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ASEASUK’s aims and objectives are to facilitate co-operation and co-ordination between individual scholars and institutions in the development of Southeast Asian studies and research programmes. In particular, the Association is concerned with the circulation of professional information amongst scholars with Southeast Asian interests and the projection of Southeast Asia as an important field of study within the United Kingdom generally.
A brief history
Since its formation in 1969, ASEASUK has brought together academics in the UK specialising in Southeast Asia over the widest range of disciplines. It has over 170 members from more than 30 universities. But there are also postgraduate members of the association as well as members from the business and diplomatic communities. A third of members are based outside the UK.
ASEASUK’s Research Committee has its origins in the Management Committee of the British Institute in South East Asia. The Institute was established in Singapore in 1976, and then operated from Bangkok from 1984 to 1986. After the Institute was dissolved, a British Academy Committee for South East Asian Studies was established to continue to fund individual research projects in the region. In 2005, with the support of the British Academy, this became the Research Committee of ASEASUK, under the chairmanship of the leading scholar of Burma, Professor Robert H. Taylor.
Since 2002, the Research Committee has funded 100 individual research projects across the social sciences and humanities. The average size of grants over this period was typically between £3,000 and £5,000. These have been allocated very broadly across the higher education sector (to scholars in over 38 institutions and some independent scholars) as well as across subject areas. In addition, the Committee has supported the publication of Aseasuk News, the newsletter, and its associated website, which plays a leading role in maintaining the profile of Southeast Asian studies within the international academic community. We have also supported conferences and workshops.
Victor King's "A brief history of ASEASUK" (in PDF format) is available below.
Research priorities and initiatives
Integration and Interaction in the Southeast Asian Region, the 5-year Strategic Research Plan adopted by ASEASUK in 2005, and agreed with BASIS (Board for Academy-Sponsored Institutes and Societies), is the largest joint initiative ever launched by Southeast Asianists in the UK.
It builds on the acknowledged strengths of scholarship in this country, and seeks to deepen our knowledge of the evolving contact, interaction and integration of Southeast Asia and the wider Asian region.
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