Archives de catégorie : Ouvrages

« Archaeologizing Heritage » ?

Michael Falser, Monica Juneja (eds), « Archaeologizing Heritage » ? Transcultural Entanglements between Local Social Practices and Global Virtual Realities, Springer, 2013.

Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Cultural Heritage and the Temples of Angkor (Chair of Global Art History, Heidelberg University, 2–5 May 2010)

This book investigates what has constituted notions of « archaeological heritage » from colonial times to the present. It includes case studies of sites in South and Southeast Asia with a special focus on Angkor, Cambodia. The contributions, the subjects of which range from architectural and intellectual history to historic preservation and restoration, evaluate historical processes spanning two centuries which saw the imagination and production of « dead archaeological ruins » by often overlooking living local, social, and ritual forms of usage on site.

Case studies from computational modelling in archaeology discuss a comparable paradigmatic change from a mere simulation of supposedly dead archaeological building material to an increasing appreciation and scientific incorporation of the knowledge of local stakeholders. This book seeks to bring these different approaches from the humanities and engineering sciences into a trans-disciplinary discussion.

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Siamese Melting Pot: Ethnic Minorities in the Making of Bangkok

Edward van Roy, Siamese Melting Pot: Ethnic Minorities in the Making of Bangkok, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute / Silkworm Books, 2017

Ethnic minorities historically comprised a solid majority of Bangkok’s population. They played a dominant role in the city’s exuberant economic and social development. In the shadow of Siam’s prideful, flamboyant Thai ruling class, the city’s diverse minorities flourished quietly. The Thai-Portuguese; the Mon; the Lao; the Cham, Persian, Indian, Malay, and Indonesian Muslims; and the Taechiu, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainanese, and Cantonese Chinese speech groups were particularly important. Others, such as the Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai Yuan, Sikhs, and Westerners, were smaller in numbers but no less significant in their influence on the city’s growth and prosperity.

In tracing the social, political, and spatial dynamics of Bangkok’s ethnic pluralism through the two-and-a-half centuries of the city’s history, this book calls attention to a long-neglected mainspring of Thai urban development. While the books primary focus is on the first five reigns of the Chakri dynasty (1782–1910), the account extends backward and forward to reveal the continuing impact of Bangkok’s ethnic minorities on Thai culture change, within the broader context of Thai development studies. It provides an exciting perspective and unique resource for anyone interested in exploring Bangkok’s evolving cultural milieu or Thailand’s modern history.

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Imagination and Narrative: Lexical and Cultural Translation in Buddhist Asia

Peter Skilling and Justin Thomas McDaniel (eds), Imagination and Narrative: Lexical and Cultural Translation in Buddhist Asia, Silkworm Books, 2017

The essays in this volume highlight the movement of Buddhist ideas and practices across Asia and how the encounter of far-flung cultures and personalities encouraged adaptation and transformation. At times this meant textual translation and transmission, as seen in the chapters about Chinese and Japanese Buddhist texts and their authors, or the analysis of Buddhist manuscripts in northern Thailand. Other cases entailed cultural translation—local adaptations of jataka tales, the evolution of legal notions within the framework of Theravada Buddhist teachings, localizations embedded in material culture seen through inscriptions and archaeological traces. Some themes go beyond Buddhism writ small to explore the broad canvas of engagement: the East-West encounter in the British geographical and anthropological exploration of Burma, and the place of Brahmanism in early Buddhist thought as expressed through the jatakas.

This expertly curated selection of scholarship shows that the diffusion of ideas and religious thought is much more than a tale of decline and loss or cultural appropriation and impoverishment. The fresh perspectives presented here—all drawn on primary sources—give an overall impression of a singular diversity that somehow participates in an unacknowledged unity. Beyond the fragmentations of sectarian and cultural divides, disparate Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions have gone beyond arbitrary boundaries and flourished through their simultaneity.

Contributors: Olivier de Bernon, Frédéric Girard, Iyanaga Nobumi, François Lagirarde, Jacques Leider, Michel Lorrillard, Justin McDaniel, Kumkum Roy, Peter Skilling, Warangkana Srikamnerd.

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Myanmar contemporary art 1

Launch: Myanmar Contemporary Art 1

Now available for purchase at Myanmart! After 2 years of hard work and many brilliant collaborators and donors, the translation, redesign and publication of Myanmar Contemporary Art 1 (MCA1) is complete! Originally published in Burmese language in 2009 under censorship, the new edition was raised through crowdfunding. We hope this book allows more people to learn about and understand a part of Myanmar's art history between 1960-1990.30 USD per book/40,000 MMK. Special discount for artists! All proceeds go towards a future publication of a book about contemporary art in Myanmar. Copies available at Myanmart – 98 Bogalay Zay street, 3rd floor, Botataung township, Yangon OR by special order. Please email for more details or message us here.

Publié par Myanm/art sur dimanche 2 juillet 2017


Myanmar Contemporary Art 1 : traduction anglaise d’un ouvrage publié en birman en 2009 sous la censure et consacré à l’histoire de l’art birman entre 1960 et 1990. Il sera suivi de deux autres volumes.

Myanmar Contemporary Art 1 is the first volume of a trilogy on contemporary Burmese art.  Since 1885, when Burma fell under British colonial rule, the traditional practices of Burmese art were overshadowed by the influence of Western art trends–particularly the traditions of academic painting and the Impressionist movement.  This book records the progression of Burmese modern art after its encounter with Modernism, focusing on the influence of key individual artists.   Democratic rule ended in 1962, and between 1974 and 1988, when Modernism was evolving to a Post-Modern world, Burma adopted a strict isolationist policy during which only three books on art were published:  The Quest for Beauty by Paw Thit, From Tradition to Modern by Bagyi Aung Soe and Abstract Painting by Khin One.  The end of the closed door policy in 1988 allowed for artists to gain perspective on the international art world and embrace new developments and media.  Artists who worked outside the trajectory of Burmese modern art movements such as Lun Gywe, Maung Nyo Wing, Maung Maung Hla Myint and Tun Sein are also included in the book, as well as those who left to work in other countries (See the chapter « Some early practitioners »).   This volume focuses on modern artists active from 1962 to 1988.  The next volume of Myanmar Contemporary Art will focus on the artists who came after 1988.

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Copies available at Myanmart – 98 Bogalay Zay street, 3rd floor, Botataung township, Yangon OR by special order. Please email for more details or message us here.



Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore

Chua Beng Huat, Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore, NUS Press, 2017

In Liberalism Disavowed, Chua Beng Huat examines the rejection of Western-style liberalism in Singapore and the way the People’s Action Party has forged an independent non-Western ideology.

This book explains the evolution of this communitarian ideology, with focus on three areas: public housing, multiracialism and state capitalism, each of which poses different challenges to liberal approaches. With the passing of the first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew and the end of the Cold War, the party is facing greater challenges from an educated populace that demands greater voice. This has led to liberalization of the cultural sphere, greater responsiveness and shifts in political rhetoric, but all without disrupting the continuing hegemony of the PAP in government.

Table of contents

Chapter 1     Contextualizing Singapore: Antipathy to Liberalism
Chapter 2     Singapore State Formation in the Cold War Era
Chapter 3     Liberalism Disavowed
Chapter 4     Disrupting Private Property Rights: National Public Housing Program
Chapter 5     Disrupting Free Market: State Capitalism and Social Distribution
Chapter 6     Governing Race: State Multiracialism and Social Stability
Chapter 7     Cultural Liberalization without Liberalism
Conclusion  An Enduring System

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Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence

Edwin Jürriens, Ross Tapsell (eds), Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, 2017

This book places Indonesia at the forefront of the global debate about the impact of « disruptive » digital technologies. Digital technology is fast becoming the core of life, work, culture and identity. Yet, while the number of Indonesians using the internet has followed the upward global trend, some groups — the poor, the elderly, women, the less well-educated, people living in remote communities  — are disadvantaged. This interdisciplinary collection of essays by leading researchers and scholars, as well as e-governance and e-commerce insiders, examines the impact of digitalisation on the media industry, governance, commerce, informal sector employment, education, cybercrime, terrorism, religion, artistic and cultural expression, and much more. It presents groundbreaking analysis of the impact of digitalisation in one of the worlds most diverse, geographically vast nations. In weighing arguments about the opportunities and challenges presented by digitalisation, it puts the very idea of a technological revolution into critical perspective.

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Thailand’s 2010 crackdowns: truth for justice

Thailand’s 2010 crackdowns: truth for justice by Kwanravee Wangudom, 20/06/2017, New Mandala

On the 7th anniversary of the 2010 government crackdown on the Red Shirts, People’s Information Center for the April-May 2010 Crackdowns (PIC) has released an English-language edition of its original 1,398-page long fact-finding report, available for free download.

Truth for Justice, the original fact-finding report of the PIC, was published in Thai in 2012two years after the crackdown on the Red Shirts by the Abhisit Vejjajiva government, which resulted in over 90 deaths and 2,000 injuries. The report came out amidst growing criticisms towards the workings of the two major fact-finding bodies: the government-initiated Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (TRCT), headed by Kanit Na Nakorn; and the controversial National Human Rights Commission, chaired by Amara Pongsapich.

The aim of the PIC original fact-finding report is to document what occurred in the crackdown. PIC believes that this is the first step to ending the deeply-entrenched culture of impunity in Thailand.

The English-language edition, consisting of six selected chapters from the original report, with added clarifications, is produced in the hope that it will stimulate a wider global discussion on truth, justice and reconciliation in the deeply-divided Thai society, and perhaps elsewhere.

To access the PIC original fact-finding report (in Thai), click here.

For the English-language edition, please follow this link.

Kwanravee Wangudom is a human rights professional and activist. She is the Editor of the English translation of the report.

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Living sharia : law and practice in Malaysia

Timothy P. Daniels, Living sharia : law and practice in Malaysia, University of Washington Press, december 2017

Drawing on ethnographic research, Living Sharia examines the role of sharia in the sociopolitical processes of contemporary Malaysia. The book traces the contested implementation of Islamic family and criminal laws and sharia economics to provide cultural frameworks for understanding sharia among Muslims and non-Muslims. Timothy Daniels explores how the way people think about sharia is often entangled with notions about race, gender equality, nationhood, liberal pluralism, citizenship, and universal human rights. He reveals that Malaysians’ ideas about sharia are not isolated from-nor always opposed to-liberal pluralism and secularism.

Timothy P. Daniels is professor of anthropology at Hofstra University. He is the author of Islamic Spectrum in Java and Building Cultural Nationalism in Malaysia, and editor of Performance, Popular Culture, and Piety in Muslim Southeast Asia.

Review: Beyond decent work

A factory visited by the ILO during ‘Better Work Indonesia’, one of the two major campaigns analysed in Hauf’s book. (ILO Asia-Pacific)

Review: Beyond decent work by Antje Missbach, 02/06/2017, Inside Indonesia

A new book examines Indonesian labour struggles through the lens of international political economy theory

Indonesian wages continue to be among the lowest in the region. The term ‘decent work’ is generally defined as fair globalisation and poverty reduction through the promotion of competitiveness. This is achieved by improving compliance with existing labour regulations. But more radical unions in Indonesia have decided not to be part of ‘decent work’ schemes at all.  In his book Beyond decent work: The cultural political economy of labour struggles in Indonesia, Felix Hauf argues that it remains questionable whether low-cost production can ever be compatible with ethical labour standards given that the Indonesian minimum wage (which is not even paid by many employers) is seldom above subsidence levels.

In order to evaluate the impacts of ‘decent work’ schemes in Indonesia, Hauf examines three case studies in the garment and textile industries, which are among the most globalised sectors in Indonesia. Before revealing his findings Hauf offers a detailed examination of his theoretical framing, cultural political economy, and his methodological approach, referred to as critical grounded theory. He engages with the prominent writers of post-Marxist thought, such as Gramsci and Poulantzas and the usual big names from French poststructuralist philosophy. The works of Bob Jessop and Ngai-Ling Sum, who have thoughtfully dissected the flaws of late capitalism and neoliberal globalisation, are Hauf’s key references.

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Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641−1699

Sher Banu A.L. Khan, Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641−1699, NUS Press, 2017

The Islamic kingdom of Aceh was ruled by queens for half of the 17th century. Was female rule an aberration? Unnatural? A violation of nature, comparable to hens instead of roosters crowing at dawn? Indigenous texts and European sources offer different evaluations. Drawing on both sets of sources, this book shows that female rule was legitimised both by Islam and adat (indigenous customary laws), and provides original insights on the Sultanah’s leadership, their relations with male elites, and their encounters with European envoys who visited their court. The book challenges received views on kingship in the Malay world and the response of indigenous polities to east-west encounters in Southeast Asia’s Age of Commerce.

« We have waited too long for a book such as this. It explores the extraordinary phenomenon of a preference for queens in the golden age of Islamic Aceh. Countering the dominant nationalist, feminist and Islamic scholarship, all of which find uncongenial the striking phenomenon of a preference for queens in early modern Asian Islam, Banu has utilized rich primary sources to reveal a queenship that was truly Islamic, effective and benign. This book is a revelation. Read it. »
Anthony Reid, The Australian National University

« Sher Banu’s superb study based on a host of newly discovered contemporary source materials throws new light on a hotly discussed topic among historians of Southeast Asian statecraft in Early Modern time. »
Leonard Blusse, Leiden University

« The author is to be congratulated on a book that makes a significant contribution both to the history of Southeast Asia and to comparative studies on women in early modern Asia. »
Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya, University of Hawai‘i 

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Feminisms and Contemporary Art in Indonesia : defining experiences

Wulan Dirgantoro, Feminisms and Contemporary Art in Indonesia : defining experiences, Amsterdam University Press, 2017

While Indonesian contemporary art is currently on the rise on the international art scene, there hasn’t yet been an in-depth study of the works of Indonesian women artists and the feminist strategies they employ within the art world. This book fills that gap, presenting the first comprehensive study of feminisms and contemporary arts in Indonesia, using feminist readings to analyze the works of Indonesian women artists historically and today, illuminating the sociocultural contexts in which they have worked and offering a nuanced understanding of local feminisms in the nation.

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Singapour, héroïne de BD

Singapour, héroïne de BD par Patrick de Jacquelot, 11/05/2017, Asialyst

Un éblouissant ouvrage complètement hors normes, la biographie d’un auteur de BD imaginaire de Singapour, livre en toile de fond l’histoire de la cité-État.

Charlie Chan Hock Chye, une vie dessinée, scénario et dessins Sonny Liew, Urban Graphic, 320 p.

C’est un véritable tour de force que Charlie Chan Hock Chye, une vie dessinée*, cette monographie qui a tout d’une vraie – l’épaisseur, la variété des documents reproduits, planches de BD, esquisses, couvertures de magazines, toiles, et plusieurs centaines de notes de bas de page érudites – mais où tout est inventé. Comme de nombreux ouvrages consacrés à des artistes réels de BD, le livre mêle interviews de l’auteur – montrés ici en bande dessinée, évidemment – et documents de toutes sortes. Charlie Chan, censé être né en 1938, raconte sa vie. Sa passion pour la BD se manifeste dès l’enfance, comme en témoignent les pages de cahiers d’écolier reproduites, et débouche sur une première histoire réalisée à l’âge de seize ans, Ah Huat et le robot géant, dans un style très enfantin. Le style de l’auteur imaginaire évoluera beaucoup par la suite…

Par la suite, Charlie Chan varie ses registres : des histoires de science-fiction racontent les luttes pour le pouvoir à Singapour ; il imagine un super héros « local », étape de son travail illustrée par une profusion d’esquisses, de couvertures abîmées de fascicules anciens ou bien de coupures de journaux racontant des faits divers censés avoir inspiré ses histoires.

Les bandes dessinées ainsi « reproduites » reconstituent mine de rien toute l’histoire de la cité-État : guerre, décolonisation, fusion puis séparation de Singapour et de la Fédération de la Malaya, affrontement fondateur entre Lee Kuan Yew, qui deviendra le Premier ministre « père de la patrie », et son rival Lim Chin Siong, homme de gauche qui, ayant eu le dessous, s’exile à Londres. L’impact supposé des événements parfois tragiques sur l’auteur imaginaire est rendu avec beaucoup de subtilité. Au lendemain d’émeutes raciales ayant fait de nombreux morts en 1964, Charlie Chan « publie » une BD de sa série animalière composée de paysages où toute vie est totalement absente.

L’artiste se montre toute sa vie fort critique des autorités. Les attaques contre la politique du PAP, le parti de Lee Kuan Yew devenu omnipotent, sont multiples : Charlie Chan est présenté comme un rebelle pacifique, s’employant dans la solitude à dénoncer les dérives autoritaires du régime. Des planches incendiaires s’en prennent aux tentations eugéniques du gouvernement de Singapour, désireux de promouvoir la natalité des seules mères diplômées (planches « non publiées », est-il précisé en note !). Un pastiche de « Picsou » s’attaque aux pratiques de la place financière de Singapour.

Sonny Liew (le véritable auteur) ne retrace pas seulement l’histoire de la ville : il livre simultanément un portrait passionnant de l’évolution de la bande dessinée sur cette même période, à Singapour bien sûr mais aussi plus globalement. Les difficultés rencontrées par Charlie Chan pour se faire publier, dans ses premières années d’activité, soulignent l’ignorance totale de cette forme d’expression artistique qui prévalait à la fin des années 1950 et dans les années 1960. Le dessinateur et son comparse scénariste doivent démarcher des imprimeurs qui le plus souvent refusent de prendre le risque de telles publications et trouvent bien chère l’utilisation de la couleur. Toute sa vie supposée, l’artiste aura d’ailleurs les plus grandes difficultés à vivre de son œuvre : pendant tout un moment, il est décrit comme vivant grâce à un travail de veilleur de nuit qui lui laisse de nombreuses heures disponibles pour dessiner.

Totalement original, cet ouvrage constitue une étonnante mise en abyme. L’auteur – le vrai – va jusqu’à représenter côte à côte, dans des styles totalement différents, un incident survenu dans la vie de son héros et l’interprétation que ce dernier en donne en BD. La mise en abyme se retrouve aussi dans la reproduction de planches de BD autobiographiques à l’intérieur de la BD biographique… Et on la retrouve dans le monde « réel réel » : alors que tout au long de sa carrière, Charlie Chan le rebelle connaît de nombreux ennuis avec le gouvernement passablement autoritaire de Singapour, Sonny Liew n’est pas épargné dans la vraie vie. Lors de la publication de Charlie Chan Hock Chye, les pouvoirs publics de la cité-État ont retiré à son éditeur la subvention qui lui avait été déjà versée, considérant que l’œuvre s’attaquait à la légitimité et à l’autorité du gouvernement…

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En route vers le Royaume-Uni : enquête de terrain auprès des migrants vietnamiens

Danielle Tan, Thi Hiep Nguyen, En route vers le Royaume-Uni : enquête de terrain auprès des migrants vietnamiens, Une étude de l’IRASEC et France terre d’asile, Les cahiers du social n°38 // Mars 2017.

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New Religiosities, Modern Capitalism, and Moral Complexities in Southeast Asia

Juliette Koning, Gwenaël Njoto-Feillard (eds), New Religiosities, Modern Capitalism, and Moral Complexities in Southeast Asia, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

As Southeast Asia experiences unprecedented economic modernization, religious and moral practices are being challenged as never before. From Thai casinos to Singaporean megachurches, from the practitioners of Islamic Finance in Jakarta to Pentecostal Christians in rural Cambodia, this volume discusses the moral complexities that arise when religious and economic developments converge. In the past few decades, Southeast Asia has seen growing religious pluralism and antagonisms as well as the penetration of a market economy and economic liberalism. Providing a multidisciplinary, cross-regional snapshot of a region in the midst of profound change, this text is a key read for scholars of religion, economists, non-governmental organization workers, and think-tankers across the region.

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The Mists of Ramanna : The Legend That Was Lower Burma

Michael A. Aung-Thwin, The Mists of Ramanna : The Legend That Was Lower Burma, University of Hawaii Press, 2005

Scholars have long accepted the belief that a Theravada Buddhist Mon kingdom, Ramannadesa, flourished in coastal Lower Burma until it was conquered in 1057 by King Aniruddha of Pagan—which then became, in essence, the new custodian and repository of Mon culture in the Upper Burmese interior. This scenario, which Aung-Thwin calls the «  »Mon Paradigm, » » has circumscribed much of the scholarship on early Burma and significantly shaped the history of Southeast Asia for more than a century. Now, in a masterful reassessment of Burmese history, Michael Aung-Thwin reexamines the original contemporary accounts and sources without finding any evidence of an early Theravada Mon polity or a conquest by Aniruddha. The paradigm, he finds, cannot be sustained. Aung-Thwin meticulously traces the paradigm’s creation to the merging of two temporally, causally, and contextually unrelated Mon and Burmese narratives.

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