Events - 15 Jul 14

In addition to regular seminar series organised by the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, the Japanese Studies Centre, the National Centre for South Asian Studies, and the Centre for Malaysian Studies, MAI provides international conferences and seminar series.



Date/Time Event
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Front Page events
A place for baksbat (broken courage) in forensic psychiatry at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC).
ACJC Seminar rooms, Building H, 8th floor (H8.06), Caulfeild East VIc
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Front Page events
Migration: From Threat of Climate Change to Adaptation Tool
ACJC Seminar rooms, Building H, 8th floor (H8.06), Caulfeild East VIc

Past events

Rasan Piya
Building S, Level 8, Room 802, Monash University Caulfield
Event Date: 04/08/2017

Rasan Piya is a documentary on the life of renowned Hindustani
classical vocalist, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, who represented the 16th
generation of Miyan Tansen’s lineage. He continued not just to
compose, but also to teach, travel and perform across all of India till he
passed away on 18th February 2016 at the age of 107 years.
This is the story of an extraordinary musician, poet and teacher; of
someone who has not only preserved but also added much to an
ancient Indian art form; of a brave man who overcame his physical
limitations to create beautiful music and inspire a whole generation of
musicians and music lovers.
The film explores the various influences that have shaped his life and
music, a life steeped in the rich culture of Awadh. It also offers a
commentary on the change that art in India has witnessed with the
decline of the riyasats (kingdoms) and the patronage they offered.
Lastly, the film attempts to draw one towards our ancient guru shishya
parampara, (traditional teacher-student relationship) as preserved
and practised by one its most revered exponents Rasan Piya.

Writer and director, Niharika Popli, graduated in Engineering from the
University of Delhi in 2010. She then worked with a children’s NGO in
Delhi, directing plays, writing and telling stories, and teaching. A chance
encounter with Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan at a SPIC-MACAY concert in
2007 moved Niharika tremendously. The purity of his music and his
zest for life inspired her to make her first feature length documentary
Rasan Piya. The documentary received the Special Jury Mention at
Mumbai International Film Festival 2016.

Global Local: Sharing Stories with the World
Event Date: 03/06/2017

Asia Pacific Writers and Translators, ELTHAMBookshop and Monash Asia Institute present:

A day of readings, discussions, book signings and intellectual engagement.


Osamah Sami;  John Safran;  Gabrielle Wang;  Chris Raja;  Supriya Singh;  Trevor Hay;  Susan Hawthorne;  Hoa Pham;  Jemma Purdey and more

$35 (includes a book of your choice).  $20 (students with valid ID card).  $30 (APWT members)

Prepaid bookings are essential.   Ph: 9439 8700 or elthambookshop@  Credit card payments also accepted over the phone.




Inaugural Herb Feith Professorial Lecture
HB40, H Building, Monash University Caulfield campus
Event Date: 01/06/2017

'Stories of Subversion, Subversive Stories: A Critique of Indonesia's Politics of Identity'

One dominant, durable and most dangerous idea has poisoned social life in Indonesia since independence. It is the modern notion that pure or authentic social identities are possible and highly desirable. This notion has repeatedly led not only to ambitious pursuits for the idealised identities (authentically Indonesian, purely Eastern, truly masculine, essential motherhood, or correctly Islamic). It has also prompted the combative commitments to disavow or mutilate elements of the nation deemed impure, less authentic, mixed or deviant.
Stories of the early formation of the nation, or the national revolution that led to Indonesia’s independence, have the potential to be radically subversive to this obsession, as inauthenticity and hybridity are the hallmarks of that history. In order to sustain the status quo, much of the rich and complex history of the colonialism and decolonisation must continue to be hidden, suppressed or denied to this day.

Ariel Heryanto was born and raised in Indonesia under the military dictatorship of the
New Order during the Cold War. Since March 2017, Herbert Feith is the Professor for the
Study of Indonesia at Monash University. Previously he worked at Universitas Kristen Satya
Wacana (Indonesia), The National University of Singapore, The University of Melbourne,
and The Australian National University. He is the author of Identity and Pleasure; The politics of Indonesian screen culture (2014); State Terrorism And Political Identity In Indonesia:  Fatally Belonging (2007), editor of Popular Culture in Indonesia: Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics (2008). His current research investigates Indonesia’s postcoloniality.

RSVP to   by Monday 29 May 2017.

Filming the Political, Trespassing Rules and Boundaries
S901 Monash University, Caulfield Campus
Event Date: 24/05/2017

Focus theme seminar_3

Speaker: Ariel Heryanto.  Discussant: Olivia Khoo


No  other films have made as great a political impact upon Indonesia as Indonesia Calling 1946 Joris Ivens) and The Act of Killing (2012, Joshua Oppenheimer). Both are products of a trans-national collaboration.  Interestingly, both documentaries were not the films their respective directors had originally planned to make. The opportunity to make these highly celebrated films came by accident only after their film-makers encountered obstacles which stopped or delayed them from making their originally intended films. In this short presentation, we will compare the eventful making of these films, as well as their political significance
that transcend and trespass national boundaries and loyalties



Professor Vanashree

ICCR Chair of Indian Studies – Public Lecture on India 2017
Consulate General of India in Melbourne
Event Date: 19/05/2017

The Spectrum of Many Indias and the Theatre of Girish Karnad 

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Chair of Indian Studies Public Lecture on India 2017 

by Professor Vanashree

Theatre traditions in India survive and gather new strength and legitimacy because they register our passionate struggle with the urge to speak out in the interest of social justice and truth......

Girish Karnad is one such playwright who believes that, as the repertory of its people, theatre has to be unequivocally the art of public life, having a public origin and public effect.

Through the worlds of his plays, Yayati, Hayavadana, Tale-Danda, The Fire and the Rain, Bali, Tughlaq, Wedding Album, Karnad allows us to enter into comprehensive dimensions of Indian experiential realities. In doing so, he invites us into the spectrum of many Indias: sexual, spiritual, intellectual, religious, moral, secular, and political, that created space in our history for frequent revolutionary ruptures drawing their core energy from the myth of freedom. ​As products of new theoretical, textual, material and cultural conditions reinforced by the experience of democracy, cultural autonomy and the sense of a new nationhood, they pushed into the public domain the issues which afflicted our society and called for rethinking. 

Karnad’s plays have made their presence felt in the last several decades for their highly radical content. As a playwright, his maturity of vision comes to the fore as a more consummate corollary to the theatre practices in India in Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Bengali.  

Karnad infuses a new energy in modern Indian drama in ensuring that it is not only meant to be the site of entertainment but also of the radical revolution of thought. Drawing upon a range of aesthetic conventions, both folk and classical, this presentation will demonstrate how Karnad’s performance methods pronounce commitment to sustaining the power of dramatic art as social energy. Delivered into the dialogues and visuals with the intent to produce and organize collective physical and mental experiences, Karnad makes the very act of theatre going a celebratory solidarity energizing the spirit of Indian democracy.

When:              Friday 19 May, 2017
Time:                3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where:             Consulate General of India, 344 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Cost:                Free –  Please register as registration is required for catering purposes

Professor Vanashree 

Professor Vanashree is currently on deputation as the ICCR Chair in Indian Studies at the Centre for Theatre and Performance in the Faculty of Arts, Monash University.

She is a Professor at the Department of English, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. She has also been the former chair of the department.

As a Fulbright Teaching Fellow, she taught at the Department of English, George Washington University. She worked as a UGC Research Associate at Jawaharlal Nehru University (1994-1998) and was also a Senior Fellow at Indo-American Center for Studies. Vanashree is the author and editor of several books, including Why Fiction Matters, Twentieth Century American Fiction: T.S. Eliot’s Children, Antony and Cleopatra, Poetics and Culture: Three Plays of Girish Karnad, Feminine Consciousness in The Fiction of Katherine Anne Porter, among others.

She has been the editor of Research and Criticism, the departmental journal of English, BHU. Her research papers, translated works and book reviews are published in national and international journals in India and USA and have been cited in several interdisciplinary academic researches.

Migrant Diplomacy Australia-Japan Museum Exchange to Foster Cultural Diversity
The Theatrette, Immigration Museum
Event Date: 19/05/2017

Organised by Monash Asia Institute, Monash University with partnership of Immigration Museum, Melbourne and Immigration Museum Tokyo (pilot program)

eduWith the intensification of human mobility and migration, the fostering of cultural diversity and inclusion is a key issue in a globalized world. Japan is no exception. Featuring Immigration Museum in Melbourne and Immigration Museum Tokyo (pilot project), whose establishment was inspired by the former, this symposium will discuss the significant role of the museum in promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in multicultural cities. We will discuss how to promote exchange and build up collaborative relations between Immigration Museum in Melbourne and Immigration Museum Tokyo and advance Australia-Japan bilateral relations on common ground of trans-Asian migration and cultural diversity.
This symposium is part of the project, Migrant Diplomacy: Exchange between Immigration Museum in Melbourne and Tokyo, which is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Migrant diplomacy-1

Journey to be continued: Experimental documentary on multicultural situations in Japan
Immigration Museum
Event Date: 18/05/2017

Journey to be continued

Director: Shigeaki Iwai

(Director, Immigration Museum Tokyo, pilot program)

This film experimentally documents the director's dialogue with migrant youth in Kani city in Gifu prefecture through artistic expression. It innovatively elucidates multicultural situations in Japan.

Journey to be continued_screening

Jogja Hip Hop Foundation: popular culture, politics and kraton values in contemporary Java, Edi Dwi Riyanto
Room E561, 5th Floor, East Wing, Menzies Building (Building 11)
Event Date: 11/05/2017

The Jogja Hip Hop Foundation (JHF), founded in 2003, has gained international recognition since 2010. The success of JHF was caused by its capability to combine two seemingly contradictory social worlds: Javaneseness, famous for its politeness, softness, and conformity, and hip hop culture, which implies a brash, rebellious cultural positioning. The JHF’s main creative achievement was in reworking and revitalizing Yogyakarta traditions and history and packaging them as Java Hip Hop. However this enterprise arrived at a point of divergence between Javaneseness and global values. Marjuki, the high-profile leader of JHF, decided to leave JHF to embrace market mechanisms and individual celebrity rather than the conformity and compliance to Javanese tradition and its supreme cultural and political leader, the Sultan.

The trajectory of JHF has shown a dilemma created through tension between the empowering and liberating ethic of hip hop, and the feudalistic character of traditional kraton Javanese culture. Through this case study of JHF, this presentation will shed new light on the relationships between music, culture and politics, specifically those in Yogyakarta.

About the speaker

For the last five years, Edi Dwi Riyanto has carried out research on Jogja Hip Hop Foundation. After spending his childhood in a rural setting in the ‘marginal’ Javanese community of Bumiayu, he was educated in urban Java. He is a now lecturer at the English Department of the Faculty of Humanities Airlangga University Surabaya, and has recently submitted his PhD in the Faculty of Arts, Monash University. His research interests include the transformation of Javanese values, social life and culture in contemporary Java, focussing specifically on popular cultural forms. He is concerned about the evolution of Javanese cultural forms in the present.

Korean Studies at Monash Re-Launch
Japanese Studies Centre
Event Date: 05/05/2017

To register for this event:

The Korean Studies program at Monash, established in 1988, is one of the fastest growing language and studies programs in the School.  With the retirement of the foundational lecturers in 2015, the School has made two international appointments to carry the program in new directions. This event marks these appointments with a guest lecture by the esteemed Korean Studies’ scholar and President of the Association of Asian Studies, Professor Laurel Kendall (American Museum of Natural History / Columbia University). 


4:00      Refreshments served on the deck of Japanese Studies Centre
5:10      Opening remarks: Gloria Davies
5:20      Andrew Jackson (Monash University)
‘Invented Traditions in North and South Korea: Internationalization and Contention’
5:40     Josie Sohn (Monash University)
‘Collegiate Cinephilia: Unlikely Film Buffery in Neoliberal South Korea’
6:00      Keynote: Professor Laurel Kendall (AMNH/ Columbia University)
‘Retrospective in Korean Studies, or what I got wrong in my first book’
6:30      David Hundt (Deakin University)
‘How Australians Think About Korean Migrants’
6:50     Closing remarks: Carolyn Stevens

Dr. Kendall is an anthropologist of Korea and the Curator of Asian Ethnology and Division Chair, Division of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.  Her major publications include Shamans, Housewives, and other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life (1985); The Life and Hard Times of a Korean Shaman (1988); Getting Married in Korea (1996); Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class, and Consumption in the Republic of Korea (2002); Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion (2009); Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity: Commodification, Tourism, and Performance (2011); and God Pictures in Korean Contexts: The Ownership and Meaning of Shaman Paintings (2015). In 2010, Korean colleagues awarded Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF the first Yim Suk Jay Prize recognizing a work of anthropology about Korea by a non-Korean. She is the current President of the Association of Asian Studies and the former president of the Society for East Asian Anthropology. At the AMNH, she curated Vietnam: Journeys of Body, Mind, and Spirit (2003), a unique collaboration with the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology that earned Kendall a Friendship Medal from the Government of Vietnam.
Andrew David Jackson is Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies at Monash University. Prior to his appointment, he was Associate Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He obtained his PhD in Korean history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2011. Other research interests include: late-Chosŏn rebellion and factionalism, legal responses to rebellion in late-Chosŏn.  As well as pre-modern history, Andrew is interested in modern Korean history and society, South and North Korean film, sound in Korean film, and theories of rebellion and revolution. He is the author of The 1728 Musin Rebellion: Politics and Plotting in Eighteenth-Century Korea (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2016) and co-editor (with Colette Balmain) of Korean Screen Cultures: Interrogating Cinema, TV, Music and Online Games (Peter Lang, 2016). 
David Hundt is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Deakin University. His research interests are the politics, security and political economy of the Asia–Pacific, and he has a particular interest in Korean Studies. His articles have appeared in journals such as the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Journal of Development Studies, Political Science and Contemporary Politics. His first book, Korea's Developmental Alliance: State, Capital and the Politics of Rapid Development, was published with Routledge in 2009, and his new book, about the social origins of capitalism in Asia, will be published with Palgrave Macmillan in mid-2017. He was an associate editor of the Australian Journal of Political Science from 2010 until 2016, and he will assume the duties of Editor in Chief of Asian Studies Review in 2018.
Josie Sohn lectures in Korean Studies at Monash University. Prior to arriving at Monash, she directed Global Korean Studies at the Catholic University of Korea and was a fellow at the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. Her research focuses on South Korean film culture, youth culture, and transnational reception practices. She holds a PhD in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a minor in Cinema Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


MAI Postgraduate Students Research Day
S901 Monash University, Caulfield Campus
Event Date: 01/05/2017

We are pleased to make an announcement that MAI is organizing a postgraduate research day. Many postgraduate students are doing research on Asian regions at Monash but they are dispersed in various disciplines, programs, faculties, campuses and regions of investigation. The research day will be a precious occasion in which postgraduate students get together, exchange about research projects and share experiences of conducting a PhD degree.

This research day is an inaugural event for a renewed seminar series, Postgraduate Research Forum on Asia-Pacific (PRFAP). Monash Asia Institute, together with Arts Research Graduate School, has been supporting the activities of PRFAP since 2013. PRFAP offers a platform for postgraduate students to nurture a collaborative research culture within Monash by bringing together a multidisciplinary community of researchers to stimulate intellectual discussion, mutually support research activities and academic training, and understand the Asia-Pacific (including Australia) as a research context. As the first generation of PRFAP has completed or has been completing PhDs, it is time to renew the seminar series.


  1. Lunch (12:15-13:00)
  2. Panel session on the PhD journey at Monash by recent graduates
  3. Exchange research project session by current HDR students’
  4. Open discussion on future seminars and events for HDR students supported by MAI.


We would like to invite students to briefly talk about their research projects (for 5 min) at the Research Day. Please submit your name, affiliation, research topic, discipline/approach and contact details via Event Registration no later than 20 April. Please contact MAI HDR Coordinators, Yen Hoang Ha: and Neeti Aryal Khanal: for any enquiries.

If you just would like to attend the Research Day, please RSVP to by 25 April for catering purposes.

Look forward to seeing you at the Research Day!