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This Week in Southeast Asian Studies (TWISEA)
July 24, 2015
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Spotlight!

"I see both my teaching and research as a civic duty [to] Singaporean society."

This week, we will hear from Hongxuan Lin. He’s currently a graduate student in History at UW, and his research focuses on “the confluence between Islam, Communism and Socialism in Indonesia” from 1910 to 1965. More importantly, Xuan is a teacher at heart.
 
Before coming to UW, Xuan was a high school history teacher in Singapore. His dream is to teach history at a university in Singapore one day. But to pursue his dream, Xuan had to leave his teaching post to attend graduate school in the US. “It was certainly difficult,” he wrote. “[M]y students put together a scrap book for me, with each student writing and illustrating one page. It was very touching and amusing, and even now I still miss teaching them.”
 
Xuan could not pinpoint the moment when he became interested in learning and teaching about Southeast Asia and Islam. But he has a very clear and strong view on his research and teaching in regard to these topics. Xuan sees them both as “a civic duty [to] Singaporean society.” He explained, “I felt that I would like to make a contribution to the multi-faith, multi-ethnic patchwork quilt that is Singaporean society by researching and teaching Islamic history in Southeast Asia, something that most Singaporeans, especially the Chinese majority, are relatively ignorant of.”
 
The table has turned since Xuan arrived in Seattle. Xuan the teacher became a student. “I have become much more aware of how little I know of the countries and cultures surrounding my own (despite having traveled in most of them), and how much there is to learn,” he wrote. But he has embraced the new environment – and being a student. “I feel my education at UW has helped me break out of the ‘passing tourist’ mold in a way that I could never have done had I remained in Singapore.”


We would love to hear what you are doing this summer. Please e-mail us an update at seac@uw.edu
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Recommended Resources (2)
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 seac@uw.edu.
 

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