Dec 15, 2011
A symposium commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Sylff program at Columbia University was held on November 11, 2011.
The theme of the conference was "Borders and Frontiers: Connections between Power, Ideology, and Identity in Southeast Asia." This is a region marked by perhaps the greatest diversity in the world, in terms of ethnicity, religion, and ideology.
The symposium opened with remarks by Professor Myron L. Cohen, director of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, followed by a keynote speech by Professor Duncan McCargo, visiting scholar at Weatherhead and professor at the University of Leeds.
There were two panel discussions, where seven speakers gave presentation.
The moderator of the first panel was Ann Marie Murphy, one of the first Sylff fellows at Columbia. She is now adjunct research scholar at Weatherhead and associate professor at the School of Diplomacy and International relations of Seton Hall University. Among the seven panelists, three were Sylff fellows: Karen Bryner, Anthony Do, and Laur Kiik.
Bryner spoke on the “Cultural Islamization of Indonesia through the PKS-linked Integrated Islamic Schools,” while Do gave a presentation on “Not as a Laughing Matter, but as a Matter of Laughing: Inscribing Agency to Vietnamese AIDS Orphans.” Kiik discussed “Feeling Ethnic Environmentalism and Military-Capitalist Dispossession in Kachin Land, on the Burma-China-Tibet-India Borders.”
The symposium closed with remarks by Akiko Imai, director for public communications of the Tokyo Foundation, who introduced a congratulatory video message by Foundation President Hideki Kato, who was unable to attend due to his government duties.
Many Sylff fellows attended the symposium and the following reception. During the 20 years of the Sylff program, fellowships have been awarded to more than 220 Columbia University graduate students.
Click here for more photos (Weatherhead site.)