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

Chair
Dr Adam Tyson is Associate Professor of 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.”

Secretary
Dr Kimberley Weir is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Treatied Spaces Research Group at the University of Hull. She recently completed a PhD in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham. Her thesis explored the construction of monuments during the US colonial rule of the Philippines and the extent to which the United States shaped the Philippine memorial landscape from 1898 to 1978. This PhD formed part of the Cultures of Occupation Project in Twentieth Century Asia, funded by the European Research Council. Kimberley also has an undergraduate degree in American and English Studies from the University of Nottingham, and a Masters in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Manchester.

Treasurer
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. 

Social Media Officer
Kellynn Wee is a PhD researcher at University College London’s Department of Anthropology. Her work focuses on speculation, play, and collaborative narrative construction in tabletop roleplaying games in Singapore. She previously researched precarious labour migration in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on the migration industry for Indonesian domestic workers.

Postgraduate Representative, Blog and Book Reviews Editor
Thomas E Kingston is a PhD student and Berkeley Fellow in South & Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  He holds an MPhil in Chinese Philosophy, Religion and Culture from Renmin University of China and an MA in Pacific Asian Studies from SOAS. Most recently he studied Mandarin and Hokkien as a Huayu Enrichment Scholar at NCKU in Taiwan, and he has previously studied Indonesian and Burmese at SOAS and UW-Madison respectively. His PhD explores the intellectual history and political economy of Southeast Asia, with specific research interests including nationalism, colonialism, spatial and cartographic developments. Alongside his studies he is one of the hosts of the Intellectual History channel on the New Books Network

Early Career Representative
Dylan Gaffney is Junior Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford. His research examines long-term changes to culture, society, and behaviour at the interface of Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Most of his fieldwork has taken place in Papua New Guinea and, more recently, West Papua where he runs a project in the Raja Ampat Islands. Prior to being at Oxford, Dylan studied for a BA Hons and MA in anthropology at the University of Otago in New Zealand and a PhD in archaeology at the University of Cambridge, UK. 

Early Career Representative
Dr Charlie Rumsby is a research Fellow at the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University with research interests in youth, children, belonging and citizenship. Geographically she focuses on mainland Southeast Asia, where she has conducted research with the Vietnamese diaspora in Cambodia since 2014. Charlie trained in anthropology at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and Goldsmiths University and went on to conduct an interdisciplinary ethnography at Coventry University for her PhD thesis.

Dr Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz is a Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and the Executive Director of the Toynbee Prize Foundation. She holds a PhD in Southeast Asian and International History from Yale University and was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Her research centers on Southeast Asian and global intellectual history and seeks to reconnect Philippine history to that of Southeast and East Asia, from which it has been historiographically separated. Her first book, Asian Place, Filipino Nation: A Global Intellectual History of the Philippine Revolution, 1887-1912 (Columbia University Press, 2020), examines “peripheral” Southeast Asian Pan-Asianism and the emplotment of place in the Philippine Revolution. Her current work examines class and relationships with the natural environment in the Philippines.

Stéphanie Benzaquen-Gautier is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. Stéphanie Benzaquen-Gautier received her PhD at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (‘Images of Khmer Rouge atrocities, 1975-2015’), and was associate researcher at the university’s Centre for Historical Culture for several years. Her research interests include visual culture and the representation of large-scale and structural violence and human rights, documentary and artistic practices in the context of memory politics, ghosts and haunting, with a focus on Southeast Asia.

Mike Charney (PhD, University of Michigan, 1999) is a Professor of Asian and Military History at SOAS, University of London. He has spent his career at the Centre for Advanced Studies, National University of Singapore, the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo, and, since 2001, at SOAS.. He has recently joined the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy after eighteen years in the Department of History (now the HRP) at SOAS, with which he continues to hold a joint appointment. His main research interests are on the history of military logistics, armies and warfare in modern and contemporary Asia, the historical culture of war in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and West Africa, and the emergence of religious and national cultures in Myanmar (Burma) and the greater Bay of Bengal.

Gambar Fakhriati is a researcher at the National Research and innovation Agency, The Republic of Indonesia. She works as a researcher since 2009. She concentrates on performing research related to local cultures and manuscripts in Indonesia. One of her recent works is published at Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development.

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 Ben Murtagh is Reader in Indonesian and Malay at SOAS University of London. His research focuses on non-normative genders and sexualities in Indonesia, primarily through the lens of film and literature and his current work looks at the cultural memory of HIV/AIDS in Indonesian popular culture. He is also Co-Managing Editor of Indonesia and the Malay World  and Book Reviews Editor of South East Asia Research.

Michael Leadbetter is a lecturer in Archaeology at Magdalen College, and a Clarendon Scholar in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Michael teaches Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford, and holds the Cyril and Philis Long Fellowship in Social Sciences at The Queen’s College Oxford. Michael is a researcher on the ‘Sites at the Intersection of Cultural and natural Heritage’ project (SXNCH) based in the Oxford School of Geography and the Environment. Michael researches the long-run development of urbanism in Southeast Asia and globally, celebrating its diversity and creative transformations. Michael pushes the boundary between Archaeology and the Social Sciences, with cross-disciplinary research using archaeological data to test the empirical basis of political-science models.

Dr Ronan Lee is a Doctoral Prize Fellow at Loughborough University London’s Institute for Media and Creative Industries where his research focusses on the Rohingya, genocide, hate speech, migration, and Asian politics. Ronan’s book “Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide: Identity, History and Hate Speech” (Bloomsbury, 2021) was awarded the 2021 Early Career Emerging Scholar Prize by the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Ronan has a professional background in politics, media, and public policy. He was formerly a Queensland State Member of Parliament and served on the frontbench as a Parliamentary Secretary in portfolios including Justice, Main Roads and Local Government. He has also worked as a senior government advisor, and as an election strategist and campaign manager.

Dr Nicholas J. Long is Associate Professor of Anthropology and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Nick’s work has examined various aspects of social and cultural life in post-Suharto Indonesia, including Malay identity in the Riau Islands, disenchantment with democracy, Islamic authority, and the dynamics of Confucianist revivalism. He is currently researching the spread of hypnotic and psychotherapeutic interventions in Indonesia, supported by an ESRC grant. An early paper on this topic, ‘Suggestions of Power’, won the 2019 Stirling Prize for the Best Published Work in Psychological Anthropology. Aside from his work on Indonesia, Nick leads the CARUL Collective, an interdisciplinary group of scholars who have published widely on the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions upon people living in Aotearoa New Zealand and the UK.

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.

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.

Russell Yap is currently a student at the School of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University. He works as a teaching and research assistant at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Apart from his academic commitments, he also sits on the student committee at the Wee Kim Wee Centre and the Communication Management Society at the Singapore Management University. A historian by training, he studies the different colonial experiences of Southeast Asia states and their resulting decolonisation.


Research Grants Sub-Committee

Chair: Professor Deirdre McKay (Keele University)
Secretary: Dr Amanda Rogers (Swansea University)
Member: Professor Alan Collins (Swansea University)