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Colonial Service and Academic Distinction: The Professional Lives of O.W. Wolters

Colonial Service and Academic Distinction: The Professional Lives of O.W. Wolters

A lecture by Prof. Craig Reynolds, Centre for Asian Societies and Histories, Australian National University

Thursday, April 13, 2006
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall (10th floor)
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

O. W. Wolters (1915-2000) was, by the 1970s, unarguably the most influential historian of early Southeast Asia writing in the English-speaking world.  His History, Culture and Region /in Southeast Asian Perspectives/ (1982, 1999 rev. ed.) is probably his most well-known work. This was his second career. From 1938 until 1957 he was a member of the Malayan Civil Service (MCS). A specialist in Chinese, he served in various provincial posts in western Malaya, ending his career as Head of the Psychological Warfare Section, a position that involved supervising the translation of anti-communist propaganda. In this talk I will draw some connections between his scholarship and his earlier career as a colonial official in the MCS as well as address more general issues about his life as a scholar.

Craig Reynolds has taught in the Centre for Asian Societies and Histories, Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University since 1995.  He holds a PhD in Southeast Asian History from Cornell University.  His research interests are the modern politics, history, and culture of Thailand, and the history of Southeast Asia more generally. He is the author of many articles and books in these fields, among them an edited volume, National Identity and its Defenders: Thailand Today (Ciang Mai 2002) and Seditious Histories: Contesting Thai and Southeast Asian Pasts (Seattle 2006).

Parking in Lot 3 costs $8.


Cost : Free and open to the public.

BarbaraGaerlan
310-206-9163
www.international.ucla.edu/cseas/
cseas@international.ucla.edu

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies