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Mission & Priorities

The UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) promotes independent research and innovative teaching about the histories, languages, societies, and cultures of Southeast Asia and its peoples.

Lying to the south of China and east of India, Southeast Asia encompasses eleven contemporary states: Burma ( Myanmar), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, and East Timor (Timor Leste). Peoples of Southeast Asian descent today live in every corner of the globe, including Southern California where the CSEAS is based.

The CSEAS was established in 1999 with a mission to take a leading role in defining the place of Southeast Asian Studies in the U.S. for the 21 st century. To that end, its activities have been guided by the following priorities:

  1. Build an outstanding group of faculty in the social sciences, the humanities and the professional schools at UCLA, and at other campuses in Southern California.
  2. Facilitate cutting-edge research about Southeast Asia, by providing excellent research facilities, fellowships, administrative support, and opportunities to present and publish new work;
  3. Develop a Southeast Asian language program that can serve the needs of Southern California, and provide national leadership in the way languages are taught and studied.
  4. Build coherent programs of study, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which include intensive language training and direct experience in Southeast Asia;
  5. Expand and improve educational resources related to Southeast Asiaby conducting teacher training seminars, and promoting new pedagogical methods and technologies;
  6. Build partnerships with, and encourage meaningful exchanges among, academic institutions, community organizations, and individuals with an interest in Southeast Asia.

In 2000, the CSEAS joined with the Center for Southeast Asia Studies at UC Berkeley to form a consortium. The same year, the consortium was designated a US Department of Education National Resource Center for Southeast Asian Studies, one of only seven in the country.

For more info please contact:
Barbara Gaerlan

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