Christopher Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org) completed his M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies at UC Riverside in 2017. His research focuses on the ways in which Filipino elementary education is used to perpetuate nationalism and suppress regional languages and cultures. He works primarily on the Negros Island Region of the Philippines.
Sophea Seng (email@example.com ) completed her BA at the University of California, Santa Cruz in Language Studies and her MA in Asian Studies at California State University, Long Beach. In 2016, she completed the MA in Southeast Asian Studies at UC Riverside with her thesis entitled, “The Soriya Band: A Case Study of Cambodian American Rock Music in Southern California.” Sophea is currently a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on religious and musical cultures of Cambodians in the US and Europe.
Trangđài Glassey-Trầnguyễn completed the MA in Southeast Asian Studies at UC Riverside in 2016 with a thesis entitled, “Conjuring up Borderland-Motherland in Berlin 1975-2015: Vietnamese Diasporic Subjectivity in Legal Limbo.” She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on the Vietnamese diaspora in Sweden.
Casey Avaunt (firstname.lastname@example.org) received her Master’s degree in Southeast Asian Studies program (SEATRiP) at the University of California, Riverside in December 2015. Her thesis, ‘Getting the Greens’: Relationships Between Lion Dancers and Economic Ideologies Within the Asian Garden Mall, explored current lion dance practices in Orange County’s Little Saigon. Casey is also a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies at UCR where she is a Gluck Fellow and Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow. Casey completed her MFA in Choreography at Taipei National University of the Arts with a full scholarship from the Taiwanese Ministry of Education and received her BA in Drama/Dance from Colorado College. She looks forward to continuing her research on dance practices within Asian-American communities in the U.S.
Astara Light (email@example.com) received a dual Master of Arts degree in Southeast Asian Studies and Art History from the University of California, Riverside. She conducted research and interviews in Bali for her thesis: “The Power of ‘Visual Movement:’ Re-shaping and Re-affirming Religious Practices in Modern Balinese Paintings.” Astara’s work focuses on modern and contemporary Balinese painting, sculpture, and curatorial practices in Indonesian and Southeast Asian art. She is concerned with artistic and religious practices in relation to identity, performativity, and indigeneity. Astara is currently a PhD student in the Art History and Visual Studies Department at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. In 2016 she received the Kalman Award for International Heritage Studies from the University of Victoria to conduct research on the curation and display of Indonesian art in the Netherlands as part of her dissertation project.
Katie Nicole Stahl-Kovell (Kstah001@ucr.edu) completed her M.A in SEATRiP in 2015. Her work investigates the pivotal influence of the Neak Kru, dance teacher, on the aesthetic and the pedagogy of Cambodian Classical dance. Katie is also a dance student of Khmer Arts Academy (http://www.khmerarts.org/), a Cambodian Classical dance organization, and also does ethnographic fieldwork at KAA and in the Long Beach Cambodian community. She is currently a Ph.D student in Critical Dance Studies at UCR.
Stephen James completed the MA in Southeast Asian Studies at UC Riverside in 2015. He is currently a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on the Vietnamese diaspora in London.
Sarah G. Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) completed her M.A. (2008) and Ph.D. (2014) in Anthropology at UCR. Her dissertation, “On Culprits and Crisis: Branding Vietnam in the Global Coffee Industry,” offers an ethnography of the Vietnamese coffee industry, framed as a transnational site of knowledge production constituted through risk, uncertainty, and value. She takes certification schemes, quality control, and auditing procedures as key sites of ethnographic engagement to explicate how, in the wake of the 2001-02 coffee crisis and as global coffee producers move beyond it, Vietnamese farmers and traders directly engage with the economic logic and language of crisis. Sarah was closely affiliated with SEATRiP during her graduate work at UCR, and her research was supported by the University of California Pacific Rim Research Program and the Fulbright Institute for International Education. Her broader research interests include knowledge production and bureaucratic regulation, globalization, commodities, and Southeast Asia. In addition to her UCR degrees, Sarah holds an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin. From 2014-15, Sarah was a LUCE-AsiaNetwork Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Hendrix College. She is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at CSU Fullerton. For more information, visit http://sarahggrant.com/
Kate Alexander (email@example.com), a native Californian, completed her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology in 2014 at UC Riverside where she performed in various ensembles including Orkes Pantai Barat. She received her MA in Ethnomusicology from UCR in 2011, and BA’s in Violin Performance and History of the Near East from UC San Diego in 2009. She studied modern Middle Eastern history and Hebrew at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2008. She is a multi-instrumentalist, and performed with several ensembles at UCR. She has taught as a visiting lecturer in the UCR Gender and Sexuality Studies department. Kate’s research interests include place-making, performances of gender identity and sexual orientation, and community based music communities. Her work to date includes a historical ethnography on the late 1970s Los Angeles punk/performance art community, and an examination of authenticity, place, and identity in Cape Breton’s Scottish music culture.
Gloria Gonzales (firstname.lastname@example.org) completed her MA in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Riverside in 2013. Her thesis, which focuses on the transnational and mercantile history and literature of the Chinese in the Philippines, is entitled “The Enigma of the Stranger: The Chinese Filipino as Alien and Citizen.” A version of her master’s work was published in the 25th edition of Kritika Kultura. She is now a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at UCR, with Southeast Asian Studies as her interdisciplinary track. A recipient of the UCR Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship, the Dissertation Year Program Fellowship, and the UCR Center of Ideas and Society Humanities Research Award, she is writing her dissertation on the literary representations of the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the Philippine-American War of 1898. In her work, she focuses on the intertextuality between history and literature and the chronotopic evocations of revolutionary time and space. She also holds BA and MA degrees in International Relations.
Minh X. Nguyen (email@example.com) received his M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies in 2011 and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2016. His research interests focus on the social and historical transformation of sadness in literature and music in Vietnam and the diaspora. Minh was elected to be Vice-President (2015-17) for the Group of Universities for the Advancement of Vietnamese in America (GUAVA).
Chi P. Pham (firstname.lastname@example.org) received her MA in Southeast Asian Studies with a thesis entitled, “The Rise and the Fall of R. Tagore in Vietnam.” Chi went on to receive her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2016. Her dissertation examined Indian migrants in Vietnam and Vietnamese representations of India. Chi’s research interests include Southeast Asian literature, including literature of Vietnam, British literature about India, nationalism and novels, ethnicity, migration, citizenship, censorship, multiculturalism and anthropology.
Panida Boonthavevej (Lorlertratna) (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) joined SEATRiP in 2007 as an affiliated graduate student and was involved with the Mellon Research Group, “Viral Ports, Virtual Currents: Interconnections of Media, the Arts and the Everyday in Southeast Asia and Its Diasporas,” from 2009 to 2011. Panida graduated from UCR in 2012 with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. Her dissertation “A Quest for Insularity: Thomas Forrest’s Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas” focuses on a piece of eighteenth-century English travel writing on insular Southeast Asia. Panida’s interests include literary translation and cultural studies, and travel writing. Currently, she is a lecturer of English at Silpakorn University, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Premalatha Thiagarajan ( email@example.com) completed her doctoral degree in Critical Dance Studies at UCR in the summer of 2012. Her dissertation was titled “Performing Indian Dance in Malaysia.” She also holds a degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Performing Arts (Dance) from Malaysia. She is trained in the Indian classical dance forms – Bharata Natyam and Odissi. She is the Artistic Director of her Malaysian based dance company, Premalayaa Performing Arts and head of Dance Department at University of Malaya’s Cultural Centre. Her research interests focus on dancing men in the Indian dance scene in Malaysia, particularly in analyzing the male dancing bodies in line with the issues such as gender and sexuality, ethnic dynamics, and institutional politics.
Aaron Singer (firstname.lastname@example.org) completed the SEATRiP M.A. program in 2011. His work examined contemporary gamelan music in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is currently studying traditional Javanese gamelan music at Inistitut Seni Indonesia in Surakarta, Indonesia as a Darmasiswa scholar. Aaron also studies Okinawan diasporic music in Indonesia.
Husni Abu Bakar (email@example.com) received his M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies in 2010 and completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at UC Riverside in 2014. His dissertation explored the intersection of maps, literature and history in 18th century Perak – a state on the Malay Peninsula, under the supervision of Prof. Hendrik Maier. His essay “Playing along the Perak River: Readings of an Eighteenth-Century Malay State” was published in Southeast Asian Studies (4.1, April 2015: 157-190).
Neal Matherne (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a proud alumnus of the UCR SEATRiP program, receiving his Master of Arts in 2010. After earning an MA in Music from UCR (2002), he taught at the University of Alabama Birmingham Department of Music and Division of African-American Studies. Neal received the International Institute of Education’s Graduate Fellowship for International Studies and completed his Ph.D. in the UCR Department of Music in 2014. His dissertation “Naming the Artist, Composing the Philippines: Listening for the Nation in the National Artist Award” is based on his research in Quezon City, Philippines. His scholarly interests are music and nationalism, memory studies, historical ethnomusicology, popular music, and Philippine area studies.
Russ Skelchy (email@example.com) completed dual M.A. degrees in Ethnomusicology and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Riverside, with a thesis titled “Between Cuk and Cak: Hybridity, Nationalism and Keroncong Music in Indonesia and Malaysia.” Russ’ dissertation research, supported by two separate grants from Fulbright IIE and the UC Pacific Rim Research Fellowship explores keroncong’s intimate relationship with nationalism and a modernizing Indonesia through the life history of Waljinah, the genre’s most renowned female vocalist. His research interests also include Southeast Asian performance traditions, inter-ethnicities, nationalism and popular music subcultures. Russ defended his dissertation “If There are Stars in the Sky: Waldjinah and Keroncong in Postcolonial Indonesia” to complete his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at UCR in April 2015. Prior to his graduate studies, Russ worked for three years as a special education teacher at a school for autistic and emotionally challenged children in Richmond, California, where he established curriculum linking music and non-verbal communication. Russ was also active in San Francisco Bay Area underground rock scenes, both as a promoter and performer with various experimental/rock bands.
Supeena Insee Adler (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a performer and ethnomusicologist who teaches at UCLA. She performs classical Thai music on traditional stringed instruments, including the jakay (zither), khim (dulcimer) and a variety of bowed fiddles. Her areas of interest are mediums, healing rituals and music in Northeast Thailand and Southern Laos, literature in Thai traditional music performance, and Okinawa minyo. Supeena completed an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies at UCR in 2010, with a thesis titled “A Theater of the Spirits: Ritual Performance and Community in Northeast Thailand,” and went on to complete her PhD in ethnomusicology in 2014 under the direction of Professor Deborah Wong. Her dissertation, “Music for the Few: Nationalism and Thai Royal Authority,” concerns a Thai royal musical tradition, royal power, literature in Thai traditional music performance, transmission, and sustainability. Supeena did her intensive fieldwork in Thailand in 2012. She has published her work in ICTM and ENITS.
Paul Michael (Mike) Leonardo Atienza (email@example.com) is a vocalist and performance artist who earned one of the first Masters of Arts degrees in Southeast Asian Studies at UCR. He also received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in music and English cum laude from UCR. A classically trained tenor, Mike has sung for the keroncong group Orkes Pantai Barat, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Riverside and First United Methodist Church of Riverside. He is currently a doctoral student in anthropology, on track to complete a graduate minor in gender and women’s studies, at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mike’s MA thesis explored the malleability of online identities on a social networking site. Focusing on how Filipin@ males use sexual orientation, gender and ethnic identities, Mike’s ethnographic work online and in the Philippines found that site members claimed perceived masculine identities in order to maneuver social hierarchies and earn cultural capital points in attracting same-sex partners for intimate relationships. From Mike’s thesis work came a yearlong colloquium series that focused on media, the arts and everyday life in Southeast Asia and its diasporas, funded through the Andew W. Mellon Workgroups in the Humanities, entitled “Viral Ports, Virtual Currents.”
Kelly Meister (firstname.lastname@example.org) completed her Bachelor’s degree at Ohio University in World Religions and Philosophy, and her Master of Arts degrees in Religious Studies and Southeast Asia studies at UCR. She has spent multiple years in Thailand as a volunteer, Buddhist nun, and Fulbright researcher. She is currently a PhD student in History of Religions at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses generally on Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. More specifically, it continues the work she began at Riverside to study 19th century Northern Thai (Lan Na) manuscripts, which contain local exegesis of the Abhidhamma. This research expands to include the so-called “tantric” or “esoteric Theravada.”
A specialist in Philippine dance, Russ Patrick Alcedo (email@example.com) earned his Ph.D in Dance History and Theory at UCR in 2003. He was the inaugural postdoctoral fellow affiliated with the SEATRiP program and in February 2007 he co-chaired, with SEATRiP professors Sally Ann Ness and Hendrik M.J. Maier, the UCR conference “Religious Festival in Contemporary Southeast Asia.” In 2008, Alcedo joined the faculty in York University’s Department of Dance.
Alcedo’s research explores the relationship between folk festival production and notions of cultural authenticity. The focus of his work is the Ati-atihan, a street dance festival that is celebrated in his hometown of Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines and by Filipino diasporic communities in the US and Canada. He is currently writing a book about the Ati-atihan festival that foregrounds the centrality of the dancing body in making sense of a people’s embodiment of faith, construction of authenticity, and mimesis of elements circulated by the forces of colonialism and globalization. Alcedo’s publications include “Sacred Camp: Transgendering Faith in a Philippine Festival” (Journal of Southeast Asian Studies February 2007). His research on the socio-economic conditions of aspiring boxers in the province of Aklan, Philippines resulted in Boxing To Be The Next Pacquiao (2009), a video project he produced with the New York Times. He is also the producer and director of the multimedia project, Ati-atihan: Mother of Philippine Festival (InTensions) and of the forthcoming full-length documentary film, Ati-atihan Lives. For his achievements and community contributions, in 2012 the Filipino Centre Toronto awarded him the “Young Professional Award,” and the Governor’s Office of his home province of Aklan, central Philippines, “Most Outstanding Aklanon.” In 2014, the Fulbright Association honoured him with the prestigious Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for the field of Dance and Dance Studies.
Alcedo’s Faculty Bio at York University: http://dance.finearts.yorku.ca/faculty/research/patrick-alcedo