaluation of the role of information technology in the enhancement of teaching and learning. Finally, the issue of transnational higher education was addressed in order to explore how a foreign educational model can enhance existing higher education institutions in Southeast Asia. Discussion around these three themes, in a comparative context, may shed light on challenges posed by the intensification of the global economy and the fast pace of science and technology development that are both opportunity and threats to the current model of higher education in Southeast Asia. Conference Advisory Committee: Prof. Rethy Chhem, ChairProf. Kathy Hibbert, Prof. Bambang Prijambodo, Dr. Philippe Peycam
Cambodia and Mainland Southeast Asia at its Margins: Minority Groups and Borders
Center for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap
March 14-15, 2008
Cambodia is undergoing dramatic political, economic and social changes, placing new pressures on minority groups and vulnerable peoples. Some changes are driven by Cambodia’s uniquely troubled history. Other forces are global, affecting Cambodia and all other nations in the region. In 2008, this conference invited academics to share innovative interpretations of “margins,” “borders” and “minority groups.” The problems of ethnic groups are one central concern. Transnational and cross-border influences are creating new challenges and opportunities for ethnic minorities. The Cham and other Muslim communities are reconnecting to international Islam. Labor markets cross national boundaries. Vietnamese migrant workers travel to Cambodia, as Cambodian workers travel to Thailand. International loans, agencies and programs targeting “development,” itself an often disruptive cross-border force, are transforming many Cambodian institutions and redefining traditional social margins in the process. This clash of forces is most profoundly felt by the indigenous peoples of the northeast. The conference invited examination of other minorities and vulnerable groups “on the margins” who have been systematically denied access to important social resources. Theories of social exclusion teach that the landlessness, street children, victims of domestic violence and gay and lesbian persons are on the margins of different Cambodian institutions and that borders and boundaries need not be of a strictly geographic nature. Developed from the fifth semester session of CKS’ Rockefeller Foundation-funded Building Capacity in Higher Education program, this two-day conference provided a forum in which early career Cambodian academics presented their research alongside international scholars with related interests. With an emphasis on developing comparisons between Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia, individual presentations and panel discussions provided opportunities for the presentation of research, trends and analyses covering minority groups in Southeast Asia. Conference Advisory Committee: Peter Hammer, Kate Frieson, Chean R. Men Conference Agenda Conference Publication
With discussions from Dr. Lois de Menil, President, and Mr. Olivier Bernier, Vice- President:
“A New Cambodia: Reclaiming the Future”
Cambodia Artists Project: Phase III The Center for Khmer Studies hosted a New England Foundation of Arts (NEFA) conference titled Cambodia Artists Project: Phase III; in collaboration with the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh (RUFA); and additional funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. The aim of the NEFA conference was to discuss and exchange ideas for future partnership programs between the US and Cambodia in the domain of the performing arts. Among the institutions represented were various funding institutions, NEFA, Rockefeller Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Asia Society. The US Tour production managers were Angkor Dance Troupe, Joyce Theater, Lisa Booth Management, New World Theater, Apsara Dance Company. Individual scholars and artists from University of Dartmouth College, UC Berkeley, University of Tucson, Arizona, Cambodian Artists Residency, and the Royal University of Fine Arts, Cambodia, also attended. The aim of the conference was to acquaint US collaborators with the existing conditions and facilities of RUFA, highlighting the first steps needed towards further promoting the preservation, revitalization and expression of Khmer performing arts both locally and internationally.