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For Postgraduates

International Summer School in Southeast Asian Studies 

Southeast Asian states have been described as being strongly oriented towards the future, prioritizing modernization and development. In recent years, however, the past seems to have taken on renewed relevance in the region. In this intensive two-week course, The Return of the Past: Memory Making and Heritage in Southeast Asia (24 February - 7 March 2014), students and lecturers from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany), Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia), and Universiti Sains Malaysia (Penang) will discuss memory and its transmission as a social, cultural and political phenomenon. We will compare hegemonic state-centred narratives about the past with bottom-up popular memories in order to understand how multiple identities are formed, contested and modified. 

Structure of the course

In the first week of the summer school, lecturers from various disciplinary backgrounds (history, political science, anthropology) will introduce students to some of the main theories on memory and heritage and give them insights into important research that has been done on these issues in Southeast Asia. Participants will be expected to read the assigned literature beforehand and will be encouraged to interact with fellow students from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Universitas Gadjah Mada and Universiti Sains Malaysia throughout the duration of the program. During the second week, participants will form small groups and visit various pre-colonial, colonial and contemporary memory sites in the Yogyakarta region and will speak with people connected to these sites. Each group will present its findings on the final day of the summer school. Alternatively, participants may choose to present a proposal for their MA/PhD theses if they wish to continue their research on this topic.

Confirmed speakers

• Prof. Dr. Vincent Houben (Humboldt)
• Prof. Dr. Bambang Purwanto (UGM)
• Dr. Sri Margana (UGM)
• Dr. Olivia Killias (Humboldt)
• Dr. Lye Tuck Po (USM)
• Dr. Soon Chuan Yean (USM)
• Ms. Rosa Castillo, M.A. (Humboldt)
• Ms. Aleah Connley, M.A. (Humboldt)


Successful candidates will receive an allowance from USM’s International Office to cover the round-trip travel from Penang to Yogyakarta. Travel within Indonesia will be arranged. Accommodation will be provided free of charge. A limited food allowance will also be provided, There will be no additional fees for participating in the programme.

How to apply

Advanced M.A. and Ph.D. students at USM, particularly those with backgrounds in Asian or Southeast Asian Studies, are encouraged to apply. Short-listed candidates will be called for an interview with the academic coordinators on 16th December 2013.

Applications should include a CV and a one- to two-page letter of motivation indicating reasons for applying, main fields of interest, and the relevance of the topic to the applicant’s broader academic objectives, and be sent (in PDF-format) to the following email addresses no later than 13th December, 2013:

Dr. Soon Chuan Yean: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Lye Tuck Po: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



The 5th Social Sciences Postgraduate National Seminar- 16 DECEMBER 2013





Staff News

Recent retirements:

Lim Hong Hai

Francis Loh Kok Wah



Three long-serving staff left the school in September: Professor Francis Loh Kok Wah (top right) and Associate Professors Lim Hong Hai (top left) and Angeline Cheah (left).

There is much we would say, had we the words. For those who were touched and inspired by their presence, mentored and trained by them, and enjoyed their enlivening presence at meetings, no words are adequate. Simply this, then: thank you, farewell, and here's wishing them happy trails ahead!



Long-serving administrative and support staff Teh Gaik Lan and Lee Sok Eong retired in 2011. They were followed by Professor Amir H. Baharuddin (Economics section), who took up a new position at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM). In January 2012, Ismail Baba, Associate Professor in the Social Work section and the-then Dean of the school, also retired and moved to UUM. Most recently, we bid farewell to administrative staff members Amnah Shariff and Mohamad Shahul Hamid. 


Associate Professor Salfarina Abd. Gapor has left to take up a new position in Albukhary International University, Alor Setar, Kedah. Visiting Professor John Spores (Social Work) has completed his tenure at the school and returned to the United States.

We will miss these colleagues and wish them the best of all luck in their new endeavours.

New staff: 

We extend a warm welcome to the following:

Shariffah Suraya binti Syed Jamaludin and Arzura Idris have joined the permanent teaching staff. Shariffah is now Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Sociology, and Arzura is a Lecturer in Political Science.

Nguyen Thi Tung Uyen, Muhamad Fadhil Nurdin, Christopher Hodshire, and Bala Raju Nikku have joined Social Work as Visiting Lecturers. Olivia Killias (Lecturer at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) joins us as a Visiting Fellow. Further information on our Visiting and Postdoctoral Fellows can be found here.

Support and administrative staff changes:

Ahmad Zaki Talhah Mohd Zain is the new Assistant Registrar. Wan Nurul Husnaa binti Wan Azmi replaced Arzura Jaffar as the Executive Secretary to the Deputy Dean (Research and Postgraduate), and Aniza Abdul Malik replaced Raffidah Hussain as Assistant Administrator.

The 2009-2012 team of administrators (Dean, Deputy Deans, section Chairs,and Programme Co-ordinators) completed its tenure at the end of 2012. We thank these colleagues for their service. The list of current administrators is here.


For Undergraduates

Untuk makluman Pelajar Pra-siswazah PPSK.
Semua pelajar Tahun Akhir [warganegara MALAYSIA sahaja] DIWAJIBKAN melengkapkan Kajian My3S secara dalam talian. 
Sila rujuk fail  .PDF  berikut.
pdf img undergraduate
Terima Kasih.

Tawaran Biasiswa Bagi Program ASEAN Leaders Fostering Program 2013/2014

Sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa Pejabat Antarabangnsa telah menerima maklumat daripada ASEAN university Network (AUN) berkaitan Tawaran Biasiswa bagi Program Pertukaran Pelajar dalam bidang Information and Communication Technology, Social Sciences & Humanities.

Sehubungan dengan itu, bagi pelajar yang berminat untuk menyertai program ini, sila dapatkan butiran lanjut serta Borang Permohonan daripada Pejabat Am, C06, Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan, dengan kadar segera.

Dimaklumkan juga, Borang Permohonan ini perlu dihantar kembali ke Pusat Pengajian selewat-lewatnya 01 Julai 2013.


Terima Kasih.


Pejabat Timbalan Dekan

(Akademik - Prasiswazah & Siswazah)

Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan


School Seminar Series

School of Social Sciences Seminar Series

Seminars take place on Fridays in the Conference Room, building C23, unless otherwise noted. For further information, please contact the office of the  Deputy Dean (Research & Postgraduate)

2 CPD points; all are welcome; attendance compulsory for all School of Social Sciences Fellowship and GA holders.


28 September 2012, 10 am
Constitutional Aspects of General Elections
Datuk Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi
Emeritus Professor, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

8 June 2012, 10 am
Studying Elections and Democracy in Malaysia: A Survey and Review
Francis Loh Kok Wah
Professor, Political Science section, School of Social Sciences, USM

18 May 2012, 9:30 am
2012 US Elections
David Yepsen
Director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 

23 March 2012, 10:30 am
Towards Ethnobotanical Comparison of the Jah Het and Ka’apor
William Balee
Professor, Tulane University 

Call for papers

The 5th Social Sciences Postgraduate National Seminar- 16 DECEMBER 2013




International Workshop

An international workshop will be held on the 13th-14th December 2012. Organized by USM's School of Social Sciences, the workshop will take place on school premises.

Beyond Borders: Connectivity and Identities of Change in East Asia

For decades, the nation state has served as the epicenter of human activities. Various programs have been developed and engineered to integrate the differing segments of a territorially bounded society in the quest of creating a homogenous national identity under the so-called concept of nation building.

Nation building was and continues to remain an incomplete process. Ethnically homogenous states may find nation building less challenging since they have fewer differences when compared to ethnically heterogeneous states. In East Asia, well established states with longer histories like South Korea and Japan may have a stronger national identity than poorer and developing states particularly in Southeast Asia but all states including China are finding it increasingly difficult to balance nation building and the forces of globalization. Such forces, be it in the political, economic or social realm, impact societies in varying degrees and create complexities that go beyond a state’s capability to address or manage effectively.

Globalization as understood by the shrinking of the geopolitical boundaries, the flow of new or unprecedented ideas, and the enhancing of connectivity across time and space, thus, challenges not only states but societies by demanding for change. Changes are welcome if they are seen as beneficial and resisted if they are viewed as destructive. In reality, however, it is complex since changes affect different segments of a society in differing ways and it is precisely this that the project seeks to untangle and discuss. The differing speed, direction and scope of changes or transformation that states and their societies experience are what define the dynamics of the East Asian region.

The purpose of this call for paper is to identify some of the major global and regional forces that have affected societal changes within East Asia, the kind of ‘connectivities’ that form or shape identities, how those ‘new’ identities are perceived by the state, and whether states engage other state and non-state actors in utilizing the same forces to preserve, if not enhance, their nationhood.

It asks, among many, what are some of the observable forces of globalization that have contributed to societal changes? What would those changes be, particularly within the context of East and Southeast Asia? How has connectivity through the shrinking of time and space shaped new identities within and without state boundaries? Do those new identities run parallel to state goals or do they challenge conventional norms? Are states passive actors or do they utilize globalization in ways that ensure their survivability, and if it’s the latter, how do they do it?

While the list is non-exhaustive, below are areas we have identified for the workshop. Should you have a topic or idea that does not fit into any of the areas, please feel free to write in for further discussion.

  1. Migration and Identities
    1. the impact of foreign workers and expatriates
    2. the patterns of intercultural marriages
  2. Governance and Identities
    1. the role of political institutions, human rights and the rule of law
    2. the role of states and regional organizations/institutions
    3. the building of security communities
  3. Economic Processes and Identities
    1. economic regionalization processes
    2. the role of foreign direct investments
    3. mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
  4. Family and Identities
    1. the changing role of family institutions
    2. transnational issues on gender and ethnicity
  5. Civil Society and Identities
    1. issue-oriented grassroots movements
    2. the role of domestic and trans-border non-governmental organizations
  6. Syndication and Identities
    1. the role of transnational organized crimes and human trafficking groups
    2. the impact of illegal trade, money laundering and scams


If you are interested to participate, kindly submit an abstract of not less than 400 words and your CV to Dr. Chin Yee Whah (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 9 November 2012.

Financial assistance will be provided for selected international participants. Submission of draft papers is required prior to the workshop. Selected papers will be compiled and published as an edited volume.  




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