This Week in Southeast Asian Studies (TWISEA)
September 11, 2015
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"My main interest is in the democratic development of Myanmar, specifically in the intersection of the political and civil societies in the democratization of the state," wrote Erin McAuliffe
This week, we will hear from Erin McAuliffe. She will be entering the MA program in Southeast Asian Studies this fall.

I grew up near Boston, completed my BA in Political Science at Ohio State, and am currently living in Chiang Saen, Thailand, on a Fulbright Grant. Aside from an interest in Southeast Asia, I am also an avid cyclist and competitive ballroom dancer.
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Upcoming Event (1)

Posters, Banners, and Scribbles

Urban Inscriptions, Contested Space, and the Public Sphere in Indonesia

By Karen Strassler

Friday, October 9, 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Simpson Center for the Humanities at UW, CMU 226

Since 1998, the urban street has become a particularly dense zone of communication and in Indonesia. The unprecedented access to the street as a surface for inscription in the post-Suharto period has been celebrated as a material embodiment of a new democratic era of openness and popular participation. Yet the polyphony of the street with its chaotic mix of advertising, sloganeering, art, and graffiti also serves as a potent symbol of the breakdown of order that accompanied the end of state control over public discourse. Like pollution and traffic, the visual noise of the city has become a subject of public concern, spurring debate about who has the right to mark city surfaces, which kind of inscriptions are of value, and when and how public writing should be regulated. These debates, I argue, entail imaginings of and contests over the nature of the post-authoritarian public sphere.

Karen Strassler is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center. Her current research centers on media and the work of images in Indonesia’s post-authoritarian public sphere. Her book, Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java (Duke UP, 2010), examined the role of photography in the production of national subjects, spaces, and imaginaries in postcolonial Indonesia. She teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center.​

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