Blog Archives

Should Colleges and Universities Entertain Discredited Arguments?

Via Savage Minds, I recently came across an interesting discussion of contentious ideas and the role of colleges and universities in entertaining them. The issue at hand is whether colleges and universities ought to entertain presentations by people like Charles

Posted in Culture, Current Affairs, Teaching

Can Culture be Appropriated?

The recent hullabaloo from Oberlin about poorly-executed dining hall food as cultural appropriation has raised new concerns about the “new culture wars” on campus. Most reactions that I have seen negative: students viewed as hopelessly naive, misguided, or blind to

Posted in Culture, Politics, Teaching

Race at the All-Valley Karate Tournament

I am certainly not the first to have noticed that the entire Karate Kid franchise has some, well, fraught issues with race. But still. How is it possible that in 1984, in Southern California, at an event called the All-Valley

Posted in Asia, Culture

Ideology and the Political Economy of American Football

Nothing says America like the Super Bowl (except, maybe, Apollo Creed versus Ivan Drago). And that means that the Super Bowl ought to be an occasion to reflect on who we are. I don’t have anything penetrating to say about

Posted in Culture, Current Affairs

Thoughts on Southeast Asia and Regionalism

I recently had cause to take a break from being a regular political scientist to write down some thoughts on Southeast Asian studies and the concept of region. Perhaps some readers will find these interesting. Decentering Southeast Asia The concept

Posted in Asia, Culture, Research

S'up Mas Bro?

Around both Jakarta and Jogja on this recent trip, I saw the slang-y phrase “Mas Bro” everywhere. I’d seen it before, but it seems much more common this trip than before. “Mas Bro” is a uniquely Indonesian construction. It combines

Posted in Culture, Indonesia, Language

The Sinosphere and Southeast Asia

On Language Log, an interesting discussion about what the term “Sinosphere” means. Southeast Asia figures prominently here, of course, but not in a way which conveys any confidence that the contributors know anything at all about the region. For example,

Posted in Asia, Culture, Language, Politics

Chinese Indonesians in China

Following up on the recent post on Chinese Indonesians, I had a fascinating conversation with several colleagues from Kyoto University about Chinese Indonesians who have “returned” to China. Our focus was not on recent flows of comparatively wealthy Chinese, but

Posted in Asia, Culture, Indonesia, Politics

Juggaloes and the Critique of Rationality

Rationality has something of a bad name these days. Unlearning Economics has an interesting comment on the critique of rationality in economics, and Marc Bellemare has noticed as well. If rationality is problematic for economics, then it is doubly so

Posted in Culture, Economics, Music, Research

Culture and Development: Short Notes

Just in time for today’s lecture on economic development in Southeast Asia, and a week after the Asian values (or “listing our stereotypes of Asians”) class, a beautifully sarcastic post by Noah Smith on culture as an explanation for Chinese

Posted in Culture, Research, Teaching
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