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Southeast Asia Center


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October 2014

The Thai Coup 2014: Return to the Past, Following the Chinese Model

Monday October 20, 2014
12:30 - 2:00 PM
Thomson Hall, Room 317

Charles F. Keyes (Professor Emeritus, Anthropology and International Studies)

Southeast Asia Center



On May 22, 2014, the Thai military led by General Prayuth Chan-Ocha successfully seized power of the government of Thailand. This was the 12th military coup in Thailand since 1932 when absolute monarchy was ended.

The new government headed by General Prayuth is attempting to turn back the Thai political clock to a time to before 1976 when, the new leaders believe, the country was united under the monarchy and everyone knew his place in the social order. At the same time, the new leaders are looking to China where a system of autocratic capitalism prevails as a model for the current Thai polity.

Because the latest coup in Thailand took place when much of the world’s attention has been focused on events in the turbulent Middle East and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia few have given attention to the implications of Thai coup. In this talk, I will review the recent political history of Thailand that led up to the coup and then reflect on how the coup makes Thailand a exemplar of what Michael Ignatieff has called the “new world disorder”. Finally, I will reflect on whether the Thai military’s vision of Thailand can succeed or not.

Professor Keyes' Bio:

Charles F. Keyes is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and International Studies at the University of Washington. His research focuses on religion and political-economic change, the sociology of Theraveda Buddhism, ethnic group relations, and Southeast Asia. He is interested in how states intrude into everyday lives and how minority peoples respond to modern projects of nation-building. His latest book, Finding Their Voice: Northeastern Villagers and The Thai State, was published in April, 2014.

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November 2014

Southeast Asia Center Annual Fall Reception

Friday November 7, 2014
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Petersen Room of the Allen Library

Southeast Asia Center


We hope you can join us to celebrate at our annual fall reception, November 7, from 3-5pm in the Petersen Room of the Allen Library. Drinks, coffee, sweets and appetizers will be served.

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Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Event: Didik Nini Thowok

Monday November 10, 2014
7:30 PM
Brechemin Auditorium

Didik Nini Thowok and Christina Sunardi

School of Music


Didik Nini Thowok, a master dancer from Java, Indonesia, is known throughout Indonesia for his unique style combining classical, folk, modern, and comedic dance forms. One of the few artists to continue the long Indonesian tradition of “Traditional Cross Gender“ in the dance form, Didik is renowned for his talent in impersonating female characters and for his skill in various dance traditions such as topeng (mask dance), Sundanese, Cirebon, Balinese, and of course Central Javanese. In this free event, Didik Nini Thowok and School of Music faculty member Christina Sunardi perform cross-gender dances and discuss Didik’s work as an artist. More info

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Empire is in the Heart: A Conference on Carlos Bulosan

Friday November 14, 2014
9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
HUB, Room 145

Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; UW Department of English; Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest; and the Southeast Asia Center


One of the most important figures in Filipino American history, Carlos Bulosan is best known for America is in the Heart, a searing novel of the Great Depression and a classic of Asian American literature.

In marking the centennial of Carlos Bulosan’s birth, this conference will address the relationship between his artistic and political approaches, re-situating his novels in relation to both Philippine and American literary traditions, his politics in relation to the socialist and liberal democratic currents of his era and our own, and his place in understanding the braided histories of labor migration, racial formation, Filipino diasporic imagination, and imperial expansion in the American Asia-Pacific before and after World War II.

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Southeast Asia Center
University of Washington
303 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-9606 tel
(206) 685-0668 fax

Laurie Sears, Director

Rick Bonus, Director of Graduate Studies

Sara Van Fleet, Associate Director

Tikka Sears, Outreach Coordinator

Molly Wilskie-Kala, Program Coordinator

Mary Barnes, Program Assistant