Welcome to Perspectives on the Past. We’re a research and reading group within the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) at the University of Sydney, focused on new perspectives on the Southeast Asian past. Our disciplinary backgrounds are diverse: archaeology, history, oral history, heritage, performance studies, philology, art history and museology.

As editors of the Perspectives on the Past section of New Mandala, we aim to bring challenging and insightful reflections on the Southeast Asia past to our readers. You can read more about who we are and what we do here, and you can also join in the activity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’d also love to read your submissions! Email us at pop@seasiapasts.com.

Hunting the Secrets of the Philippines

What makes the Philippines tick, and what's the one piece of art, object or artefact that could provide an answer?

Our Editors' Blog

UNESCO heritage-lists Indonesian wooden boat building

Maritime historian Jeffrey Mellefont on why UNESCO has recognised the cultural significance of South Sulawesi boat-building.

An American in Singapore: Devin Smith on the story of Lim Bo Seng

A personal account of an American musician and videographer grappling with the historical biography of Singapore's Lim Bo Seng.

Heritage, Memories & Kinship: Reflections On Qing Ming Festival

Graves told stories of geographical, familial ties, folklore and culture, and spanned the realms of the sacred and profane.