This Week in Southeast Asian Studies (TWISEA)
October 21, 2016
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Student Spotlight
This week we are featuring one of our first-year students in the MA program in Southeast Asia Studies, Adrian Alarilla. 

Adrian in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Could you tell me about yourself? How did you become interested in studying Southeast Asia?

I grew up in Metro Manila. I was working on my BA in Film and Audiovisual Communication at the University of the Philippines when my mom's petition for me to emigrate to the US came through. I moved here, stopped school for a while, and finally finished my BA, this time in Communications, last year at UW. I really love making films and I also help with the Seattle Asian American Film Festival and the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase. Filmmaking really is my passion, but working in the local film scene, I realized that not a lot of people talk about or study about films from my part of the world, Southeast Asia. Last year, I made up my mind that I wanted to do an MA combining my love of film with my heritage, so I decided to study Southeast Asian Cinema.

What is your research interest?

I haven't really declared my official research topic to my advisers yet, but I am really interested in doing comparative work on post-World War II films in Insular Southeast Asia (Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippines). As these nations just became independent from their American and European colonizers around this time, I think it might be interesting to find out how this new experience of independence may have shaped the films of this time, and if the films also helped shape national consciousness as well. I decided on this topic because I wanted to know more about the history of cinema in the region, and how mass media like film helped shape a burgeoning national culture in these countries.

Why did you choose UW?

I decided on UW not only because the Jackson School has a great reputation when it comes to international studies, but also because Seattle has been my home for the past 6 years. I love the beautiful campus; I love the Pacific Northwest and the people here, and I would like to enjoy it as much as I can before I move elsewhere to pursue my PhD.

Do you have any fun/embarrassing stories while traveling abroad?

One thing I don't like about living in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) is that the beaches aren't swimmable. I'm an islander through and through so I try to go to the beach whenever I can. Last year, my friends and I went to Hawaii (The Big Island), and decided to go on an adventure and go to this unnamed beach in the South end. But to get there, we had to drive down this rocky, uneven road on a lava field. The beach was worth it, but going back up to the main road, our car slipped and got stuck between some rocks, and the dust prevented the tires from getting a firm grip of the road. We finally freed ourselves after 30 minutes, and it seems funny looking back, but at the time, it was terrifying because we were so far from the main road and we didn't have any phone signal and we were the only people there for miles!

Adrian and the rest of the staff for the Seattle Asian Art Film Festival earlier this year.

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Featured Courses

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Featured Courses - Fall 2016

ANTHROPOLOGY ANTH 479/JSIS 486 D (5 cr) with Jenna Grant
Medicine, Science, and Technology in Southeast Asia

MW 130-320 CDH 115

HISTORY HSTCMP 485/CHID 485 (5 cr) with Vicente Rafael
Comparative Colonialism

TTh 330-520 SMI 211

MUSIC MUSEN 411/MUSEN 511 (1 cr) with Christina Sunardi
Gamelan Ensembles

MW 330-450 MUS  058

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES JSIS 486 A/JSIS 586 A (5 cr) with Judith Henchy
Special Topics in Southeast Asian Studies
MW 230-420 PAR 212

SOCIOLOGY SOC 470 (5 cr) with Charles Hirschman 
Contemporary Southeast Asia
MW 900-1020 SAV 131

Full Listing

Upcoming Events (2)

Third Annual Southeast Asia Symposium

The Culture of Nature in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia

Dates: October 28 - October 29, 2016

Location: The University of Puget Sound

The third annual LIASE Southeast Asia symposium focuses on topics related to culture and nature, broadly construed, in Thailand and Indonesia, while highlighting Indonesian culture and concerns in anticipation of our 2017 field course. The Symposium features participants and Southeast Asianists scholars from universities around the Northwest, regional cuisine, an Indonesian gamelan orchestra performance, as well as presentations from students who have conducted research as part of the LIASE sponsored field school and course of spring and summer of 2016.

Arahmaiani Feisal will also be visiting the UW campus October 31 and November 1.

For more information, click here.

Arahmaiani Feisal

Contemporary Indonesian artist

Dates: October 31 & November 1

Location: University of Washington (Public Lecture: THO 317, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM)

Arahmaiani Feisal will be visiting the UW campus for meet-ups on October 31 and a public lecture November 1. More details to be announced soon.

For more information about her work, click here.
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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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For general information on funding sources, including FLAS, visit the SEAC website
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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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Conferences and Calls for Papers

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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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