Aparna Nambiar, a Life sciences graduate from NUS, began training in Bharatanatyam at the age of 4 in India. She has been in Singapore since 2004 and has been training and performing extensively under Singapore Cultural Medallion winner, Mrs. Santha Bhaskar. A passion for the arts diverted her career from research labs in bio sciences, to the NUS Center For the Arts in 2008. Aparna is currently working part-time as a research scholar at ISEAS and is developing a narrative in the vocabulary of Bharatanatyam, based on the Nalanda University and its relevance as an important cultural symbol for Asia. Working closely with NUS Indian Dance and Mrs Bhaskar, her work was showcased as a series of performances between March 2010 and March 2011, under the umbrella of the NUS Arts Festival organized by the NUS Center For the Arts.
Thomas Borchert was a Visiting Research Fellow at NSC and an Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont in the United States. He is interested in contemporary forms of monasticism, particularly within Theravada Buddhism, and also in religion and politics in China and Thailand. He is currently working on a manuscript on the local, national and transnational conceptions of Buddhism through practices of monastic education among the Theravada Buddhists of Southwest China. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2006.
Lu Wan Wan is an undergraduate student at Yale University, Class of 2012. She majors in History of Art and is interested in the art of film making, as well as Buddhism and Buddhist art. Combining these two interests, she is currently working on a documentary video project related to Buddhism in Singapore, focusing on the redefinition and modernization of Buddhism within the young Chinese Singaporean community.
Jayani Bonnerjee is a PhD candidate at the Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London. Her research engages with everyday lived spaces of Calcutta’s Anglo-Indian and Chinese communities through a focus on ideas of home, identity, belonging, cosmopolitanism and nostalgia, connecting the communities in the city as well as over diaspora in London and Toronto. She has wider research interests in postcolonial urbanism in Asia and critical geographies of diaspora. At the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre she will work on spaces of encounter in the city within the comparative diasporas programme.
Gitanjali is a fourth year doctoral student at the History Department, Harvard University. She has a Masters in History from Harvard and degrees from Oxford University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi. Presently, she is working on her thesis on attempts at Buddhist revival in colonial and post-colonial India. Her interests include the history of political thought, gender and environmental history.
Naoko IIOKA was a Visiting Research Fellow at the center. Her research interest is in early modern cross-cultural trade and Chinese diaspora across East and Southeast Asia. She received her MA from Chulalongkorn University and PhD from National University of Singapore. She has worked on the translations of Tosen fusetsu-gaki for Vietnam and on Chinese maritime networks in East and Southeast Asia.
Christian Lammerts works on the histories, practices, and literatures of Buddhism and religious legal culture in Southeast Asia. His current research is focused on the criticism and analysis of locally and regionally compiled Buddhist texts preserved in Burmese and mainland Southeast Asian manuscripts, though he maintains strong comparative interests in religion and law and the transmission of legal knowledge across Asia. He is currently working on two books. The first comprises a history of vernacular and Pali dhammasattha literature, written law, and Buddhist legal, scientific, and textual culture in Burma and mainland Southeast Asia. The second presents an annotated scholarly edition, translation, and study of the Manusara-dhammasattha-patha, a mid-17th Century Pali legal text, together with its Burmese commentary. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Williams College, two M.A. degrees in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of London and Cornell University, and received his PhD in Asian Religions from Cornell University in 2010.
Ms Liu Xi, Lucy conducted research on “Kang You Wei’s perceptions about India and the implication on China’s reform”. Her research interest is on intellectual interactions between China and India and their influence on policy making. Apart from her own research project, her work in the centre also includes administrative responsibilities such as organising workshops and conferences and editing newsletters among others.
Prior to joining the centre, Lucy pursued her Masters Degree in Public Policy in Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. She studied International Relations for her undergraduate degree in Fudan University, Shanghai.
Yuanfei Wang is a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in Chinese literature and history of the late imperial period. Her doctoral dissertation analyzes how late Ming and early Qing literati perceived and depicted Java, Siam, Japan, and the Manchu state and how these stories conveyed the literati’s political opinions about the court, border issues, and the empire.
Alexey Kirichenko is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University, Russia and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore and Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. He received his doctorate in history from Moscow State University in 2003 with a thesis studying Burmese royal chronicles. Since 1997, he has been doing field and archival work in Burma focused on monastic Buddhism, palm-leaf manuscripts, and surveying of local religious infrastructure. He has published more than 30 papers on various aspects of Burmese and Southeast Asian history (mostly in Russian). His latest publication is “The Making of the Culprit: Atula Hsayadaw Shin Yasa and the Politics of Monastic Reform in Eighteenth-Century Burma,” The Journal of Burma Studies 15.2 (2011). His project at ARI and ISEAS is focused on monastic interactions between Burma and Lanka in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.