Podcast with Eric C Thompson, author of “The Story of Southeast Asia”

Kâtip Çelebi's Cihânnümâ 1648 (Wikimedia Commons) Kâtip Çelebi's Cihânnümâ 1648 (Wikimedia Commons)

Does Southeast Asia “exist”? It’s a real question: Southeast Asia is a geographic region encompassing many different cultures, religions, political styles, historical experiences, and languages, economies. Can we think of this part of the world as one cohesive “place”?

 

 

The Story of Southeast Asia, Eric C Thompson (NUS Press, April 2024)
The Story of Southeast Asia, Eric C Thompson (NUS Press, April 2024)

Eric Thompson, in his book The Story of Southeast Asia, suggests that we can, as he tells the region’s history from way back in prehistory, through its time as Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, the introduction of Islam and Theravada Buddhism, and ending in the present day.

Eric C Thompson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the National University of Singapore. He is author of Unsettling Absences: Urbanism in Rural Malaysia (NUS Press, 2006), co-author of Attitudes and Awareness Towards ASEAN: Findings of a Ten-Nation Survey (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008) and Do Young People Know ASEAN? Update of a Ten-nation Survey (Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute, 2016) and co-editor of Southeast Asian Anthropologies: National Traditions and Transnational Practices (NUS Press, 2019) and Asian Smallholders in Comparative Perspective (Amsterdam University Press, 2019).


Nicholas Gordon has an MPhil from Oxford in International Relations and a BA from Harvard. He is a writer, editor and occasional radio host based in Hong Kong.