The Centre for Malaysian Studies was founded in 1993 in recognition of the long history of research on Malaysia at Monash and the importance of Malaysian-Australian ties in education, immigration, trade and defence. The establishment of the Monash Malaysia Campus in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 has further enhanced the role of the Centre, and office facilities at the campus provide a base for the Centre’s research program in Malaysia. Monash University’s Centre for Malaysian Studies is one of only three centres of Malaysian Studies in the world. Considerable support for the Centre is drawn from the 8,000 strong Monash Alumni group in Malaysia. The establishment of a Malaysian Fellowship by the Malaysian Australian Alumni Association will substantially promote research on Malaysia by Australians.
The Centre supports research by Visiting Research Fellows, post-doctoral and postgraduate researchers from a wide range of disciplines: anthropology, economics, education, finance, gender studies, government and governance , history, international relations, Islamic studies, law, linguistics, management, medicine, politics, religious studies, sociology, visual and performing arts, and provides consultancy services for scholars in areas such as engineering, science and information technology within the university.
The Centre Director, Dr Wendy Smith has been working closely with various departments within Monash, including the Department of Management within the Faculty of Business and Economics, and the Faculty’s International Business Research Unit and Asian Economies Research Group, to develop a series of projects on the Malaysian economy and business environment. An outcome of the International Symposium on Malaysian Business in the New Era, which these groups jointly convened in 2000, is the recent publication, Nyland, C., Smith, W., Smyth, R. and Vicziany, M. (eds.) 2001, Malaysian Business in the New Era, Edward Elgar.
Two volumes of proceedings of international conferences on Australia-Malaysia Relations and Educational Challenges in Malaysia are also available in our CMS publications series. The Centre’s most recent conference, CMS/ATMA International Symposium on Malaysian Masculinities, jointly organized with the Institute of the Malay World and Civilization, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, was held in November 2001. Details of the program and paper abstracts can be found in the Centre’s conference page. Conference proceedings and a book are in preparation.
The Centre holds occasional seminars, sometimes in conjunction with the weekly seminar series of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies. The seminars are presented by leading Malaysian scholars and Malaysianists visiting Australia and more junior researchers and postgraduate students based at Monash University or other Australian universities.