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October 19 SEAP Book Launch at Kahin

Thak speaks to graduate students

By: Catarina Massa, MPA ‘19

SEAP hosted a book launch event on Friday, October 19 at the Kahin Center. Faculty, staff, and students gathered together with professionally mixed drinks in hand to explore the books on display, many of which were written by SEAP faculty. While there were several authors to celebrate at this event, the person of honor was Thak Chaloemtiarana, a retired professor in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell.

Professor Chaloemtiarana received his Ph.D. from Cornell in Government in 1974. His dissertation, "The Sarit Regime, 1957-1963: the formative years of modern Thai politics,” marked the beginning of a literary journey filled with critical evaluations of Thai politics and literature. The original dissertation, which Professor Chaloemtiarana’s wife remembers typing with great patience on a typewriter, was on display along with the rest of his books. Most recently, Professor Chaloemtiarana published a book titled, “Read Till It Shatters: Nationalism and Identity in Modern Thai Literature,” which was an important topic of conversation for both graduate and undergraduate students at the event. In 1985, Professor Chaloemtiarana was the first recipient of the Ohira Prize, which recognizes significant books on Asia, for his work.

Continue reading below for a list of all the books that were featured at the event:

The Future of Bangalore’s Cosmopolitan Pasts: Civility and Difference in a Global City

By: Andrew C. Willford

Buttressed by field research conducted over a twenty-two-year period (1992–2015), Willford shows how the past is a living resource for the negotiation of identity in the present. Against the gloom of increasingly communal conflicts, he finds that Bangalore still retains a fabric of civility against the modern markings of cultural difference.

Buddhist and Islamic Orders in Southern Asia: Comparative Perspectives

By: R. Michael Feener and Anne M. Blackburn

Feener and Blackburn bring cutting-edge research to bear on conversations about how “orders” have functioned within Buddhist and Islamic traditions to expand and sustain transregional religious networks. It will help to develop a better understanding of the complex roles played by religious networks in the history of Southern Asia.

Ghostly Desires: Queer Sexuality and Vernacular Buddhism in Contemporary Thai Cinema

By: Arnika Fuhrmann

Through an examination of post-1997 Thai cinema and video art, Fuhrmann shows how vernacular Buddhist tenets, stories, and images combine with sexual politics in figuring current struggles over notions of personhood, sexuality, and collective life.

Tropical Renditions: Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America

By: Christine Bacareza Balance

Balance examines how the performance and reception of post-World War II Filipino and Filipino American popular music provide crucial tools for composing Filipino identities, publics, and politics.

The Hajj: Pilgrimage in Islam

By: Eric Tagliacozzo and Shawkat M. Toorawa

This volume pays attention to the diverse aspects of the Hajj, as lived every year by hundreds of millions of Muslims, touching on its rituals, its regional forms, the role of gender, its representation in art, and its organization on a global scale.

Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Indonesian Islam

By: Thomas B. Pepinsky, R. William Liddle, and Saiful Mujani

Against the common assumption that piety would naturally inhibit any tendencies towards modernity, democracy, or cosmopolitanism, this book reveals the complex and subtle links between religion and political beliefs in a critically important Muslim democracy.

From SEAP Publications (author, shortened title):

From Cornell University Press (author, shortened title):