Jayati Bhattacharya is a Visiting Research Fellow at the ISEAS , working on modern business history with special focus on South and Southeast Asia . She has a Ph.D from the Jawaharlal Nehru University , New Delhi , India on the nexus between business communities and nationalist politics in India in the period of the national movement. She is at present working on the Indian business communities in Singapore. The research work attempts to situate the ethnic Indian business communities amongst the larger framework of the mosaic populace of Singapore to bring about continuity through generations into the context of the present day socio-economic order.
Jayati has been fascinated by the business interactions between the different ethnic communities, which has enthused her to take up comparative studies, especially between the Chinese and the Indian business networks in Singapore which may later be extended to other parts of South East Asia . On a similar note, she is also keen to explore the various nuances of the family business networks between the two communities.
At ISEAS, she has also been involved with the coordination, along with her colleagues, of a number of conferences and workshops dealing with historical and contemporary issues. One such workshop recently held was involved with the burning issue of the “Oil Palm Controversy” (March 2-4, 2009). Jayati is also involved in co-editing the publication of the proceedings of the workshop.
Jayati had earlier worked as a Lecturer at Loreto College , Darjeeling in India and as a Guest Lecturer at the Qingdao University in Peoples’ Republic of China.
Aparajita Basu (also known as Ajlai) is a PhD candidate in the department of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She has an MPhil in Social Anthropological Analysis from the University of Cambridge and an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Oxford. She is now working on a doctoral thesis on Indian women and anti-colonial politics in British Malaya in the interwar period. Her interests include studying migration and South Asian diasporas in the twentieth century, women’s history and the circulation of ideas as well as social and cultural practices between India and Southeast Asia in the modern period.
Victor H. Mair is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a specialist on medieval vernacular Buddhist literature and, for the last two decades, has led an international team of scholars and archeologists investigating the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age mummies of the Tarim Basin. His most recent publications are two edited books, Secrets of the Silk Road (Santa Ana: Bowers Museum, 2010) and, with Mark Bender, The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).
Prior to joining the centre, Lu Caixia was a print journalist for five years and pursued her Master of Science (Strategic Studies) degree from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. With a background in media, she is interested not only in understanding the messages that are communicated but also how they affect perception. She is especially interested in following contemporary research and discourse on the tributary system between China and Southeast Asia and studying how these affect Southeast Asian countries’ current perceptions of China and vice versa. Apart from pursuing her own research interests, her work at the centre includes administrative responsibilities such as organising workshops and conferences and editing newsletters among others.
Tansen Sen is Associate Professor of Asian history and religions at Baruch College, The City University of New York. He received his MA from Peking University and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He has special scholarly interests in Buddhism, Sino-Indian relations, Indian Ocean trade, and Silk Road archeology. He has done extensive research in India, China, and Japan with grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Japan Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
He is the author of Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 (University of Hawai’i Press, 2003). He has co-edited China at the Crossroads: A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Victor H. Mair (special volume of Asia Major, vol. 19, issues 1-2, 2006) and guest edited a special issue of China Report (December 2007) on the connections between Kolkata (India) and China. He is currently working on a monograph that examines cross-cultural trade in Asia during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a collaborative project on the Southern Silk Road, and creating a Web site to archive the history and experiences of the Chinese community in India.
Elizabeth Chandra studied Southeast Asia and Indonesian/Malay literature for her M.A. at Cornell University (2000) and Ph.D at the University of California—Berkeley (2006). Since 2007, she has lectured at Keio University, Tokyo. Her research interests include colonial literatures, comparative colonial histories, and the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. She has written articles on the literary works produced by the Chinese of colonial Indonesia (Indonesia no. 92, Archipel no. 82), and on ethnic Chinese in Indonesia (Indonesia no. 94). As fellow at NSC, she examines Indonesian Chinese literary and journalistic publications before and after the Pacific War. She is also organising a joint IIAS-ISEAS international conference on Asia-Europe intellectual and cultural exchanges during the first half of the 20th century, to be held in Singapore on 7-8 December 2012.
Risha Lee studies South Asian art and architecture, focusing on the architectural history of southern India. She has interned in the Drawings and Prints Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the South and Southeast Asian Art Department at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Her recently completed dissertation, “Constructing Community: Tamil Merchants in India and China, 850-1281,” studies the exchange of art, people, and ideas between India and China. She received her doctorate from Columbia University in 2012 and her BA from Harvard College in 2002, and has held teaching positions at Columbia University and the American University of Beirut.
Dr Albert Tzeng, an IIAS-ISEAS Postdoc Fellow, studied chemistry and psychology in National Taiwan University before obtaining postgraduate degrees in sociology in London School of Economic (MSc, with merit) and University of Warwick (PhD). His PhD thesis, Framing Sociology in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore traces and compares the post-war introduction and development of the Western discipline of sociology in the three Asian island states, and seeks to interpret the patterns and contrasts in light of the regional geopolitics and the distinctive historical-political context of each case. His paper presented in 2010 ISA Congress won the RCHS Young Scholar Competition Award.
Prior to his academic pursuit, he had worked as editor, marketing professional, legislative assistant, election campaign manager and author of a travel book in Taiwan. The versatile career trajectory drove him to develop a core concern on how various forms of knowledge are socially and historically produced, disseminated, assessed and employed in contemporary society. This core concern is translated into a wide range of intellectual interest that includes sociology of knowledge, science and technology studies, intellectual history, education studies and political theories.
Geoff Wade is a historian with interests in Sino-Southeast Asian historical interactions and comparative historiography. He has worked on a range of other related issues including early Islam in Southeast Asia, Chinese expansions, Asian commercial networks, Chinese textual references to Southeast Asia and the Cold War in Southeast Asia. His online database, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: An Open Access Resource (http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/), provides in English translation 3,000+ references to Southeast Asia as extracted from the Ming imperial annals, while his most recent edited work China and Southeast Asia (Routledge, 2009) comprises a 6-volume survey of seminal works on Southeast Asia-China interactions.
Dr Alexandra Landmann is Visiting Fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre and lectures at the Indonesian Hindu University in Denpasar, Indonesia. She is advisor to the Peace Building Institute, Jakarta, and the Kesiman Palace, Denpasar.
She received her PhD in Comparative Studies of Religion (Hindu Religious Education in Indonesia in the Context of Policies of Religion and Education) and her M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies, Psychoanalysis, and Comparative Studies of Religion from Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She is a state-certified translator for German-Indonesian.
She was Visiting Research Fellow at the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt (2009-2011) and worked on traditional legal systems in Bali, Kalimantan and South Banten. Her research interest focuses on Indonesian tribal communities, local knowledge, and myth of origin, systems of social control, and environmental management.