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The Tria Kerkvliet Southeast Asia Studies Graduate Fellowship!



We are delighted to announce that Dr. Ben Kerkvliet and his wife Dr. Melinda Tria Kerkvliet have established the Tria Kerkvliet Southeast Asia Studies Graduate Fellowship endowment to assist graduate students pursuing PhDs in History or Political Science, who are writing dissertations on Southeast Asia topics. Funds shall be used for costs associated with attendance (e.g. tuition, books, fees, living expenses, etc.), and expenses related to research or such needs to complete their dissertation. For more info about this fellowship, go here.


Dr. Ben J. Kerkvliet is an Emeritus Professor at Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. Growing up in a small town on the plains of Montana, Ben was surrounded by working class relatives and friends for whom political discussion and debate were part of life. That background helps to account for his research interests until today. After graduating from the local public high school, he earned degrees at Whitman College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then taught for nearly twenty years at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (1971-91) before joining the ANU in 1992. Fascinated with how ordinary people deal with big pressures on their lives, Ben has emphasized research on agrarian politics in Southeast Asia. Closely related is his study of interactions between ordinary people and authorities or other elites. He is currently researching local reactions to major recent national policies in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Dr. Melinda  Tria  Kerkvliet  received  her  doctorate  in  history  from  the University of Hawai‘i at  Mānoa. Her books, Manila Workers’ Unions, 1900-1950, and Unbending Cane were published in 1992 and 2002 respectively. She is a former director of Operation Manong (now  Office  of  Multicultural  Student  Services)  at UH Mānoa.  Her research interests include worker histories in Hawai‘i, the Philippines and Vietnam; Philippine Masonry; and Philippine public school teachers. Dr.’s Kerkvliet and Tria Kerkvliet both currently reside on O‘ahu.