Monday, September 11, 2006

G4T #40: Defining Modernity in Asia (graduate research workshop)

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related post (click on the title above to download the .mp3 file)

This week's Geography for Travelers podcast starts a series of recordings that I will be doing that come out of a couple of meetings that I attended in Singapore last week. The first was a graduate student workshop about doing research in Asia. I was one of four keynote speakers at that workshop, and today's podcast is an edited recording of my talk. The title was "Defining and Redefining Modernity in New Asia." Not exactly tourism, but closely related. The sound quality of the recording was not ideal, but I think I edited it to a level that can still be listened to. Let me know if I am wrong.

The second meeting was a three-day conference on Asian tourism in Asia. I hope to put presentations by other people from both meetings up over the next couple of months, along with some soundseeing audio. Both meetings were sponsored by the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore.

Here is the abstract of my presentation from the Workshop program:

I will discuss the issue of meaning of modern and traditional in contemporary Asia, with a focus on the East and Southeast Asia. In my 30 years of living and studying in Asia, the contradictions between the modern and the traditional in these societies (especially in the built landscape) have always been of particular interest. I will present some theoretical perspectives on this topic, and my own opinions. This will, hopefully, lead to a discussion of the challenges of researching modernization in Asia.