Traveling Nation-Makers: Transnational Flows and Movements in the Making of Modern Southeast Asia

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Edited by Caroline S. Hau and Kasian Tejapira

Cross-border movements are often discussed as a high-level abstraction, but people cross borders as individuals. Their lives are reshaped by the experience, and in some cases they in turn reshape their own environment. For the ten individuals whose biographies appear in this volume, "travel" and its contingent and uneven processes of translation, circulation, and exchange helped forge patterns of political thought and action, and defined their contribution to the process of nation-making in Southeast Asia. Mariano Ponce, Pham Hong Thai, Hilaire Noulens, Vu Trong Phung, Du Ai, Lin Bin, Ruam Wongphan, James Puthucheary, K. Bali, Connie Bragas-Regalado, and Imam Samudra each "traveled" within and beyond Southeast Asia.

The accounts in this book discuss how travel shaped their lives and careers, and explain the transformative effects it had on the intellectual, political, and cultural trajectories of nationalism, communism, Islamism, and other movements in the region. The volume illuminates some of the pathways by which people in this region worked to realize their intellectual, aesthetic and political visions and projects over the last tumultuous century. 

"Clearly the complexity of these ten life stories and the insights to be derived from them defy adequate summary in a short review. However, they are brought together very effectively by Hau and Tejapira, not least because of their own clear and thoughtful introductory framing of the book...The editors are to be congratulated for having marshaled a group of scholars writing about political subjects with diverse geographical and historical biographies into sticking to this collective task and framing."
Tim Bunnell


Caroline S. Hau is a Professor with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. She is also the author of The Chinese Question: Ethnicity, Nation, and Region in and Beyond the Philippines.

Kasian Tejapira is Associate Professor of political science at Thammasat University in Bangkok. He is the author of numerous academic publications and a dozen books in both Thai and English. He is also a noted columnist and was formerly a radical activist and guerrilla fighter in the jungles of northeastern Thailand.


Kyoto CSEAS Series on Asian Studies 3
Publication Year: 2011
320 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-547-7, Paperback

NUS Press and Kyoto University Press