Traveling Nation-Makers

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Traveling Nation-Makers:
Transnational Flows and Movements in the Making of Modern Southeast Asia.
Caroline S. Hau and Kasian Tejapira, eds. February, 2011.


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.

Caroline S. HAU is Associate Professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. 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.