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A Lexicon of Repression in Thailand

By Tyrell Haberkorn In an essay for the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Asian Studies (“The Anniversary of a Massacre and the Death of a Monarch,” currently free to download), I reflect on the fortieth anniversary of the 6 October 1976 massacre, when state and para-state forces brutally murdered unarmed students at Thammasat University in Bangkok. Unresolved questions about the possible role of the institution of the monarchy in the massacre have been a primary factor both ensuring impunity for the perpetrators and constricting public discussion about the massacre. The anniversary events, held under the military regime of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and marked by calls for recognition of the humanity of those killed, directly challenged the ongoing impunity of the perpetrators of the massacre. One week after the anniversary, Rama IX, Bhumipol Adulyadej, died and the crown prince, Maha Vajiralongkorn, was named his successor as Rama X. One of the primary features of the NCPO ...

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A Brief History of the North Korean-Myanmar Friendship

By Maria Rosaria Coduti “Dangerous bedfellows,” “rogue brothers in arms,” and “friends in need” are some of the expressions experts and journalists have used to describe North Korea-Myanmar [Burma] relations in the past. In 2005, then U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice labeled Myanmar an “outpost of tyranny,” a feature that saw the country enter the club of the “pariah states” along with Cuba, Iran, Belarus, Zimbabwe, and North Korea. However, just four years later, the newly elected Obama administration reviewed American policy toward Myanmar and shifted to one based on the pragmatic engagement of Naypyidaw, the country’s capital, which inaugurated a new era of the Southeast Asian country’s relations with the U.S. and with both Western and Asian actors as a consequence. According to some political analysts, this new policy was either a tile of a broader U.S. rebalancing strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region, the so-called ...

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Introducing Asia Mediated: Interdisciplinary Curriculum Innovation at Arizona State University

I was first alerted to the existence of Dr. Juliane Schober and Dr. Pauline Hope Cheong’s project, “Asia Mediated: Interdisciplinary Curriculum Innovation at Arizona State University,” by the sudden increase in undergraduate students roaming the halls near my office. I ran into one of the undergraduate interns in the elevator and asked what was going on; she replied that they were working on the Twitter and Facebook accounts of something called “Asia Mediated.” My interest was additionally piqued when the program announced its first invited speaker, Dr. Wenhong Chen, who would talk on the topic of “Big Data in China: Big Dreams and Big Brother.” After browsing some of the Asia Mediated literature following the announcement of this first talk, it seemed that the project’s push to uncover the multiplicity of assemblages that are transforming and are being transformed by the interplay of new media and the Asian context promised to reveal some important aspects ...

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Launching the New Timor-Leste Initiative at AAS

By Richard Fox   Image 1: Roundtable discussion on the future of Timor-Leste studies, with Lisa Palmer, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhaes and Susana de Matos Viegas, and chaired by Elizabeth Drexler. The 2017 conference in Toronto marked the beginning of an ambitious two-year initiative devoted to raising the profile of Timor-Leste studies—both at AAS and in the wider North American academy. With generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Southeast Asia Council’s (SEAC) Indonesia and Timor-Leste Studies Committee (ITLSC) hosted a series of special events, including an all-day pre-conference workshop attended by senior scholars, students and public intellectuals from Timor-Leste as well as North America, Australia, Europe and other parts of Asia. Looking ahead, the ITLSC is planning a similar series of events for 2018 in Washington, D.C. Let us know if you’d like to get involved and help to shape the future of TL studies at AAS—additional information and contact details ...

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