Southeast Asian Studies Serials

In 2006, the Center for Khmer Studies initiated a Translation Capacity Building Project to systematically publish translations in the social sciences and to develop a younger generation of Cambodian translators. Beginning with a one-week workshop on theory and the technical aspects of translation, CKS identified a core team of translators, who through a peer-review process began to translate selected academic texts from their respective sessions of the Junior Faculty Training program.

The Southeast Asian Studies Series is the outcome of this training program. The Series is currently comprised of six texts, each focusing on a specific theme in Southeast Asian Studies, providing a much needed Khmer language resource in the social sciences. The CKS thanks the Rockefeller Foundation for supporting this training program.

Contemporary Southeast Asia

The first publication in the series has a selection of four previously published pieces and one original research report covering contemporary politics and economics in Southeast Asia. The CKS wishes to thank the publishers for their permission for translating and printing these works into the Khmer language.

  • “Industrialization and Its Implications” and “Human Consequences of the Economic ‘Miracle’” Edited by Norman G. Owen, in The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia. Copyright @ 2005 by Singapore University Press,
  • “Network Monarchy and Legitimacy Crises in Thailand”, Duncan McCargo, The Pacific Review, ISSN 0951-2748 print/ISSN 1470-1332 online @ 2005 Taylor & Francis
  • “How Vietnamese see the world”, Neil L. Jamieson, in Understanding Vietnam. Copyright © 1993 by The Regents of The University California.

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Cultures and Identities, Cambodia in the Southeast Asian Context

This second volume of the series has a selection of four previously published pieces covering culture and identity, providing a comparative focus of gender and nationalism in Southeast Asia. CKS wishes to thank the publishers for their permission for translating and printing these works into the Khmer language.

  • “But Princes Jump!: Performing Masculinity in Mandalay”, by Ward Keeler, in Burma at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. Copyright @ 2005 by University of Hawaii Press.
  • “Romances of the Sixth Reign: Gender, Sexuality and Siamese Nationalism”, by Thamora Fishel, in Genders and Sexualities in Modern Thailand. Copyright @ 1999 by Silkworm Books.
  • “Census, Map, Museum”, by Benedict Anderson in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. Copyright @ 2006 by Verso.
  • “Womanizing Indochina: Fiction, Nation, and Cohabitation in Colonial Cambodia”, by Penny Edwards, in Domesticating the Empire: Race, Gender and Family Life in French and Dutch Colonialism. Copyright @ 1998 University Press of Virginia.

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Ethnic Chinese in Cambodia: In The Southeast Asian Context

This third volume of reading texts were selected by Dr. Peter Hammer, illustrating the theme covered by the program’s session: Minorities, Margins and Borders. These include four articles excerpted from the seminal pre-war study, The Chinese in Cambodia, by William Willmott, 1967.

-“The Economic Position of the Chinese in Cambodia”
-“Treaty Law and Condition: The Legal definition of the Chinese in Cambodia ”
-“The Social Organization of the Chinese Community”
-“The Emerging and Merging Elites in Cambodia”.

These texts, by describing the situation of the ethnic Chinese in pre-war post-colonial Cambodia, offer a vivid depiction of a minority community encountered in all Southeast Asian societies. The fifth selected article, “The Erosion of Patron-Client Relations in Southeast Asia”, by James Scott, gives another anthropological view on the social and political changes that have occurred in post-independence rural Southeast Asia. 

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Religion and Practices in Southeast Asia

The four readings translated here were chosen by Dr. John Marston for their theoretical interest and for the ways they provide an introduction to the Buddhism of Cambodians and their neighbors in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. The article, “Localizing the Universal: Women, Motherhood and the Appeal of Early Theravada Buddhism”, is written by historian Barbara Wilson Andaya. Her article is an especially far-reaching and provocative study of the coming of Theravada Buddhism to Southeast Asia. Charles Keyes’ article, entitled “Gender and Religion : On the Complexity of Symbols”, is about novice ordination in Northern Thailand, analyzed very much from an anthropological perspective and already well-known in scholarly literature on Thai Buddhism. The article by Peter Koret describes a transition from “traditional” Lao writing on palm-leaf manuscripts to a more “modern” way of looking at the same corpus of literature, which the author argues, came to take on new meanings as it was printed in books and used to define national identity in the context of the new “modern” Lao state. The last article by Thien Do, “The Quest for Enlightenment and Cultural Identity: Buddhism in Contemporary Vietnam”, is about the modern history of Buddhism in Vietnam. The article describes the revitalization of Vietnamese Buddhism in the context of French colonialism and the movements to resist colonialism.

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An Understanding of Urban and Rural in Southeast Asia

This volume of four translations, selected by Dr. Kate Frieson, represents the theme of the transformation shaping Southeast Asian urban and rural history since the 17th century. The two chapters by veteran scholar Anthony Reid on “Material Culture and The City and Its Commerce” are drawn from his book: Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680, Vol 1. This seminal work provides an enormous amount of ethnographic and cultural history about both rural and urban developments within mainland and peninsular Southeast Asia prior to the colonial period. Here, we learn about environmental and cultural forces that shaped early urbanization and its role as a commercial hub for East Indies and Middle East traders en route to China. The latter two articles are by Philip Kelly and Terry McGee: “Changing Spaces: Southeast Asian Urbanization in an Era of Volatile Globalization”, from Southeast Asia Transformed: A Geography of Change (2003) and Peter Xenos’ “Demographic Forces Shaping Youth Populations in Asian Cities”, from Youth, Poverty and Conflict in Southeast Asian Cities (2004). These texts shift the gaze to the modern post-colonial era and provide a geographer’s view of how cities become a microcosm of generational change, opening up spaces for global forces to enter, and further shifting burdens of growth onto burgeoning youthful populations.

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Definitions of Nationalism and Identity in the World and Asia

The CKS has now produced sixth of these readers. This volume is the outcome of the session: “History of Modern Nationalism in Southeast Asia”, led by distinguished Thai historian Professor Charnvit Kasetsiri, from Thammasat University, Bangkok. It consists of three readings. At the invitation of Prof. Charnvit, the session’s participants were honored and privileged to have the eminent professor Benedict Anderson deliver two lectures: “Historical Development of Universal Nationalism” and “Nationalism in Asia”. Prof. Anderson addressed themes and issues from his hugely influential book: Imagined Communities, Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. This was Prof. Anderson’s first visit to Cambodia since 1963. To mark the occasion, and as a tribute to the importance of this work,the CKS transcribed and translated the lectures into the Khmer language. The lectures were particularly poignant for the Cambodian participants as they helped to shed light on recent tensions between Thailand and Cambodia. These tensions are embedded in ideas about nationalism and historical conflict, manifested in the dispute between the two countries over the Khmer Preah Vihear temple and related border issues. Another influential article in this volume is Thongchai Winichakul’s “Trying to locate Southeast Asia from its navel: locating Southeast Asia: Where is Southeast Asian Studies in Thailand?” This article was originally published in the CKS’s journal Siksacakr. It has been reproduced here in an effort to reach a wider Cambodian audience. The article explains the historical development of Southeast Asian studies in Thailand which attempted to follow the academic standard of Western curriculum.

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Politics as Prison

This seventh volume represents the session: Researching the Cultural Construction of Politics in Mainland Southeast Asia led by Eric J. Haanstad, Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This volume consists of three readings selected by Dr. Eric Haanstad: the first article entitled “State of Fear: Controlling the Criminal Contagion in Suharto’s New Order” by Barker Joshua, the second article entitled “Issues in the Study of Police Culture” by John Crank and the third article in entitled “Violence and the Culture Order” by Neil Whitehead.
In keeping with the pedagogical objectives of the JFTP, we sincerely hope that these translated texts will be of use to both professors and students in the fields of History, Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, International Relations, and other fields. We also hope that they will encourage readers to critically investigate the relevant issues and themes using a comparative and interdisciplinary approach.

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