Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty Profiles
         
 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR JOHNSON, IRVING CHAN
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

       
Appointment: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Office: AS3/06-14
Email: seajic@nus.edu.sg
Tel: 65163171
Fax: 65-67776608
Homepage: http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/seajic/
  
 
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LINKS:
| Brief Introduction | Teaching Areas | Current Research | Research Interests | Publications |

Brief Introduction Top

I am a social anthropologist having graduated from Harvard University in 2004. I had completed my undergraduate education at the then Southeast Asian Studies Programme (SEASP)(prior to it becoming a Department) in 1996. My years at the SEASP were amazing and it culminated with me writing an Honour's Thesis on the Kelantanese Thai Nuuraa - a love magician extraordinaire and his cultural identity in Malaysia. My interest in Kelantan's Thai community saw me through graduate school where I focused on anthropological concerns with borders, encountering and multiple histories in the forging of Thai ethnicity in Malaysia. When not teaching or doing research, I enjoy painting traditional Thai murals and doing Balinese masked dance. I also have a cat named Phad Thai.


Teaching Areas Top

I teach a number of classes each year. In the 2012 Academic Year I taught the Freshman centered class: Southeast Asia: A Changing Region (SE1101E) with its 450 student cohort. I also teach my specialist class on Thai traditional art (SE3224) and on traditional dance in Southeast Asia (SE2224). In the second semester of each year, I teach my Freshman Seminar module on Supernaturalism in the region.


Current Research Top

I continue my research on the cultural identity and strange history of Kelantan's Thai population. My most recent stirrings have been on looking at Thai artists in the state and how they learn and interpret their art. This is a new way of thinking about art and anthropology. I am particularly interested in researching how anthropologists who are also artists conceptualize their work. This stems from my own dual social identity as academic but also temple painter. Linked to this is my interest on thinking about cultural pedadogy in Bali. How do Balinese 'teach' dance and how does this shape the way their imagine their cultural worlds. Fascinating stuff.


Research Interests Top

My research interest can be listed as follows: 1. anthropology 2. art 3. marginality 4. mobility and borderlands 5. Buddhism 6. Thailand, Malaysia, Bali


Publications Top

BOOKS/MONOGRAPHS AUTHORED

  • The Buddha on Mecca's Verandah, University of Washington Press, 2012.

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