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Notes on the future of Southeast Asian studies


Farrelly, N, Notes on the future of Southeast Asian studies, Southeast Asian Affairs pp. 3-18. ISSN 0377-5437 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute

DOI: doi:10.1355/9789814786843-003


Looking Back

When done poorly, efforts to understand and explain other cultures and societies earn justified and withering critique. Where scholarly appreciation lacks empathy, depth or context it is not a surprise that opposition should emerge. The charge of orientalism is one that still echoes through the halls of knowledge. It is a blunt rebuke to those accused of reifying the Other. Avoiding the common tendencies to essentialize complex subject matter requires skill, breadth and compassion. The political situation in which studies of human societies occur is crucial, and the difficult reality is that neutral enquiry, of the type imagined in some methodological textbooks, always proves an illusion. Academic analysis, of whatever type, should begin with an appreciation that power and knowledge sit in uneasy and permanent conversation. Knowledge of society, politics, culture, history, language and economics, in whichever disciplinary tradition, should therefore start with questions about how the world works, including through close scrutiny of scholarly practices and mentalities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International political economy (excl. international trade)
UTAS Author:Farrelly, N (Professor Nicholas Farrelly)
ID Code:145215
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-12
Last Modified:2021-09-21

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