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Past Events

Why Was There No Singapore Before Raffles?

18 Jul 2018
NALANDA–SRIWIJAYA CENTRE

1819 and Before: Singapore’s Pasts

 A special series of lectures commemorating Singapore’s bicentennial anniversary

About the Lecture

This seminar will examine issues in the writing about the history of Singapore before 1819. Sir Stamford Raffles and Dr John Crawfurd, the second Resident of Singapore, lead in reporting that Singapore was uninhabited before the British arrived.  Generations of historians have concurred with this description of Singapore at 1819 and gone further to claim, as former Professors K G Tregonning and C M Turnbull have done, that whatever may have happened on Singapore before 1819 is irrelevant to the island’s historical development thereafter.  This seminar explores the assumptions underlying this understanding of Singapore’s history and how the work at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre is challenging and revising these assumptions.

About the Speaker

Kwa Chong Guan works on the intersections of history, archaeology and security studies of Southeast Asia. As an Associate Fellow at the Archaeological Unit of the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor at the History Department of the National University of Singapore, Kwa is interested in the long cycles of Southeast Asian history. As Senior Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, he works on a range of regional security issues with a focus on the implicit narratives underlying our framing of regional security. He started his career working on policy analysis in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then the Ministry of Defence before being assigned to reorganize the Oral History Department in the National Archives and concurrently, the old National Museum. He continues to be associated with these heritage institutions in various advisory capacities and as Chairman of the National Archives Advisory Committee.

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to nscevents@iseas.edu.sg by 17 July 2018.

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Lecture: Ancient Medical Industries in Cambodia and the 2017 NSC Archaeological Field School

19 Oct 2017
NALANDA–SRIWIJAYA CENTRE

About the Lecture

The 2017 Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC) Archaeological Field School recently assisted APSARA Authority with rather incredible discoveries at the late 12th century Tonle Snguot hospital site located in the Angkor Park, Siem Reap, Cambodia. The discoveries included a 2.0 metre guardian statue (Dvarapala) and several rare Buddha statues – one of which may be a “Healing” or “Medicine” Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru).

The Tonle Snguot site is located outside the northern gate of the famed and massive Angkor Thom urban complex. Both Angkor Thom and Tonle Snguot are associated with King Jayavarman VII (1181-1218 CE), a Mahayana Buddhist who sanctioned the construction of 102 hospitals outside the city gates, along major roads, and at different urban sites throughout the kingdom. Our research purpose aimed to understand the nature of the hospital complex. Hospitals included both practical medicine and complementary spiritual healing. Additionally, it is probably no accident that a hospital is located just outside the main gates at Angkor Thom – possibly serving as checkpoints to assure healthy and sane people entered the city.

The Field School involved one week of excavations at the site to train East Asia Summit participants in basic field methods and research design. Other aspects of the Field School included site trips throughout Cambodia and Singapore to incorporate art history, history, historical ecology and several overlapping fields in order to emphasize archaeology’s multi-disciplinary nature. The participants finished their tour de force with mini research projects presented at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.

About the Speaker

Dr D. Kyle Latinis currently researches the Historical Ecology of Southeast Asia—an approach combining ethnographic, historic, environmental and archaeological data. Research also addresses internal and external socio-economic factors and resource exploitation. Kyle oversees projects and training in both Mainland and Island Southeast Asia, having over 25 years of experience. Kyle earned a PhD at the National University of Singapore (2008) and a PhD in Ecological Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (1999). Recent publications include: “Regional Research and Training Contributions from the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre: Results from Research Projects and Field Schools in Cambodia” (in press); “The Kanam Rock Painting Site, Cambodia: Current Assessments” (2016); and “The Social and Ecological Trajectory of Prehistoric Cambodian Earthworks” (2014).

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to nscevents@iseas.edu.sg by 17 October 2017.

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The 41st Singapore Lecture by H.E. Binali Yıldırım, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey

21 Aug 2017


We take great pleasure in inviting you and your colleagues to the 41st Singapore Lecture, to be delivered by His Excellency Binali Yıldırım , Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey.

The Lecture will be held under the distinguished Chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The Singapore Lecture is one of the intellectual highlights of Singapore. It provides an opportunity for distinguished statesmen and leaders to reach a wider audience in Singapore. The presence of such eminent personalities will allow members of the civil service, business community, diplomatic corps, academic community, media, and other interested parties, the opportunity to hear from leading world figures speak on topics of international and regional interest.

Please confirm your acceptance of this invitation by completing and returning to us the attached Response Form by email or fax, no later than 17 August 2017.

Guests are advised to come early and to be seated by 3.30 pm. Please bring the Response Form, showing
confirmation by ISEAS Secretariat, for admission to the Ballroom.

For further enquiries, please call Ms Gang Pei Qi at tel: 6870-2491 or email: <iseasevents4@iseas.edu.sg>.
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Lecture: Tantrism and State Formation in Southeast Asia

14 Aug 2017
NALANDA-SRIWIJAYA CENTRE

            
About the Lecture
The socio-religious phenomenon we now call “Tantrism” dominated the religious and ritual life in much of South and Southeast Asia from around 500 CE to 1500 CE and beyond. Yet, the impact of Śaiva and Buddhist Tantric traditions on the societies and cultures of Southeast Asia remains insufficiently studied and appreciated. The talk will explore the indissoluble link between the State and Tantric ideologies/ritual systems in Southeast Asia. It will first deal with state formation, evaluating the theories of “man of prowess” and “Śaiva bhakti” elaborated by historian Oliver Wolters, then turn to the role of Tantric magic and ritual in the medieval maṇḍala polities of Sumatra, Java, and Cambodia. Finally, it will offer some concluding reflections on the link between politics, power, and the “supernatural” in modern Southeast Asia.

About the Speaker
Andrea Acri was trained at Leiden University (PhD 2011, MA 2006) and at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ (Laurea degree, 2005). He is Maître de conférences in Tantric Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, France. Prior to joining EPHE in late 2016 he has held research and teaching positions at Nalanda University (India), the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, the Asia Research Institute (NUS), and other institutions in the Netherlands, Australia, and the UK. His main research and teaching interests are Śaiva and Buddhist Tantric traditions, Hinduism and Indian Philosophy, Yoga traditions, Sanskrit and Old Javanese philology, and the comparative religious and intellectual history of South and Southeast Asia from the premodern to the contemporary period. His publications include the monograph Dharma Pātañjala: A Śaiva Scripture from Ancient Java Studied in the Light of Related Old Javanese and Sanskrit Texts (Egbert Forsten/Brill 2011; 2nd edition Aditya Prakashan 2017), the edited volumes Spirits and Ships: Cultural Transfers in Early Monsoon Asia (ISEAS Publishing 2017, with A. Landmann and R. Blench), Esoteric Buddhism in Mediaeval Maritime Asia (ISEAS Publishing 2016), From Laṅkā Eastwards: The Rāmāyaṇa in the Literature and Visual Arts of Indonesia (2011, KITLV Press, with H. Creese and A. Griffiths).


Registration



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Lecture: Seeing Through the Forest: Lost Cities, Remote Sensing and LiDAR Applications in Archaeology

21 Apr 2017
NALANDA-SRIWIJAYA CENTRE


About the Speaker
Dr. D. Kyle Latinis is a Visiting Fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC), ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore (2015-present) where he is also the Director of the annual NSC Field School designed to train East Asia Summit participants in archaeology, anthropology and related fields. Prior to NSC, he was a Director and Senior Social Scientist with the US Department of Defense (2011–2014; including 18 months of applied research in Afghanistan), and Dean of Graduate Studies and Social Sciences at the University of Cambodia (2009–2011). Dr. Latinis has over 25 years of experience in Southeast Asia conducting research, advising and lecturing. He earned a PhD in Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore (2008) and a PhD in Ecological Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (1999)
                 
About the Lecture
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is one of the newest remote sensing technologies to be used for archaeology and related sciences. Results are revolutionizing the field, especially among researchers studying ancient urban landscapes in Southeast Asia (The Guardian, 11 June 2016).

LiDAR applications digitally peel away forest canopies and vegetative cover resulting in sophisticated surface images and detailed topographic maps of natural and cultural landscapes. LiDAR data has been integral for recent research and training initiatives at the Nalanda–Sriwijaya Centre (NSC).

LiDAR abilities cannot be underestimated. However, there are limitations. Ground-truthing through archaeological surveys and excavations continue to play necessary and central roles.

The following discussion will introduce LiDAR technology, capabilities, and limits followed by examples of LiDAR application for two recent NSC projects: Mahendraparvata - the 9th century Angkorian capital city of Jayavarman II, legendary founder of the Angkorian empire; and Koh Ker [Chok Gargyar] - the mysterious 10th century Angkorian capital city of Jayavarman IV, often depicted as a rogue usurper king. Future NSC research possibilities using LiDAR applications for other Southeast Asia sites will also be introduced.


Registration
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The 40th Singapore Lecture by H.E. François Hollande, President of the French Republic

27 Mar 2017

***FULLY SUBSCRIBED***




We take great pleasure in inviting you and your colleagues to the 40th Singapore Lecture, to be delivered by His Excellency François Hollande, President of  the French Republic.   

The Lecture will be held under the distinguished Chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam

The Singapore Lecture is one of the intellectual highlights of Singapore. It provides an opportunity for distinguished statesmen and leaders to reach a wider audience in Singapore. The presence of such eminent personalities will allow members of the civil service, business community, diplomatic corps, academic community, media, and other interested parties, the opportunity to hear from leading world figures speak on topics of international and regional interest.

Please confirm your acceptance of this invitation by completing and returning to us the attached Response Form by email or fax, no later than 22 March 2017. Registration is now closed.

All guests are advised to come early and to be seated by 2.30 pm. Please bring the Response Form, showing confirmation by ISEAS Secretariat, for admission to the Ballroom.

For further enquiries, please call Ms Gang Pei Qi at tel: 6870-2491 or email: iseasevents4@iseas.edu.sg.

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ASEAN Lecture Series: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Progress, Challenges and Outlook

22 Mar 2017

ASEAN LECTURE SERIES

About the Lecture 

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has gained significant attention as a pathway for pan-Asian economic integration, especially in light of the uncertainties facing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). RCEP was initiated by ASEAN in late 2011 to bring together ASEAN member states and six of their Dialogue Partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – in a collaborative framework towards a comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement that is both WTO-consistent and transparent. RCEP also aspires to improve on the existing ASEAN+1 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) while covering regular trade issues of goods, services, investment, intellectual property, competition policy, technical cooperation and dispute settlement mechanisms. The guiding principles of RCEP, as endorsed in 2012, take into consideration the different levels of development among the members, which raises concerns over the quality of the agreement when completed. Although negotiations were launched in May 2013, little of the discussions has found its way into the public domain. This lecture will discuss the progress and challenges in RCEP negotiations thus far, as well as providing some insights on the depth and expanse of the agreement and the anticipated date of concluding the negotiations.                                                                                                      

About the Speaker

Mr. Iman Pambagyo is Director-General for International Trade Negotiations at the Ministry of Trade, Republic of Indonesia. He has been Chairman of the Trade Negotiating Committee of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) since 2012 and Chief Negotiator for the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement since 2016. Prior to his appointment as Director-General, Mr Pambagyo was Special Staff to Minister on Priority Global Trade Policy, and served as Indonesian Ambassador to WTO from 2014 to 2015. Having worked on trade diplomacy and negotiations area, Mr Pambagyo was the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) Leader for Indonesia from 2007 to 2014 and Indonesia’s Chief Negotiator and Trade Representative at various bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Mr Pambagyo studied International Relations at University of Gadjah Mada, Jogjakarta and earned his Masters degree in International Politics from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.

Registration
To register, please complete the attached registration form and e-mail it to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 21 March 2017.

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Lecture: ASEAN at 50: Reflections on Its Past, Present and Future

01 Feb 2017

ASEAN LECTURE SERIES


About the Lecture

As ASEAN marks its 50th year, this lecture will review its achievements, challenges and prospects. During the last fifty years, ASEAN has gained a regional and global prominence that its founders would not have anticipated. But ASEAN is also in the danger of being a victim of its past success. A combination of regional and external circumstances in the 1990s tempted ASEAN to take on tasks and roles that it was not created or suited to undertake. ASEAN’s membership, purpose and role have expanded considerably. But the regional environment today is considerably different, especially with the emergence of a more powerful, assertive China and the geopolitical uncertainties caused by the US Presidential election. While ASEAN has undertaken an ambitious program of community-building, its institutions and resources, both material and normative, remain inadequate to meet its new obligations and burdens. The lecture will conclude by offering some suggestions as to how ASEAN can move forward in an increasingly complex global and regional environment.

 

About the Speaker

Amitav Acharya is the Boeing Company Chair in International Relations at the Schwarzman Scholars Program, Tsinghua University, Beijing, and Distinguished Professor of International Relations and the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance at the School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC. Among his major works on Southeast Asia are The Quest for Identity: International Relations of Southeast Asia (Oxford 2000); Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the Problems of Regional Order, 3rd edition (Routledge 2014), Whose Ideas Matter: Agency and Power in Asian Regionalism (Cornell and ISEAS, 2009); The Making of Southeast Asia (Cornell and ISEAS, 2013); and East of India, South of China: Sino-Indian Encounters in Southeast Asia (Oxford 2017). He was elected to the Christensen Fellowship at Oxford University and held the Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship in International Relations at Rhodes University, South Africa. He is the first non-Western scholar to be elected as the President of the International Studies Association, the most respected and influential global network of scholars in International Relations. Acharya started his academic career as a Fellow of ISEAS (1987-89).

Registration
For registration, please fill in this form and email it to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 31 January 2017.

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The 39th Singapore Lecture by H.E. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of The Netherlands

24 Nov 2016


We are pleased to inform you that the 39th Singapore Lecture will be delivered by His Excellency Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Mr Rutte has been the Prime Minister of the Netherlands since October 2010.

The Lecture will be held under the distinguished Chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The Singapore Lecture is one of the intellectual highlights of Singapore. It provides an opportunity for distinguished statesmen and leaders to reach a wider audience in Singapore. The presence of such eminent personalities will allow members of the civil service, business community, diplomatic corps, academic community, media, and other interested parties, the opportunity to hear from leading world figures speak on topics of international and regional interest.

Please be informed that registration is now closed

All guests are advised to come early and to be seated by 3.00 pm. Please bring the Response Form, showing confirmation by ISEAS Secretariat, for admission to the Ballroom.

For further enquiries, please call Mrs May Wong at tel: 6870-2473 or email: <iseasevents1@iseas.edu.sg
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Lecture: The ‘Magic’ of Modern Malaya: Remembering Histories of Adam’s Ore and Muhammad’s Guns

11 Nov 2016
NALANDA-SRIWIJAYA CENTRE


About the Speaker
Dr Teren Sevea is Visiting Fellow at NSC. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses upon the history of religion and Islam in early modern and modern Southeast Asia, Islamic manuscripts of the Malay world, and Islamic connections across the Bay of Bengal. He is also the co-editor of a volume entitled Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia.

                 
About the Lecture
This talk explores Malay manuscripts pertaining to Muslim miracle-workers, or ‘magicians’ who were key intermediaries of ore and guns in the interior of modern Malaya. These manuscripts are analysed to recount a history of worlds and environments wherein socioeconomic activities were associated with Islamic esoteric science. I introduce here, professional miracle-workers who were venerated as heirs of prophets and saints from earlier Islamic periods. Having inherited ‘noses’ for prospecting ore, and as direct ‘technological’ heirs of the Prophet’s guns, these miracle-workers were esteemed for their rituals and miracles in contemporary forests, mines, ‘workshops’ and stockades. This talk analyses elaborate Islamic genealogies and popular historical traditions, and investigates how ‘magical’ manuscripts are prime sources of socioeconomic histories and are informative about religio-economic sensibilities. This talk further presents my explorations into the cosmopolitanism of the Malay frontier.


Registration
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