This Week in Southeast Asian Studies (TWISEA)
April 19, 2016
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Race, Empire & Fieldwork
“Everyday I went to the archives, hoping to have that ‘aha!’ moment—to find that document that would somehow give me a whole new perspective on my project and magically make everything come together. That never happened,” said Roneva Keel
Roneva Keel is a PhD Candidate in History. Her dissertation research focuses on “the making of American imperial subjects in the U.S. colonization of the Philippines and Hawai‘i in the early twentieth century.” She’s finishing her research and has really good advice to offer.
Last winter, Roneva conducted research at the Bentley Library at University of Michigan and the National archives in Washington D.C. She had a quite revelation about fieldwork. “Everyday I went to the archives, hoping to have that ‘aha!’ moment—to find that document that would somehow give me a whole new perspective on my project and magically make everything come together. That never happened. In fact, most of the documents I looked at were, on their own, mundane,” she explained.
Fieldwork begins when one enters the field and ends when one leaves. But the experience depends on one’s preparation. Roneva has some very useful advice. “I think the best thing to do before embarking on an archival trip is to seek advice from people who have actually done research at the specific archives where you want to work…it is useful to know from someone who has recently worked in the collections about the various quirks unique to each archive, including whether they allow you to use technology, when and how to request materials, and the best place to get a coffee or a bite to eat at lunch,” she said. Roneva also recommends “looking into whether the archives you plan to visit offer any grants or fellowships.”
On a personal note, fieldwork also presents the opportunity to explore new places. “The most exciting thing about fieldwork for me was the opportunity to get out of Seattle and travel. I had never been to Michigan or D.C., and it was nice to get to know some new towns. I especially enjoyed visiting all the free museums in D.C. when the archives were closed on Sundays,” said Roneva.
For this summer, Roneva received a Thomas and Mary Kay Gething Travel Award from the Southeast Asia Center. So, she will be traveling to the Philippines to present her paper “Bittersweet Harvest: Race, Labor, and Capital in the Making of U.S. Empire” at the 2016 International Conference on Philippine Studies (ICOPHIL) and visit archives in Bacolod and Manila. 
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Upcoming Events (4)

Back to the Source: Music from Central Java

Friday, April 22, 2016, 8:00pm

Wayward Music Series at the Chapel Performance Space
Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Seattle

Tickets at the door, $5–15

Islam, Indonesia, Israel

Indonesian Perceptions of the Middle East and Middle Eastern Perceptions of Indonesia


A Dialogue between Muhamad Ali and Giora Eliraz

Date: April 25, 2016
Reception with light snacks: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Dialogue: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Location: UW Club Yukon Pacific Room

The Southeast Asia Center, the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies invite you to a dialogue between Professors Muhamad Ali and Giora Eliraz about Indonesian perceptions of the Middle East and Middle Eastern perceptions of Indonesia. Southeast Asia Center Director Laurie J. Sears will moderate.

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Tuesday, April 26, 3:30-5:30pm
Communications Building, Room 120
The Southeast Asia Center invites you to a presentation by renowned Indonesian author and journalist Leila S. Chudori. She will speak about her most recent novel, 'Pulang,' which delves into the lives of Indonesian exiles after 1965. It was just released in English translation under the title 'Home.'

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KERATON 2016: Indonesian Festival


Saturday, May 28, 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
University of Washington
HUB Lawn

Experience and witness the beauty of Indonesian culture through ISAUW's highly anticipated event.

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