This Week in Southeast Asian Studies (TWISEA)
May 15, 2015
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Missing the Seahawks? View a game through the eyes of an anthropology grad student from Indonesia 

This week on the SEAC Blog, Ulil Amri, a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology, shares his perceptions of the bizarre spectacle of American football. Read the full post online
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Study Abroad

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Upcoming Events (6)

Seattle International Film Festival

Through June 7th

Various venues

Consult our guide to the eleven films set in or about Southeast Asia at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) this year. 

The Southeast Asia Center is proud to sponsor the film Bonifacio by Enzo WilliamsPacked with action and romance, Bonifacio is a stirringly dramatic telling of the story of Filipino nationalist Andres Bonifacio, who led a revolution against Spanish colonial rule in the late 1800s. Bonifacio is showing at the following times:

May 25 @ 5:30 pm (Renton)
May 27 @ 7:00 pm (Pacific Place)
May 29 @ 4:30 pm (Harvard Exit) 

Buy tickets and explore other films on the SIFF website. 


Thailand: The Failure of Democracy - From Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat to General Prayut Chan-ocha

Wednesday, May 20, 3:30-5:00 pm

UW Thomson Hall, Room 317

A presentation by UW Professor Emeritus Charles Keyes, who writes:

In December 2014 and early January 2015 my wife, Jane, and I were in Thailand once again – perhaps concluding over a half-century of deep involvement with the country. That Thailand was once again under military rule as it had been when we first arrived in Thailand in August 1962 was distressing and saddening. The political history of Thailand from the late 1950s until today can be summarized as being from Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, the military dictator from 1958 to 1963, to General Prayut Chan-ocha, the head of the military junta that seized power in May 2014. Both based their domination of the political order on the assumption that only military rule could ensure order and protect the institution of the monarchy. Thai society is not, however, the same in 2014-15 as it was in 1958-73 when Sarit and his chosen successors ruled the country. In this talk I reflect on why there has to date been a failure of democracy in Thailand and then examine the contemporary conditions that may finally make military dictatorship untenable, but perhaps also lead to more political turmoil in the kingdom of no longer smiling Thai.

Please join us for a reception following the presention.

Sponsored by the Southeast Asia Center

Event page
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The Politics of Distant War: 1917, 1941, 1964

Thursday, May 21, 7:30-8:30 pm

UW Kane Hall, Room 200

A presentation by Mary L. Dudziak, Ph.D, J.D., a leading U.S. legal historian

Most Americans are insulated from the consequences of war, as wars are fought at a distance and military service is not a requirement of citizenship. This lecture by leading U.S. historian Mary L. Dudziak takes up the way distance has affected public engagement and presidential war power, arguing that distance mattered not only in the Vietnam War and after, but also during World Wars I and II.

Mary L. Dudziak is a leading U.S. legal historian. Her research is at the intersection of domestic law and U.S. international affairs, with a focus on war and political accountability in American history. Professor Dudziak is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and in fall 2015 she will be the Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. She received her J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Sponsored by the Jackson School of International Studies and the Center for Global Studies

Event page

Serialization in Asia

Friday, May 22-Saturday, May 23

UW Husky Union Building, Room 337

“Serialization in Asia” is a conference that aims to open up interdisciplinary and interregional discussions on seriality in Asia. Serialization is one of the core components of cultural production and consumption in many fields in predmodern and modern Asia, and continues to become an ever more important mechanism in the twenty-first century. 

Organizer: Heekyoung Cho (UW)

Presenters: Heekyoung Cho (UW), Jennifer Dubrow (UW), Chris Hamm (UW), Bohyeong Kim (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Miriam Kingsberg (University of Colorado), Uliana Kobyakova (Keimyung University, Korea), Ji-Eun Lee (Washington University), Ted Mack (UW), Zeynep Seviner (UW), Suyoung Son (Cornell University), and Bonnie Tilland (UW)

Discussants: Yomi Braester (UW), Jeffrey Knight (UW), Vicente Rafael (UW), and Cynthia Steele (UW)


Sponsored by the Center for Korea Studies

More details and schedule on the event page

Fifty Years of Opium and Conflict in the Shan State of Burma: A Visual Retrospective

Friday, May 29-Saturday, May 30

UW Odegaard Library, Rm 220 (29th)
UW Husky Union Building, Rm 337 (30th)

This conference and film series highlights the work of documentary filmmaker Adrian Cowell, while exploring the intersections of US drug policy, opium use and the political and social conflict within the opium-growing region of Burma’s Shan State that are the geographical focus of Cowell’s work.
The event has two components.

The first day is the screening of selected documentary films by Adrian Cowell. These are films shot not only in the Shan State, but also in other parts of Asia, such as Hong Kong, Thailand, and Tibet. Of these, Cowell’s Opium Series, a set of films, presents a uniquely comprehensive portrayal of the opium trade. It tracks the flow of opium from the highlands of Shan State to dealers and users in Hong Kong, while also providing an up-close portrait of policy makers in the United States. Bertil Lintner will provide commentary on the films and highlight their contribution to the study of conflict and narcotics.

The second part explores Cowell’s documentary films along with key themes presented in them. Scholars will examine visual portrayals of the Shan State. A second group of panelists will discuss themes regarding opium, narcotics enforcement policies, and conflict in the Shan State and Afghanistan.

The UW Libraries Special Collections received the Cowell Southeast Asia film and research archives in 2013, complimenting our digital holdings of journalist Bertil Lintner’s personal Burma archival collection to form one of the most significant extant archives on this opium-growing region.

Sponsored by UW Libraries, the Southeast Asia Center and the East Asia Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, the Department of History, and the Department of Anthropology

View film titles, presenters and schedule on the event website
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Recommended Resources
This section lists news items and other recently-published resources that have been recommended by faculty and grad students over the past week. To submit an item for next week, email

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Fellowships and Funding

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For general information on funding sources, including FLAS, visit the SEAC website
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