The LuceSEA Initiative on Southeast Asia Grantee Convening Conference “Southeast Asian Studies Now: Transdisciplinary, Collaborative, and Engaged,” was held at the Luskin Conference Center, University of California, USA, from September 29 to 30, 2023.
Dr. Wasan Panyageaw, lecturer at the Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University joined the panel “Southeast Asian Studies from Southeast Asia” to introduce RCSD’s newest project, “Understanding the Present – Preparing New Beginnings: Co-producing Knowledge on Inclusivity in Burma,” along with its implementation process and anticipated contributions to the field. The panel, moderated by Miriam Stark from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, also featured the Cambodian Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center and Columbia University.
Discussions centered on how to sustain the continuation of Southeast Asian Studies, especially the light an of increasing emphasis on domestic issues, such as rising racism in the country, by many US-based institutions, as well as the growing popularity of Diaspora studies and Asian-American studies.
While most LuceSEA grantee institutions focus on supporting research, archives, and online resources, RCSD is unique in being the organization focusing on Myanmar, actively engaging in research, and collaborating closely with local stakeholders on the ground. The center maintains its institutional strength in conducting research and extending support to neighboring countries, offering training and research opportunities to under-resourced educational institutions during times of political crisis.
Many conference participants expressed a strong interest in RCSD’s project, recognizing its role in advancing inclusive knowledge and shaping the future of Southeast Asian Studies.