This Week in Southeast Asian Studies (TWISEA)
October 16, 2015
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“My interest in Southeast Asia was not happenstance, it was a result of my own identity and increasing awareness that only I or others like me could tell this story as someone who navigates transnational, intergenerational, and linguistic spaces and as someone who also negotiates across disciplines, both Asian Studies and Asian American Studies,” wrote Mytoan Nguyen-Akbar.
This week we will hear from Mytoan Nguyen-Akbar. She is a visiting scholar affiliated with our center. She’s also recently accepted a one-year grant-funded position as Asian American Cultural Specialist at South Seattle College. Mytoan received her PhD in Sociology from University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 2014. Her dissertation project focused on Overseas Vietnamese diasporic returnees.

What fascinated Mytoan about the returnees was their in-betweeness of “cultural worlds, familial expectations both at home and in the ancestral homeland, and racialized and gendered subjects in transnational spaces.” And similar to her research subjects, Mytoan also navigates the in-between spaces of identity, languages, and disciplines while juggling academia, family life and deep Seattle community engagement.  
Before landing the job at South Seattle College, Mytoan went on the academic job market and decided that her family (husband and daughter) was rooted to this community. Also, she wanted find a job where she could balance academic pursuits with community engagement.

Mytoan also has a useful tip for doing fieldwork in Vietnam. She highly recommends using an electric bicycle for navigating around the city: “I had to do a lot of exercising to offset my fieldwork in Vietnam because of the extremely good food and the Vietnamese coffee with lots of sweetened condense milk I would consume almost daily. I didn’t get the memo—fieldwork in Asia is a carbohydrate lover’s paradise,” she wrote.
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Upcoming Events (4)

Horror Movies from Southeast Asia


Mile Stone 26 (Burma/Myanmar)

Tue, Oct 20, 6:00 - 8:30 PM

UW, Thomson Hall, Room 101

Come share popcorn and shivers and make new friends, as we celebrate the season of Halloween.

Event Page

How to Believe in Human Rights without Being a Moral Imperialist

by Dr. Bill Talbott, Philosophy Department, UW


Thu, October 22, 7:00-8:30 PM


Shoreline Community College, PUB 9208

Is the belief in universal human rights just another instance of Western moral imperialism? One way to ground a belief in the universality of human rights is to think that they are self-evident. Another way to ground a belief in the universality of human rights is to think that they are agreed on by all major religious and cultural traditions; but no human right is agreed on by all major religious and moral traditions.

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UN Day 2015

Fri, October 23, 7:00 PM


University of Washington, HUB 332

Come celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, where we will be discussing the Sustainable Development Goals and how local organizations are supporting them. Featuring panelists from Landesa, VillageReach, Water1st, and UNICEF, as well as a speaker from our National Bureau.

Event Page

Tue, Nov 3, 6:00-7:30 PM

UW, HUB South Ballroom

Q. "UW Freshmen in Honors 100, What keeps you up at night?"
A.  "Lots of issues. Especially this: Healthcare access is limited by poverty, here and around the world."

Driven by student interest, the University Honors Program presents Global Challenges—Interdisciplinary Answers: where we explore big questions not just as intellectuals, but as potential agents of positive change.

Our first event centers on the complex interrelations between health and poverty. The format is dynamic: bring together passionate thought leaders from disparate disciplines and lead them in a fast-paced, no-gloves conversation addressing audience-generated questions.

Event Page

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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

Previously Listed:

  • Featured courses for Fall 2015
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Jobs (5)

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Fellowships and Funding (2)

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For general information on funding sources, including FLAS, visit the SEAC website
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Conferences and Calls for Papers (2)

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Educators: Sign up for our K-14 educator emails for events and resources geared specifically towards teachers. 

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