Risha Lee studies South Asian art and architecture, focusing on the architectural history of southern India. She has interned in the Drawings and Prints Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the South and Southeast Asian Art Department at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Her recently completed dissertation, "Constructing Community: Tamil Merchants in India and China, 850-1281," studies the exchange of art, people, and ideas between India and China. She received her doctorate from Columbia University in 2012 and her BA from Harvard College in 2002, and has held teaching positions at Columbia University and the American University of Beirut.
Sugata Bose is Gardiner Professor of History and Director of South Asia Inititative at the Harvard University. He is author of several publications including A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire (Harvard University Press, 2006) and His Majesty's Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle against Empire (Harvard University Press, 2011). He was a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997 and gave the G.M. Trevelyan Lecture at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Tana Li is Visiting Senior Fellow at NSC. She is currently a senior fellow at the College of Asia and Pacific Studies, the Australian National University. She is interested in maritime and environmental histories of Vietnam and southern China, from the 2nd BCE to the late 19th centuries. Her works includes The Nguyen Cochinchina (SEAP, Cornell 1998); Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750-1880 (co-ed with Cooke, 2004), Gulf of Tongking Through History (Co-ed. with Cooke and Anderson, 2011), and Anthony Reid and the Study of the Southeast Asian Past (Co-ed with Geoff Wade, ISEAS, 2012). Since 2010, Li Tana has developed interests in environmental history of Vietnam and has been a CI of two Australia Research Council Linkage Grants, on “Southeast Asia's global economy, climate and the impact of natural hazards from the 10th to 21st centuries” (2010-2013), and “Hazards, Tipping Points, Adaptation and Collapse in the Indo-Pacific World” (2015-2019). Both projects are led by James Warren of Murdoch University. In ISEAS, Dr Li will be working on a manuscript about the maritime history of Vietnam. She will also devote time in leading an international collaborative project, “The Making of the Red River”, which is financially supported by the Chiang Chingkuo Foundation, Taiwan. This study of the ecological history of the Greater Red River region is carried out by a team of historians, geologists, and GIS experts based in Austria, France, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
Tansen Sen is Associate Professor of Asian history and religions at Baruch College, The City University of New York. He received his MA from Peking University and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He has special scholarly interests in Buddhism, Sino-Indian relations, Indian Ocean trade, and Silk Road archeology. He has done extensive research in India, China, and Japan with grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Japan Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
He is the author of Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 (University of Hawai’i Press, 2003). He has co-edited China at the Crossroads: A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Victor H. Mair (special volume of Asia Major, vol. 19, issues 1-2, 2006) and guest edited a special issue of China Report (December 2007) on the connections between Kolkata (India) and China. He is currently working on a monograph that examines cross-cultural trade in Asia during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a collaborative project on the Southern Silk Road, and creating a Web site to archive the history and experiences of the Chinese community in India.
Thomas Borchert was a Visiting Research Fellow at NSC and an Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont in the United States. He is interested in contemporary forms of monasticism, particularly within Theravada Buddhism, and also in religion and politics in China and Thailand. He is currently working on a manuscript on the local, national and transnational conceptions of Buddhism through practices of monastic education among the Theravada Buddhists of Southwest China. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2006.
Tony Day grew up in Washington D.C., received a B.A. (cum laude) in History and Literature from Harvard University in 1967 and a PhD in Southeast Asian History from Cornell University in 1981. In 1967-1969 he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Calapan, Mindoro Oriental, the Philippines, and from 1978 to1998 he taught Southeast Asian and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. In 2004-2005 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University and a Fellow of the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. From 2006-2012 he was a part-time visiting professor of history at Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.
Tony Day's publications include Fluid Iron: State Formation in Southeast Asia (2002); Clearing a Space: Postcolonial Readings of Modern Indonesian Literature (2002), edited with Keith Foulcher; Identifying with Freedom: Indonesia after Suharto (ed., 2007); and Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia (2010), edited with Maya Liem. He is currently Regional Editor for South East Asia Research. In August 2013 he moved to Singapore with his wife and youngest son.
Dr Albert Tzeng, an IIAS-ISEAS Postdoc Fellow, studied chemistry and psychology in National Taiwan University before obtaining postgraduate degrees in sociology in London School of Economic (MSc, with merit) and University of Warwick (PhD). His PhD thesis, Framing Sociology in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore traces and compares the post-war introduction and development of the Western discipline of sociology in the three Asian island states, and seeks to interpret the patterns and contrasts in light of the regional geopolitics and the distinctive historical-political context of each case. His paper presented in 2010 ISA Congress won the RCHS Young Scholar Competition Award.
Prior to his academic pursuit, he had worked as editor, marketing professional, legislative assistant, election campaign manager and author of a travel book in Taiwan. The versatile career trajectory drove him to develop a core concern on how various forms of knowledge are socially and historically produced, disseminated, assessed and employed in contemporary society. This core concern is translated into a wide range of intellectual interest that includes sociology of knowledge, science and technology studies, intellectual history, education studies and political theories.
Victor H. Mair is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a specialist on medieval vernacular Buddhist literature and, for the last two decades, has led an international team of scholars and archeologists investigating the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age mummies of the Tarim Basin. His most recent publications are two edited books, Secrets of the Silk Road (Santa Ana: Bowers Museum, 2010) and, with Mark Bender, The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).
Wang Bangwei is Professor at Peking University, Beijing. He has published several books and articles, mostly in China, but also in Japan and some European countries. His studies include the history of Chinese Buddhist pilgrimages and the accounts of Xuanzang and Yijing. Other works address the history of Sino-Indian cultural relations. He is also a member of the Nalanda Mentor Group which is coordinating the project to re-establish a new Nalanda University in India
Yuanfei Wang is a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in Chinese literature and history of the late imperial period. Her doctoral dissertation analyzes how late Ming and early Qing literati perceived and depicted Java, Siam, Japan, and the Manchu state and how these stories conveyed the literati's political opinions about the court, border issues, and the empire.