Dawn of a new (editor’s) era

Dear readers,

It is with immense pride that I write to introduce myself as the new editor of New Mandala.

First and foremost I have to tip my hat to the incredible work that Liam Gammon has put into this site over the last two years. New Mandala has only gone from strength to strength under his stewardship. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him on a number of projects over the last few years and have always appreciated his commitment to bringing academically rigorous content to the NM audience in an accessible and engaging way. You can read his reflections on his time as editor in his farewell note.

So, what can you expect from New Mandala moving forward? A lot of the same great content you’ve been getting from New Mandala for many years. We remain committed to the core mission of providing you, our readers, with analysis, anecdote and new perspectives on Southeast Asia that you can’t read anywhere else.

To give you a sense, a few of my favourite recent NM pieces are Emily Donald’s Lesbian history in Thailand, Lai Suat Yan on Reforming higher education in Malaysia, and Ade Prastyani on Mental health care in Indonesia. Since taking over as editor I’ve really enjoyed learning about some of the enduringly popular articles in our archives, including The benefits of mud houses and Linga bell, linga bell, jingle all the way. If you’d like to see more written by yours truly, you can see my articles on The high cost of criticism about Cambodia’s human rights engagement and The end of the road for the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

It’s incredibly important to me that we’re presenting you with innovative, nuanced, and insightful perspectives on Southeast Asia. A crucial component in achieving that goal is ensuring that the authors represented on New Mandala come from diverse countries, genders, backgrounds, and career stages. This commitment to diversity only strengthens the conversations we’re able to have about where Southeast Asia is, where it has come from, and where it’s going. To that end, I will monitor the types of authors we are publishing on New Mandala and at the end of the year report back to you on where we’re succeeding in this commitment to diversity and where we need to strive to do better.

Finally, as New Mandala continues to evolve and grow, so too does its governance structure. There is now a New Mandala Advisory Board chaired by Dr Marcus Mietzner and you can see the full details on the About New Mandala page. I’m especially grateful to some long standing members of the New Mandala family who have agreed to continue their connection by serving on the Advisory Board.

That’s all from me for now. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve got an article you want to pitch, and I look forward to working with (and for) our readers and contributors.


My favourites

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.

Reforming higher education in Malaysia: combating entrenched patronage and racial politics

Pakatan Harapan had promised academic freedom and institutional autonomy for public universities. Can it—or will it—deliver?

Mental health care in Indonesia: short on supply, short on demand

If he’s serious about building Indonesia’s “human capital”, Jokowi should make mental health a policy priority.