What do you do with a gang of monks who have been condemned to death for immorality? If you are King Rama II of Siam (1809-24), you commute their sentences to hard labor, which consists of making them cut grass for your elephants every day. This is one example of the sometimes quirky humanity of the Chakri Dynasty, which, as royal houses go, is a relative newcomer, having been founded only in 1784.

Run Me to Earth opens in war-torn Laos in 1969. Three teens—Alisak, his friend Prany and Prany’s younger sister, Noi—freelance in a ruined French villa now serving as a makeshift hospital. They care for each other, ride motorcycles through obstacle courses of unexploded ordnance, and are looked after by, and look after, Vang, a young doctor who finds his own refuge in an abandoned piano and alcohol.

Hearing Southeast Asia: Sounds of Hierarchy and Power in Context, Nathan Porath (ed) (NIAS Press, July 2019)
Hearing Southeast Asia: Sounds of Hierarchy and Power in Context, Nathan Porath (ed) (NIAS Press, July 2019)

Drawing on examples from Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, the authors discuss some aspects of sound in relation to their ethnographic context.

Southeast Asia's Modern Architecture: Questions of Translation, Epistemology and Power, Jiat-Hwee Chang (ed), Imran bin Tajudeen (ed) (NUS Press, January 2019)
Southeast Asia’s Modern Architecture: Questions of Translation, Epistemology and Power, Jiat-Hwee Chang (ed), Imran bin Tajudeen (ed) (NUS Press, January 2019)

What is the modern in Southeast Asia’s architecture and how do we approach its study critically? This pathbreaking multidisciplinary volume is the first critical survey of Southeast Asia’s modern architecture. It looks at the challenges of studying this complex history through the conceptual frameworks of translation, epistemology, and power.