A (qualified) farewell from the editor

Dear New Mandala readers,

It is with mixed emotions that I announce that today is my last day as editor of New Mandala. It’s been an enormous privilege to serve in this position over the past (not quite) three years, and to contribute to the elevation and amplification of voices from and on Southeast Asia.

Guiding New Mandala through some of the most unprecedented global, regional and local—and even institutional—challenges in recent history has been an enormous learning experience for me. It has offered me the opportunity to engage more deeply with colleagues and contributors from Southeast Asia, and more broadly on issues usually somewhat at a remove from my background in art history, including public health, electoral politics and international relations. Leading the Southeast Asia in a time of Coronavirus series, which provided important analysis and perspectives on the social, political, economic and gendered impacts of the pandemic on communities across Southeast Asia was, for better or worse, a highlight for me. New Mandala has also been one of the few publications to maintain a platform for extended expert analysis from Myanmar and elsewhere around the world on the 2021 coup and subsequent civil disobedience movement. Our authors have covered countless other developments and setbacks in Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor-Leste, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

I’m also proud to have to have brought to New Mandala a new focus on art, architecture and design from Southeast Asia, through the ARTSEA platform, where artists, historians, curators, dramaturgs, architects, scholars and other practitioners in the field have the opportunity to share with readers what is happening—and what has happened—in art, design and architecture in Southeast Asia. I’m pleased to let you know that I’ll be staying on as section editor for ARTSEA, and I look forward to hearing from prospective contributors over the coming months—you’ll be able to reach me at [email protected]. As I’ll be travelling in Indonesia for most of the rest of this year, however, I may be a little slow in responding!

Our new editor will be familiar to many readers, as he returns to New Mandala after a long association with the publication as a contributor, but most importantly as a past editor. I’m excited to welcome back Dr Liam Gammon, who has recently completed his PhD (congratulations Liam!) and will lead New Mandala forward in what will be, undoubtedly, no less tumultuous, exciting and challenging times for both the publication, and the region. Liam has steered this ship before with great passion and skill, and I’m thrilled that he will again be at the helm. From next week, submissions to New Mandala should be directed to [email protected].

We’ll hear more from Liam tomorrow, but in the meantime I’d like to express my enormous gratitude to my colleagues at ANU, and especially in the Department of Political and Social Change in the Coral Bell School for Asia Pacific Affairs, where New Mandala has been hosted during my tenure as editor. Their support and contributions, as well as shared cups of tea and excellent conversation, have been invaluable. I’m also greatly indebted to the authors who have enlivened New Mandala over the past three years, and filled my inbox with enlightening, engaging and educational content which it has been my privilege to share with our readers. I’d particularly like to thank those authors for whom English is not their primary language, who’ve had the courage to share their writing and shown commitment and patience with the editorial process. I have learned so much from you all.

Finally, working on New Mandala has been a labour of love which has motivated me to pursue my own academic work as a researcher and teacher. Throughout my time as editor I’ve had incredible opportunities to publish my own books and articles, and hone my skills as an interdisciplinary teacher across language and the humanities.  I’m excited to begin a new chapter of my career with the Indonesian Studies program at UNSW Canberra in 2023, and thrilled to be maintaining my connection with New Mandala. 

Thanks again, dear readers, for the last three years. Sekian dulu dari saya, dan mohon maaf jika ada kesalahan dan kekurangan.


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