About Us

ASEAS(UK) facilitates co-operation between scholars, institutions and research programmes in Southeast Asian studies both within the UK and with other countries.

The Association was established in 1969 and has members from dozens of universities across 15 countries, including academics, postgraduate researchers and others who are interested in Southeast Asia.

ASEAS(UK) is an educational charity which became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2016, registered in the UK with the Charities Commission, registration no. 1170590. A copy of our constitution can be downloaded here

ASEAS(UK) is managed by an Executive Committee and a Research Grants Committee. The Association organises a conference every two years and additional seminars, liaises with academic organisations, disperses grants, and works generally to advance the interests of members and Southeast Asian studies.

Executive Committee Officers

Dr Deirdre McKay is a Reader in Social Geography and Environmental Politics at Keele University. Her research draws on both social/cultural geography and social anthropology to explore people’s place-based experiences of globalisation and development. Her fieldwork is in areas of the global South and also with migrant communities from developing areas who have moved into the world’s major cities. Much of her work has been conducted with people who originate in indigenous villages in the northern Philippines.

Elliot Newbold is a PhD researcher in the American & Canadian Studies Department at the University of Nottingham. His thesis, tentatively titled ‘Selling American Empire: Cold War Public Diplomacy and the American Decolonization of the Philippines, 1945-1957’, explores America’s decolonization of the Philippines through the lens of public diplomacy. Elliot also works as a social media officer at Asia Dialogue (theasiadialogue.com), a platform for discussion on the Asia-Pacific region, where he often contributes articles. 

Postgraduate Representative
Jessica Rahardjo is a DPhil student in the History Faculty, University of Oxford. Her current research is on early Islamic funerary material culture in Southeast Asia. She is also interested in Arabic and Southeast Asian manuscript cultures.

Book Reviews Editor
Pon Souvannaseng is a political economist and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics & Political Science.  She is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Crisis Studies & Mitigation.  Her research examines the political economy of energy and infrastructure financing in the developing world.  Her expertise is in issues of environmental governance and development finance with extensive experience in Southeast Asia. She has been a Fulbright Research Scholar and was named a 2020-2021 Mansfield-Luce Asia Policy Scholar and 2019 APSA Asia Fellow.  She has previously served as a researcher at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, ASEAN Labour Secretariat and as a Fellow in Political Economy & International Development at University College London.

Kimberley Weir is a PhD Researcher in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham. Her PhD explores the ways in which the United States sought to shape the Philippine memorial landscape through the public monuments erected both during colonial rule (1898 to 1946) and afterwards. This PhD is part of the Cultures of Occupation Project in Twentieth Century Asia, funded by the European Research Council.

Dr Amanda Rogers is an Associate Professor in Human Geography and the Geohumanities at Swansea University. Her research focuses on the intersections between cultural geography and the performing arts (particularly theatre and dance) in post-conflict settings across Southeast Asia. Her current research focuses on contemporary dance in Cambodia, its relationship to the politics of nationality, and how the expressions of young artists speak to current concerns in Cambodian society. She is also writing about Cambodian dance tours to the West after the Khmer Rouge and the extent to which dancers can be considered diplomatic agents.

Dr Catherine Allerton is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics. She specialises in the anthropology of island Southeast Asia, with particular interests in kinship, place, childhood and migration. Her current research on migration and child illegality draws on a year of fieldwork with children of Filipino and Indonesian refugees and migrants in Sabah, East Malaysia. She previously conducted long term ethnographic research in the Manggarai region of Flores, eastern Indonesia. She is the author of Potent Landscapes: Place and Mobility in Eastern Indonesia (University of Hawai’i Press, 2013) and Children: Ethnographic Encounters (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016). 

Dr Laurie Parsons is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London. His work examines the contested politics of climate change through its impact on socio-economic inequalities, patterns of work and mobilities. He is the co-author of Going Nowhere Fast: Inequality in the Age of Translocality (Oxford University Press, 2020) which explores this nexus through the lens of migrant Cambodian livelihoods. Alongside his academic work, Laurie has a longstanding engagement in development practice. Throughout more than a decade of research in Cambodia, he has researched and informed policy decision-making on economic development and inequalities for a range of IOs and NGOs, from UNDP to Care International.

Graeme Barker is Disney Professor of Archaeology Emeritus and Senior Research Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. The focus of his research is `human landscapes’, the ways in which past societies and the environments they inhabited constructed and transformed each other. It is an interest he has pursued in different ecologies and with societies at different levels of complexity. The transition to farming has been a particular focus, and more recently his interests have also moved backwards in time to the behavioural adaptations made by Homo sapiens in its global dispersals, involving fieldwork in Borneo, Libya, and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Professor Alan Collins is Head of Department in Political and Cultural Studies at Swansea University. He is a specialist on Southeast Asian security with a specific interest in ASEAN. He has written on the security dilemma and security communities and has published three single-authored books on Southeast Asian security, as well numerous articles on ASEAN, securitization and societal security in Southeast Asia. He is currently working on the evolving human rights system in Southeast Asia, with a focus on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, and he retains a close interest in ASEAN’s aspiration to be people-centred.

Dr Tilman Frasch received his PhD from Heidelberg University and is now is Reader in Asian History at Manchester Metropolitan University. While his interests cover Southeast Asia, Buddhist studies and urban history rather broadly, his specialization and current research are in the field of early Myanmar history and culture – the city and kingdom of Bagan, its epigraphy, art and architecture. In recent publications, he explored the Theravada Buddhist cosmopolis before c. 1500.

Dr Mulaika Hijjas is Lecturer in South East Asian Studies at SOAS, University of London.  Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, her research focuses on the Malay manuscript tradition, Islam and women in the Malay world, and she also teaches other aspects of classical and contemporary South East Asian literature and cultural studies. Her book,Victorious Wives, on narrative poetry by women from the court of Penyengat in the nineteenth century, was published by NUS Press. She is co-managing editor of Indonesia and the Malay World.

Dr Tomas Larsson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include Southeast Asian and especially Thai politics, political economy, and religion and politics. He earned his PhD in Government from Cornell University in 2007, and he won the 2008 American Political Science Association’s Walter Dean Burnham award for best dissertation in Politics and History. He is the author of Land and Loyalty: Security of the development of property rights in Thailand, published by Cornell University Press. His recent work has mainly focused on Buddhism and politics in Thailand.

Dr Adam Tyson is Lecturer in Southeast Asian Politics at the University of Leeds. “When I first arrived in Indonesia in late 2003 I witnessed the build-up to Indonesia’s first direct presidential election in the new democratic era. This led me to investigate how political actors test the structural limits of power in both democratic and non-democratic settings. My research specialises in contentious politics, and my publications are based on field research in countries ranging from democratic Indonesia to semi-authoritarian Malaysia to autocratic China. My publications juxtapose the study of politics with land conflicts, agribusiness practices, ethnic identities, vigilante justice, new media and visual arts, and the evolving role of social organizations, all of which point to emergent forms of political agency that test, and sometimes transcend, the limits of the permissible.”

Research Grants Sub-Committee

Chair: Professor V.T. King (SOAS; University of Leeds)
Secretary: Dr Amanda Rogers (Swansea University)
Member: Dr Deirdre McKay (Keele University)