Scope and Goals:

With support from the Henry Luce Foundation, the SEASREP Foundation initiated this project in January 2020. This project aimed to update previous works on the state of Southeast Asian Studies in Southeast Asia by identifying and describing key academic programs on Southeast Asian studies of teaching and research institutions in the region, as well as individuals engaged in these programs and institutions in a major way.

To map the region, we employed two types of methods. The first (phase I) was to
gather data based on a common research guide project undertaken by 23 scholars from the region. The second, arising from the results of the first method, was the case study approach (phase II) focusing on three institutions in the region, their strengths and challenges, in order to deepen understanding of Southeast Asian studies in the region.

The original timetable of the project was from January to June 2020, but this could not be followed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With permission from the Henry Luce foundation, the project period was extended and new activities were held to supplement the project.

The research period for the data gathering was from February 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, but data gathering was hampered owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. To process the data gathered by the participants, three workshops were initially planned for 2020, where participants would present their findings and comment on each other’s work. The pandemic put an end to this plan, however, and online discussions (via Zoom) were instead conducted on 10, 18, and 26 August 2020. To validate the report, we held two face-to face workshops: one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a select number of participants (20-21 August 2022), and another in Bintan, Indonesia for SEASREP to plan the activities for phase 2 of the report (22-23 August 2022).

For phase II of the project, a workshop for young Southeast Asian scholars was held in Bangkok on 10-11 December 2022. The workshop gathered 12 young Southeast Asianists from all over the region who represent the field’s present and future. During the said workshop, a special online panel (via Zoom) was held on 10 December 2022 for the case study writers to present their findings on the Southeast Asian studies programs in their institutions.

Overall, the project was able to produce a report consolidating and analyzing all the data gathered by the country team along with recommendations from SEASREP, 3 case studies on the Southeast Asian studies programs of Naresuan University, Vietnam National University – Hanoi, and the Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies of Universitas Gadjah Mada, and 12 ‘think pieces’ of the young Southeast Asian scholars.