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Southeast Asia at EWC Int’l. Grad. Conf.

Southeast Asia Related Panels at the 2016 EWC International Graduate Student Conference

February 11 - 13, 2016
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Hawaiʻi Imin International Conference Center

Each spring, the East-West Center holds a three-day conference in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi highlighting the best of graduate student scholarship from universities world-wide. This year, the program schedule features more than 20 Southeast Asia related papers and presentations. The Keynote Address on Thursday, February 11 and all sessions on Friday and Saturday are free and open to the public.


Impacts of Social Networks on Migration to South Korea of Vietnamese Migrant Workers
Anh Nguyen (Viet Nam), University of Sydney
8:30 - 10:15 AM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

This study aims to explore positive and negative aspects of migration networks of Vietnamese migrant workers during all phases of migration to South Korea, including pre-departure, staying abroad, and returning home. The main pillars of the theoretical approaches are the theory of social capital and social networks analysis which help to examine how social networks are formed and how Vietnamese migrant workers can approach and obtain resources from these networks. Data of the research was collected from in-depth interviews and participant observations conducted in Vietnam and Korea in 2013 and 2015. The findings show that social networks essentially support Vietnamese migrant workers to facilitate their migration; however, these networks also bring risks to them, especially female and/or undocumented ones.

Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia: Results from a new survey in Viet Nam
Conor Hughes (USA), University of Minnesota
8:30 - 10:15 AM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

Human trafficking is one of the most widely spread and fastest growing crimes in the world. However, reliable data on human trafficking is almost non-existent, due to the nature of the crime. We present the results from a new survey that seeks to provide a model to help alleviate these data issues and hopefully help to bring about the end of "modern day slavery.

Understanding Poverty in the Bangsa Moro Region Globally and Global Justice
Jamil Matalam (Philippines), Ateneo de Davao University
10:30 AM - 12:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Sarimanok Room

I basically argue in this paper that the incidence of poverty in the Bangsa Moro Region is best explained ‘globally’ compared to what I call individual-characterological and domestic-cultural explanations, and I advance the proposal that "compensation" for the radical inequality brought about by the global order be made state-specific, which is quite different compared to Pogge’s Global Resource Dividend and Lisa Fuller’s reforms in development aid practices, which divides the world between a homogenize global rich and homogenize global poor.

Pulling the Strings: The Effects of Military Occupation and Rule on Burmese Marionettes
Kristina Tannenbaum (USA), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa
1:30 - 3:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Sarimanok Room

This paper examines the role the British military occupation of Burma, now Myanmar, played in the development of yokthe thay from 1820 to the early 1900s. It focuses on drawing a comparison between developments in infrastructure, economic variances, and military strategies in Burma and how those directly influenced the development of yokthe thay in Burma and other Southeast Asian countries. Data derived from this comparison is used to analyze how several decisions made by the ruling British in the early to mid-1800s led to different developments in the forms and functions of yokthe thay across Burma during this period.

Translanguaging in a Multilingual Filipino Classroom: Language Practices as Teaching and Learning Resources
Jayson Parba (Philippines), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa and East-West Center
1:30 - 3:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

This study sets out to explore the potentials of translanguaging or the flexible use of linguistic resources by bilinguals (Garcia, 2009) as teaching and learning resources in a multilingual Filipino heritage language classroom. It specifically explores the pedagogical use of bilingual instructional materials and my own dynamic language practices as a multilingual language teacher. It likewise examines how my students’ plurilingual language practices were treated as resources to develop their language proficiency and to validate their multiple identities as L2/heritage language learners.

Water Security and Community Networking in Myanmar and Cambodia
Yune Leou-On (USA/French Polynesia), University of San Francisco
1:30 - 3:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Pago Pago Room

Globally we are running out of drinkable water. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and hurricanes can make our water unclean and move rivers or lakes away from our communities. 2.2 million people (twice the state of Hawaii) die every year because of drinking unclean water. Charitable organizations including the Global Water Partnership, WaterAid and Charity: Water work to help people who do not have clean water. Their work in Myanmar and Cambodia shows us how collaborating with local governments and communities with a focus on women and poor people can bring clean water to everyone.

The Morphosyntatic-Semantic Interface in the L2 Tense-Aspect Development of Selected Adult Filipino-English Bilinguals
Jonathan P Erfe (Philippines), University of the City of Manila
3:30 - 5:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Sarimanok Room

Based on the Aspect Hypothesis (AH), this study investigated the influence of inherent semantic properties of verbs/predicates on the L2 English tense-aspect markings of selected Filipino college students. Quantitative analysis of tokens from the learners’ written narratives revealed certain associations between their verbal inflections and the predicational aspectual classes. Moreover, significant differences were found only in their use of the past morphology across classes when they were compared according to L2 proficiency level. These factored in several psycholinguistic underpinnings and showed partial evidence of the AH in an attempt to map the developmental stages of L2 temporal acquisition by Filipino bilinguals.

Ethnic Relations in Malaysia: Malaysian Undergraduates’ Engagement with Race Relations in Malaysian Films
Humairah Zainal (Singapore), Nanyang Technological University
3:30 - 5:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

This presentation will focus on how the interviewees’ gender identities influence their interpretation of ‘Gadoh’ (‘Fight’, 2009) and ‘Sepet’ (‘Slit-eyed’, 2004), and how far these films represent reality. The findings show that while ‘Gadoh’ is representative of racial tensions in Malaysian high schools, ‘Sepet’ is less representative of reality. While the interviewees are open to cross-cultural learning, this attitude is seldom translated into behavioral practices. This is due to their indoctrination of government discourses on race, which is further complicated by their lack of cross-cultural understanding. The interviews have thus opened up spaces for them to discuss racial issues openly.

The Clash of Ethnicities: To Explore the Nexus of Majority Supremacy and Ethnic Terror in Malaysia
Emily Goh (Malaysia), University of Massachusetts, Lowell
3:30 - 5:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

Understanding the causal roots for ethnic conflicts in Malaysia is crucial in analyzing the ethnic terrors and government policies formed to address the issue. This study seeks to develop a system dynamics approach in light of ethnic conflict theories to connect the relationships between ethnic identities, ethnic conflicts and government policies. This approach will enhance the apprehension of the rise of ethnic conflicts in Malaysia and to analyze the impact of the government policies on ethnic group behaviors.

Anal HPV Acquisition Increased HIV Seroconversion Risk in Thailand Test and Treat Cohort
Eleanore Chuang (USA), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa and East-West Center
3:30 - 5:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Pago Pago Room

This study examined human papillomavirus (HPV) types in anal samples at two time points for gay men (MSM) and male-to-female transgendered persons (TG women) in Bangkok. Participants who tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibodies during the course of the two-year Test & Treat study were compared to those who remained HIV-negative during the same period. Testing HIV-positive was statistically related to gain but not loss of HPV from time 1 to time 2. Participants who gained HPV had more than 4 times higher odds of testing HIV-positive. HPV prevention might be another strategy for reducing new HIV infections.

“The Promise was a Lighthouse”: A New Narrative of Chinese Indonesians in Tere Liye’s “Kisah Sie Sie”
Zoë McLaughlin (USA), University of Michigan
8:30 - 10:15 AM, Imin Conference Center, Sarimanok Room

Tere Liye's short story “Kisah Sie Sie” is part of an expanding body of new portrayals of the Chinese Indonesian experience in contemporary Indonesian literature. While “Kisah Sie Sie” does subvert certain stereotypes such as that of the wealthy Chinese Indonesian, it instead presents a different kind of exaggerated reality, in this case one of extreme poverty. Nevertheless, the story provides commentary on a facet of the Chinese Indonesian experience that is little explored in contemporary Indonesian fiction and Tere Liye's choice to use a Chinese Indonesian character to comment on this social issue is striking.

Rethinking Migrant Workers' Precarious Lives along the Thai-Burmese Border
Phianphachong Intarat (Thailand), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa
8:30 - 10:15 AM, Imin Conference Center, Pago Pago Room

An ethnographic study of undocumented Burmese migrant workers’ lives in the Thai-Burmese borderlands. This research proposes an alternative narrative about ‘precarious life’ of migrant workers and the labor exploitation complex. It recounts how undocumented migrant workers perceive their life and livelihood situations; what they do to cope with their lack of legal status; and how their struggle shapes social dynamics in the Thai-Burmese border community.

Citizenship and the Right to Stay: the Case of Stateless Young Adults along the Thailand-Myanmar Border
Khaikham Ladawan (Thailand),The Australian National University
8:30 - 10:15 AM, Imin Conference Center, Pago Pago Room

This research attempts to identify and discuss the problems of statelessness along the Thailand - Myanmar borders, and present the challenges facing the current Royal Thai Government. Primary research result shows that stateless young adults are more likely to remain in Thailand and obtain Thai citizenship. Furthermore, most of Thai citizens (69%) also support these stateless young adults to gain Thai citizenship. Finally, the research aims to suggest a suitable way of balancing national security, human rights, and human security to encourage the Thai state to grant Thai citizenship to these stateless young adults so as to make them less vulnerable.

Second Language Learning Motivation and Academic Achievement Among Filipino College Students Across Professional Based Disciplines
Jonathan P Erfe (Philippines), University of the City of Manila
10:30 AM - 12:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Sarimanok Room

This study explored the relationship between the motivation for and the academic achievement in learning English as a second language (L2) of selected Filipino college students of Accountancy, Architecture, and Physical Therapy in Manila. The study showed an overall very good rating in their English courses and a high motivational level (especially instrumentally and intrinsically) among the respondents, yet it revealed a weak negative correlation between the two variables. Contextual and other crucial factors.

Megalomania, Memory, and the Marcos era: National Shame and Regional Pride in the Philippines
Caroline Baicy (USA/Philippines), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa
10:30 AM - 12:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

The Marcos regime marked two decades of corruption, violence, and economic downturn. The research done on the Martial Law period rarely documents contemporary notions of this period. After ousting the Marcos family, two polarizing narratives have been formulated: a narrative of national shame, which downplays Marcos in their national narrative, and a narrative of regional pride in which the province of Ilocos Norte propagated a history that conflates truth with myth. The two narratives play an integral role in the dissemination of information on the Marcos regime, and is reflected in the art and architecture patronized by the Marcos family.

Along the Road to Angkor: Khmer Art From the John Young Collection
Kristin M Remington (USA), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa
10:30 AM - 12:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

John Chin Young (1909-1997) was a painter and local art collector who resided in Hawaii. Young gifted a portion of his collection to the Honolulu Museum of Art (HMA) between 1991-1992 and a handful of art to the John Young Museum of Art in 1997. As part of my Master’s Thesis in South and Southeast Asian Art History, I have sought to re-unite the John Young collection and consider how this group of Khmer art speaks to a specific moment of mainland Southeast Asia’s history, looking critically at the role of artistic traditions as they traveled outside of Angkor’s center and throughout the Khmer empire.

Fishing Lights from Space: Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Nighttime Fishing in Southeast Asia
Rollan Geronimo (Philippines), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa and East-West Center
10:30 - 12:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Pago Pago Room

Nighttime satellite imagery from 1992 to 2015 reveal a high frequency of nighttime fishing activity in Southeast Asia with high clustering in areas of particular environmental conditions. The number of fishing lights has increased rapidly over the time period and recent finer resolution satellite imagery showed seasonalities in use of lights and encroachment in prohibited areas. This study demonstrates the utility of nighttime satellite imagery for spatially-explicit fisheries management in Southeast Asia.

Conjuring Kalayaan: Mapping “Edit Wars” and Territoriality of the Philippines
Dylan Beatty (USA), University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa and East-West Center
1:30 - 3:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Sarimanok Room

Cartographic imaginings of Philippine territoriality evolve temporally, politically and epistemically. The recent intensification of territorial disputes in maritime Southeast Asia illuminates this cartographic evolution and accentuates the iterative nature of territory and the discursive characteristics of cartography. Six different states—Brunei, Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, the Republic of China and Vietnam—claim the disputed ocean space oftentimes known as the Spratly Islands in a sea commonly known as the South China Sea. Filipino political elites elicit different space and place labels, asserting this disputed ocean space be officially known as Kalayaan and as the West Philippine Sea. Cartographic understandings of the territoriality of the Philippines are coated with the residue of three centuries of colonialism as well as more modern factors attributable to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of contraception among Thai Muslim women living in Bangkok and the Southernmost provinces of Thailand
Somsook Santibenchakul (Thailand), University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa and East-West Center
1:30 - 3:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

The aim of this community-based, cross-sectional study was to assess the contraceptive knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP), and its associated factors in Thai Muslim women living in Bangkok and the Southernmost provinces of Thailand. Multi-stage, cluster sampling was used to acquire 423 Thai Muslim women aged between 15-49 years who lived in their hometowns. Knowledge and attitude scores were comparable. However, a higher proportion of women from the Southernmost provinces used contraceptives. From multivariate analysis, geographical residence was not associated with contraceptive KAP whereas the women’s educational level, income level, and number of children did.

Luar Biasa: Being Catholic in Eastern Indonesia
Meghan Rose Donnelly (USA), University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa
1:30 - 3:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Pago Pago Room

The Catholic Church is a global institution with the challenge of uniting its diverse adherents, a challenge it addresses by encouraging Catholics to imagine themselves as members of a single family. I argue that an Eastern-Indonesian order of Catholic nuns draws on this transnational narrative, fostering a sense of the Church’s international unity. In a departure from analyses which minimize religiosity, I attempt to demonstrate how some Catholics in Flores position themselves in relation to the global Church, not as deviants from an imposing foreign institution, but as important contributors to a religion that transcends place.

Unpacking the Soft Power of U.S. Higher Education in Vietnam
Mary Beth S Marklein (USA), George Mason University
3:30 - 5:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Sarimanok Room

This paper employs the tools of Critical Discourse Analysis to examine the process by which the United States has used the soft power of its higher education system to influence Vietnam's higher education reform agenda. Drawing from white papers, policy memos and related documents, it traces the history of U.S. efforts, beginning briefly with the deployment of U.S. higher education teams to South Vietnam in the late 1960s and culminating with the planned launch of Fulbright University Vietnam in 2016. The broader goal is to investigate the potential for an equitable collaboration that breaks with longstanding patterns of colonialism.

Drawing Exiles: Vietnamese American Memory Work in Vietnamerica
Jonathan Valdez (USA), University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa and East-West Center
3:30 - 5:15 PM, Imin Conference Center, Kaniela Room

This paper utilizes a subjectless analysis to examine the production of postmemory in G.B. Tran’s Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey. Tran untangles the fractious memories of his family’s lives before and after the Vietnam War and in the United States. Through the reconstruction of his family’s memories, Tran critiques the assemblages and powers of empire in Vietnamese American memory work. Furthermore, I explore how visual representations of exile reveal the fractious nature of generational memory and trauma. What do we learn about memory and trauma through depiction of exile? What is at stake representing imperial trauma through the graphic novel?