Abstracts from Spring 2011 Lecture Series

Thursday, January 20, 4 p.m., Illinois Room, Holmes Student Center
with Paul Rausch, Associate Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai'i
In Indonesian with English subtitles
Film title: Cin(T)a: God is a Director
Cin(T)a tells an everyday story that few other Indonesian films dare to tell. Cina (Sunny Soon), a Chinese Christian, and Annisa (Saira Jihan), a Muslim, both love God dearly. However, these two cannot be in love with each other since they all God by different names (T means Tuhan, God, Yahweh, Allah...). Cina is an outgoing and optimistic freshman, while Annisa is an actress and aspiring film director whose fame and beauty has left her lonely. They fall in love despite their difference in personality and background. However, they cannot overcome their difference in faith. Cin(T)a not only brings the rawness and passion of the indie film, but also a fast-paced and stylish music video-esque quality to the storytelling.  Thanks to the immaculate lensing by the director, Sammaria Simanjuntak, ethno-religious conflict in a multicultural socirty like Indonesia is smoothly integrated into a love story as racial, religious and cultural collisions threaten the world og the two lovebirds. 

Friday, January 21
Paul Rausch, Associate Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai'i
Lecture title: Subtitle It! Access to Southeast Asian Cinema Resources
This lecture/demonstration focuses on the development of a course designed to teach advanced Southeast Asian language students the process of translating and subtitling film from Southeast Asia into English.  With film now on DVD and other flexible media, the use of subtitled film in the language classroom is limited only by the imagination of the instructor.  In area studies, subtitled film can expand the range of cultural studies topics available to educators and increase the availability of film for outreach use in the English speaking world.  As an essential resource in all library collections, they also provide a unique visual history of a country's film culture for researchers and film archivists.

Friday, January 28
Maria 'Rai' Hancock, MA candidate, Department of History, Northern Illinois University
Lecture title: Connecting Globally, Locally: NIU, Southeast Asia, and the Peace Corps
NIU's early connection to the Peace Corps program is a relatively little-known postscript to local and campus history. Hancock will discuss how and why the Corps' training program for busloads of volunteers headed for Malaya (now Malaysia), and later the Philippines and Thailand, came to NIU in the 1960s. DeKalb was the third training site in the Midwest for the now 50-year-old program estalished by President John Kennedy in 1961 and headed by Sargent Shriver, who died last week. By the time the program at NIU shut down in 1968, approximately 1,200 volunteers had trained for what became a life-changing experience for many of them serving in Southeast Asia. Today, a number of former Southeast Asia Peace Corps volunteers can be counted among current and retired faculty affiliated with the center, including Jim and Pat Henry, Clark and Arlene Neher, John Hartmann, Grant Olson, and CSEAS director Jim Collins.

Friday, February 4
Kenton J. Clymer
, Presidential Research Professor, Department of History, Northern Illinois University and
Judy Ledgerwood, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University
Lecture title: The Khmer Rouge Tribunal's First Verdict
Clymer and Ledgerwood offer their perspectives on the first verdict delivered by the international war crimes tribunal in Cambodia against a senior Khmer Rouge figure. Duch, the director of the infamous Tuol Sleng prison during the 1975–79 Khmer Rouge regime, was responsible for the deaths and torture of thousands of Cambodians imprisoned there. Duch’s guilty verdict and 30-year sentence marks the first verdict by an internationally recognized court against the Khmer Rouge, who are estimated to have caused the deaths of more than 1.7 million Cambodians during their brutal regime. Four more former Khmer Rouge leaders are still awaiting trial, expected to begin later this year, according to the Phnom Penh Post.

Friday, February 11
Dr. Gini Gorlinski
, Associate Editor, Arts and Culture (Music and Dance), Encyclopaedia Britannica
Lecture title: The Sampé' of Sarawak: Shifting Sex Appeal?
Among most upriver minority groups of Sarawak, Malaysia, the playing of the sampé' (Borneo lute) historically has been associated with men. However, in the past few years, a contingent of young female sampé' players has emerged in Kuching, the state capital. Gorlinski will discuss the nature of the sampé' as a traditional emblem of masculinity and speculate on the significance of the women's entry into the men's terrain.

Friday, February 18
Michael Buehler
, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Northern Illinois University
Lecture title: Indonesia's Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in National and Local Politics
Institutional incentives figure prominently in explanations for why radical parties forego their agendas and subject themselves to democratic principles when included in politics. In contrast, Buehler will argue in his lecture that institutional incentives are not necessary for moderation, using evidence from an analysis of the Prosperous Justice Party’s (PKS) political trajectory across Indonesia’s multi-level government structures. Since the PKS entered politics in 1998, it has gradually shown more moderate behavior not only in national politics, where institutional incentives are conducive to moderation, but also in local politics, where opportunity structures would allow the party to pursue more radical agendas. The absence of a pattern of invariant association between institutional incentives and moderation suggests that other variables are at play.

Friday, February 25
Laura Iandola
, Ph.D. candidate, History and Graduate Assistant, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University
Lecture title: Malcolm X, Sukarno's Indonesia, and the Politics of Bandung
Sukarno, Indonesia's first president, and Malcolm X shared the platform at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in 1956, introduced there by mutual friend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. The relationship launched there endured until Malcolm X’s untimely death in 1965, two weeks before he was slated to speak at the Asian-African Islamic Conference in Jakarta. He had also planned to attend the tenth anniversary celebration of the 1955 Bandung Conference, the first large-scale Asian-African conference. Iandola explores this little-known relationship to illuminate their ideological affinities as well as the Cold War politics of the Third World.

Friday, March 4
Trude Jacobsen
, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Northern Illinois University
Lecture title: The Curious Case of Mr. Sherlock Hare: Race, Class, and Mental Health in British Burma
In 1891, Sherlock Hare was classified a “criminal lunatic” and removed from British Burma. His crime involved the lease of the Cocos-Keeling Islands. Exactly how Sherlock Hare deceived the British government is never made explicit in the records; yet he was apparently so convincing in his sane moments that the captain of the Elson allowed him to disembark before reaching the Albert Dock, where asylum officials were waiting to take him into custody. The resulting embarrassment for the British government led to an inquiry into the entire procedure for European persons deemed criminally insane in the colonies. The story of Sherlock Hare – his arrest, evaluation, incarceration, and subsequent removal to England – reveals not only a great deal about Victorian perspectives toward mental health, but also the relevance of race and class in the treatment of afflicted persons in the colonies.

Friday, March 11
Lisa Brooten
, Associate Professor, Department of Radio-Television, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Lecture title: Politics, Gender, and Celebrity in the U.S. Campaign for Burma's 'Burma: It Can't Wait' Campaign
This talk will explore the “Burma: It Can’t Wait” campaign, spearheaded by the US Campaign for Burma (USCB), which combined online and offline organizing with the draw of high profile celebrities to increase attention to the troubled Southeast Asian nation. While the USCB successfully mainstreamed their message using youth and popular culture outlets in creative new ways to promote a kind of direct action politics, by necessity, its emergence into the mainstream meant that their message echoed and reinforced the hegemonic characteristics of mainstream media. By identifying the campaign’s primary messages, we analyze how the USCB came to be recognized, according to its website, “as the most successful and effective boycott effort since the anti-apartheid struggle to end white-only rule in South Africa during the 1980s.” We will explore the gendered implications of the campaign and lessons to be learned for social movements worldwide.

Friday, March 25
Michael Hawkins
, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Creighton University
Lecture title: Managing a Massacre: Savagery, Civility, and Gender in Moro Province in the Wake of Bud Dajo (Southern Philippines)
My presentation examines the delicate ideological maneuverings that shaped American colonial constructions of savagery, civility and gender in the wake of the Bud Dajo Massacre in the Philippines' Muslim South in 1906. It looks particularly at shifting notions of femininity and masculinity as these related to episodes of violence and colonial control. The paper concludes that, while the Bud Dajo Massacre was a terrible black mark on the American military's record in Mindanao and Sulu, colonial officials ultimately used the event to positively affirm existing discourses of power and justification, which helped to sustain and guide military rule in the Muslim South for another seven years.

Friday, April 8
Ian Baird
, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Lecture title: A Golden Age?: The Rise of the Brao in Northeastern Cambodia During the Period of Vietnamese Occupation, 1979-1989
Most Cambodians consider the decade in which the Vietnamese army occupied Cambodia—between 1979 and 1989—to be a rather dark period in Cambodian history, and few Khmer presently exhibit much appreciation of the Vietnamese army for invading Cambodia at the end of 1978 and ousting the Khmer Rouge from power. However, the ethnic minorities of northeastern Cambodia, and particularly the Brao, generally have a very different and much more positive view of the Vietnamese occupation period. This is because the Brao gained considerable authority during the Vietnamese occupation period. Many Brao even consider the 1980s to be their “golden age”, a period in which they gained more power in relation to the state than during any periods in living memory. In this presentation, I explain some of the reasons why the Brao, and others in the northeastern provinces of Ratanakiri and Stung Treng, generally have such positive recollections of the Vietnamese occupation period. This presentation demonstrates the importance of ethnicity and regional differences in Cambodia when assessing recent history, and of politics in affecting the ways in which the past is remembered.

Friday, April 15
Victor Friedman
, Director, Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Balkan and Slavic Linguistics, The Univerity of Chicago
Lecture title: From the Balkans to Bahasa: Comparative Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia