By Karla Schneider
Ohio University will mark its 40-year history in Southeast Asia with a conference -- 40 Years of Engagement with Southeast Asia -- this Friday and Saturday on the Athens campus. The conference will celebrate Ohio University's national prominence in the field of Southeast Asian Studies and recognize contributors to the program's growth and success.
Established in 1967, the Southeast Asian Studies Program is one of U.S. Department of Education National Resource Centers for Southeast Asian Studies. The program, offering an interdisciplinary master's degree and support to both undergraduate and graduate students across the university, boasts more than 50 affiliated faculty members in disciplines ranging from anthropology and plant biology to business and media studies.
"The Southeast Asian Studies Program has been a national leader thanks to the contributions of many, many wonderful supporters around the university and elsewhere," said Drew McDaniel, interim director of the Center for International Studies and two-time director of Southeast Asian Studies. "This is a great opportunity to say thanks to them and to recognize everything they have done to make this a center of excellence for Ohio University."
Ohio University is home to the Tun Abdul Razak Distinguished Chair in Southeast Asian Studies, the Frances M. and Stephen H. Fuller Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Southeast Asian Studies, the Shao You-Bao Overseas Chinese Documentation and Research Center, and the only Malaysian Resource Center in the United States. The Southeast Asia Collection in Alden Library is considered among the nation's top collections on the region.
Laurie Sears, professor of history and director of the Southeast Asia Center at the University of Washington, will give the conference's keynote address -- "Twenty-first Century Area Studies: Between Cosmopolitanism and Diaspora" – at 3 p.m. Friday in Walter Hall 145. A dinner for conference guests, hosted by the Southeast Asian Studies Association, will follow in the Ping Center Lounge. Among those attending will be Ohio University Presidents Emeriti Charles Ping and Vernon Alden.
Roundtable discussions on Saturday in the multipurpose room of the Multicultural Center will highlight alumni accomplishments, international partnerships, faculty productivity and teaching, and future directions of the field.
For more information on the conference, including a full schedule, visit the Southeast Asian Studies Web site.