8-9 front

Literature and Contemporary Philippine Politics

      In December 1958, almost 57 years ago, about a hundred of the leading writers of the Philippines went up to the resort city of Baguio in the northern highlands to attend a conference sponsored by the Philippine Center of International PEN. They mostly met among themselves – the event was, after all, billed as the National Writers Conference – but they were also visited and spoken [...]

Singing Islamic Modernity: Recreating Nasyid in Malaysia

       Since the opposition Party Islam Se Malaysia (PAS, Islamic Party of Malaysia) took over the state government in Kelantan in 1990, it has deemed as un-Islamic and banned public performances of traditional theater such as wayang kulit (shadow puppet) and makyong (a form of Malay theatre), as well as rock concerts. For orthodox Muslims, traditional theater forms are haram (forbidden) [...]

A Choice to Review: Encountering Krishen Jit in Talking Drama with Utih

       So it goes, our theatre, from one new thing to another. What else is ahead of us? It is difficult to say, since our playwrights, once freed of many of the rules that existed before the 1970s, have become unpredictable. Only one rule seems to prevail these days, namely that theatre has no hard and fast rules. But with freedom comes a heavy responsibility, especially to the audience, [...]

Thai Literary Trends: From Seni Saowaphong to Chart Kobjitti

           This essay is a study of two novels, Seni Saowaphong’s Pheesart (Ghosts) and Chart Korbjitti’s Khamphiphaksa (The Judgement). Both masterpieces represent the pinnacle of what is valued as belles lettres in Thai literature. But because they also straddle the so-called “student revolution of 1973” an important turning point in modern Thai history (Seni’s work appeared [...]

Museum as the Representation of Ethnicity: The Construction of Chinese Indonesian Ethnic Identity in post-Suharto Indonesia

             Introduction The purpose of this paper is to define the processes and techniques used in trial of the visualization of ethnic identity by examining the case of Chinese Indonesian Cultural Park (Taman Budaya Tionghoa Indonesia).  Chinese Indonesian Cultural Park is an ongoing museum building project by one of the Chinese Indonesians social organization, Paguyuban Sosial [...]

Why I “mengaji” (study) Malay? :Discussing the latest developments of Malay culture in South Thailand

    The word ‘mengaji’ – meaning to learn – has the highest value and status in the obsession and mentality of Malay society in South Thailand (after this referred to as Patani). Normally, the word ‘mengaji’ is used only for learning activities in a religious or spiritual context. The value and status of the word itself is also high in its general perception. This word cannot be [...]

The Rise and Fall of Empires and the Case for Liberal Imperialism

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri / Empire / Cambridge, MA / Harvard University Press / 2000Niall Ferguson / Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World / London / Penguin / 2004Niall Ferguson/ Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire / New York / Penguin / 2004Niall Ferguson / The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West /New York / Penguin / 2006 …I did not know [...]