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Perspectives on the Past

Not the Emperor’s, not the King’s, but the Straits Chinese

Ann Ang discusses the historical context, origins and identity of the Straits Chinese.

The medieval tropics

Medieval artefacts and manuscripts are explored by Alex West to give insight on the deep past of Southeast Asia.

Disappearing Japan: Vajiravudh’s translations of The Mikado and the Thai elite’s admiration of Japan

On what translation can tell us about Thai society and its perspectives on its regional neighbours.

Millenia of maritime mastery: Philip Bowring’s ‘Empire of the Winds’

Though Austronesians operated in networks of oceanic trading that stretched from Asia to the Mediterranean for thousands of years, both the term and cultural grouping are little known.

Making and unmaking decolonisation: Civilised by The Necessary Stage (Singapore)

Nien Yuan Cheng continues her commentary on how Singapore artists are responding to the Bicentennial.

“I feel blessed (to be a Singaporean)”: MY Bridge of Light by the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC

Part 2 of this 3-part series on the SG Bicentennial explores MY Bridge of Light, a community play sponsored by the official bicentennial fund.

Bodies of/in water and the reversal of colonialism? Arus Balik at the NTU Centre of Contemporary Art

PoP's Cheng Nien Yuan continues her commentary on Singapore's Bicentennial.

Exhibition review: ‘Bali: Welcome to Paradise’

Vannessa Hearman on a Dutch exhibition on Bali that "packs a punch".

The Singapore Bicentennial: it was never going to work

On the unstable historical foundations of Singapore's (supposed) two-hundredth birthday.

Will oil hunters destroy Thailand’s biggest ancient city?

A proposal to build oil drilling rigs 100 metres from an archaeological site near Si Thep Historical Park jeopardises what may be Thailand's oldest and biggest ancient city.

Queer theory: a note from Indonesia

Perspectives on the Past's LGBTQ+ history month continues with a reflection on queer theory's portability.

Lesbian history in Thailand: value in traces

To kick off LBGTQ+ history month, Emily Donald looks at lesbian history and women’s sexuality in Thailand.

Indonesia at the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

A despatch from Brisbane, where an eclectic selection of Indonesian works stands out at the APT.

Lost in literature: the misuse of western sources and perspectives [Part III]

On the the misuse of western historical sources in the search for Suvarnabhumi.

Why we should be funding research on the post-Orientalist arts of the Straits of Malacca*

A personal reflection on the importance of academic freedom

Lost in literature: the political and religious consequences of Suvarnabhumi [Part II]

On nationalism, religion, archaeology, folklore and pseudo-history.

Lost in literature: why we need to stop the quest for Suvarnabhumi [Part 1]

The idea of finding the El Dorado of Asia is a continuing obsession.

Colonial medicine in postcolonial times: continuity, transition and change

Notes on the first joint meeting of the Asian Society for the History of Medicine & History of Medicine in Southeast Asia, Jakarta, 27-30 June 2018

Breaking the Colonial Hypnosis: Radical Physicians and Medical Nationalism in the Dutch East Indies

Hans Pols proposes a new perspective on the history of colonial medicine from the viewpoint of indigenous physicians.

PoP Picks @ IPPA2018

The most important conference for Asia-Pacific archaeology, heritage & museums is in Vietnam from 23 to 28 September. PoP takes a look at the Southeast Asia sessions & papers we are most excited about.

What is remembered, what is forgotten: A woman in a man’s shadow

A heroine of the Indonesian independence movement emerges from behind her husband's shadow

Raising heritage awareness in Indonesia

Isla Winarto talks to PoP about the Indonesian Heritage Society's efforts to promote heritage conservation at Jakarta's Museum Tekstil

Review: Feminisms and Contemporary Art in Indonesia by Wulan Dirgantoro

PoP reviews an important new book on the relationship between feminism and visual art in Indonesia