1 ISSUE 34 n Autumn 2009 Alumni p3 Highlights of 2009 p8 Nizam Uddin ULU President p10 When History Goes Nuclear p12 We met at SOAS
2 2 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Letter from the Director Greetings Alumni, This summer has been very busy. As well as holding the 7th Music Summer School, SOAS took part in WOMAD 2009 (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival again this year. We also held three graduation ceremonies, which saw our largest ever number of finalists. As I mentioned to the assembled gathering this year, despite having been through many graduation ceremonies, I still get a lump in my throat every time! We were delighted to be able to welcome as Honorary members of SOAS businessman and philanthropist Sir Joseph Hotung, former leader of the House of Lords Baroness Valerie Amos, International Development and Women s Studies Professor Cynthia Enloe, Southeast Asian historian Professor Victor Lieberman, and anthropologist Professor David Parkin. Details of their distinguished contributions to public life are on our SOAS website. Colleagues in the Development and Alumni Relations team have been busy during the academic year with a programme of social events and informal gatherings for alumni worldwide. I also visited Brunei (7-8 July 2009) and although it was a short visit, it was immensely enjoyable, and I am keen to return. I enjoyed meeting our alumni at a lunch namely: Pengiran Dato Paduka Osman Patra who is now Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister s Office, Datin Paduka Hajah Maimunah D P Elias, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Pengiran Datin Paduka Hajah Masrainah Ahmad, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Wherever I go on School business, it is a pleasure to meet up with alumni and I look forward to meeting more of you in the course of the new academic year. We look forward to welcoming you back at SOAS, too. Paul Webley Director and Principal of SOAS World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) A yurt was the temporary home of SOAS students Binisa Bonner and Julia Higgins and Student Recruitment staff Anja Funston and Chantal Bougnas when the SOAS team took part this summer in WOMAD 2009 at Charlton Park, Wiltshire. This is the third year that the School has held world music workshops at the Festival in order to showcase SOAS internationally renowned Music Department and inspire new musical talent to join. Binisa Bonner (left) says: I already knew about, and was interested in, SOAS before the festival, but I was encouraged to submit an application at the 2007 WOMAD and that is what resulted in my being here. I just completed 2nd year of the BA Music Studies and am going into my final. The instruments I was studying last year were tabla and South Indian Classical singing. Julia Higgins (right) is also entering the second year of an MMus Ethnomusicology. She teaches and studies amadinda (Ugandan log xylophone) and xylophone. WOMAD, which drew 30,000 people, was co-founded by singer Peter Gabriel. The Saturday headline bill was a fundraiser for Witness, his human rights charity, founded in For information about the Music Department, visit: P.S. SOAS men s football team Football Beyond Borders, cheered off by Channel 4 TV newscaster Jon Snow, has completed a 28-day football tour of the Middle East. Aerial view of SOAS from Senate House Front cover Thomas from series Funkstyles Erika Tsuchiya-Bergère. Above From left to right: SOAS team Binisa Bonner, Anja Funston, Chantal Bougnas and Julia Higgins.
3 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn News in Brief Honorary Fellowships 2009 At the 2009 graduation day ceremony Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Baroness Valerie Amos, Professor Cynthia Enloe, Professor David Parkin, Professor Victor Lieberman and Sir Joseph Hotung. Existing, and new, award recipients and distinguished guests were honoured at a special dinner in the Brunei Gallery, which was especially themed for the occasion, with flower decorations and dishes chosen to reflect the regions studied at SOAS. Graduation 2009 The Graduation ceremonies for undergraduates and postgraduates were organised over three days this year (22-24 July), to accommodate the School s growing numbers. After receiving their degree awards in the Logan Hall, Institute of Education, this year s recipients gathered for a reception in a marquee, set up in the square between Birkbeck and SOAS, to celebrate the culmination of their studies. The ceremonies were streamed on the SOAS website so that friends and family who were not able to travel to the ceremony, could watch it live, via the web. For details, visit: Climate Change and Development Nobel Prize Winner Dr Rolph Payet launched a new postgraduate distance-learning module Climate Change and Development, run by SOAS, at his guest lecture on 28 May 2009 at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A copy of the study pack for the course was presented to him by Professor Andrew Dorward, Academic Director, Centre for Development, Environment and Policy. Dr Payet himself is a beneficiary of distance learning (CeDEP, SOAS alumnus 2006). His lecture outlined the human failures that have led to climate change and provided his blueprint to tackle it in Countdown to Copenhagen: What Next for Climate Change and International Development? Payet, from the Seychelles, was lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize jointly awarded to the IPCC and Al Gore. Iran: Thirty Years On A two-day conference on Iran, organised by The Centre for Media and Film Studies (5-6 June 2009), brought together some of the best-known practitioners in the media and contemporary arts inside Iran. Academicians and theoreticians examined the impact of contradictory social and cultural developments on the lives of people in Iran since the revolution. Debate ranged across social issues and changing values, from rap music and blogging to issues affecting women and young people. Celebrated Anglo-Iranian comedians Patrick Monahan and Shappi Khorsandi and musicians from alternative, underground bands SIMORGH, FONT and special guests provided evening entertainment for participants. Professor Annabelle Sreberny, Director, and Dr Massoumeh Torfeh, Research Associate, of the Centre for Media and Film Studies are co-editing a selection of the conference papers for IB Tauris series Iran and the Persianate World. The event, held in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS, was supported by: the Iran Heritage Foundation, BBC World Service Trust, The London Middle East Institute, Documentary Experimental Film Center, Cultural Centre of Islamic Republic of Iran London, Al Tajir Foundation and Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association, amongst others. For details, visit: Armenian Returns From autumn 2009 Armenian Studies will be taught again at SOAS, thanks to sponsorship from the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. Dr Igor Dorfmann- Lazarev and Mr Krikor Moskofian have been appointed Senior Teaching Fellows for a Certificate (or degree unit) covering history, culture and literature and an introduction to West Armenian language. Three bursaries are available this year. Acknowledgements Special thanks to all of the alumni, staff, students and friends of SOAS who have contributed to this issue. SOAS Photography: Glenn Ratcliffe Designed by Falconbury Printed by Quadracolor on 100% managed paper stock. Please send all correspondence to: The Editor Alumni Newsletter SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG Website: Copy deadline for next issue: 30 November The views represented in the Alumni Newsletter are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the School.
4 4 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 News in Brief Taiwan Studies to grow Taiwan Ambassador to the UK, Madame Chang Siao-Yue (left) and SOAS Director and Principal, Professor Paul Webley celebrate the signing of two agreements on 12 June The agreements with Taiwan s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education will provide continued funding to the SOAS Centre and a new three-year Postdoctoral Fellow in Taiwan Studies. From 2010 a new BA programme will join the only MA degree in Taiwan Studies outside of Taiwan and China. For details: India-UK Leadership Development Programme SOAS Vice-Principal Professor Nirmala Rao SOAS hosted a return visit of Indian Vice-Chancellors to the UK, June 2009, in the second phase of the Leadership Development Programme. Vice- Chairman of the University Grants Commission (India), Professor Ved Prakash, led the Higher Education delegates. The Chief executive of the Leadership Foundation, Ewart Wooldridge welcomed the participants who attended an evening reception at the Indian High Commission hosted by His Excellency Shiv Shankar Mukerjee. Dr John Hood (Vice Chancellor, Oxford), Sir Alan Wilson (Director General of Higher Education, Department for Education and Science), and the Quality Assurance Agency were amongst speakers during the visit. Participants also attended a dinner at SOAS, before dispersing across the UK to visit their twinned universities. Professor Nirmala Rao, Associate Director for the Donor Board Unveiling In Honour of Mr Mehraban and the late Mr Faridoon Zartoshty 23 March 2009 saw the unveiling, in the foyer, of the School s new donor board, which features the names of SOAS most generous benefactors. A special ceremony was held to honour Mr Mehraban Zartoshty, and his brother, the late Mr Faridoon Zartoshty, its newest additions, whose good thoughts, good words, and good deeds helped to support Zoroastrian Studies. For details: Katie Nugent (Communications and Events) or project, hailed its success and welcomed the positive feedback from participants. She forecast further rounds of the programme involving a wider range of universities. APT STAIRS Appropriate & Practical Technologies for Students, Teachers, Administrators and Researchers is a major project, involving all six Bloomsbury Colleges, to test new, online, collaborative ways to bridge the gap between tech-savvy students and less technologically advanced staff members. The new SOAS Research Students Society used Google Docs (a free online word processing, spreadsheet and presentation application), for example, for their registration process, and to share ideas on how to create new web pages. Collaborative technologies can improve the way we do things; gentle introduction of simple technology can encourage new methods of working, learning and teaching, says Sarah Sherman, Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE) Service Manager. The Joint Information Systems Committee, for the Bloomsbury Colleges, funds the project. For details: HIV and AIDS Bloomsbury Colleges PhD Studentships were awarded to both the Development Studies and the Economics Departments, for research into HIV and AIDS. Human rights and development in sub-saharan Africa is to be jointly supervised by Dr Michael Jennings (SOAS), and Dr Matthew Weait (Birkbeck); and A Tanzanian Case Study: Assessing the Role of Structural Drivers in the HIV/ AIDS Pandemic by Dr Deborah Johnston (SOAS) and Dr Justin Parkhurst (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). A fresh boost for Distinctiveness The School has bid successfully for continued funding for its specialist subjects, including minority languages, from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). As well as teaching Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, the School is also the only British Higher Education provider for Amharic, Bengali, Burmese, Georgian, Gujarati, Hausa, Malay/Indonesian, Nepali, Sinhalese, Somali, Swahili, Tamil, Tibetan, Urdu, and Vietnamese. SOAS students are encouraged to study a language, from elementary level upwards. Linguistic skills combined with regional knowledge, cultural awareness and disciplinary excellence are a SOAS hallmark.
5 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Debunking the myths of China-Africa relations The Africa-Asia Centre, a new research collaboration between SOAS and the Royal African Society, held a seminar series in the spring term at SOAS and at the London International Development Centre to examine China s impact on everything from geopolitics and aid to mining and food prices. World Music Summer School New Role for Lady Judge Boost to Japanese Studies Dr Christopher Gerteis was appointed Sasakawa Lecturer in Contemporary Japanese Political History in the History Department. The post, one of 13 such lectureships, is part of a UK-wide initiative funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and The Nippon Foundation ( One of the largest injections of recurrent external funding that the discipline has ever received ) to give a new impetus to Japanese studies in the UK. Summer School in Dakar The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (represented by Elizabeth McGrath) in association with SOAS Centre of African Studies (represented by Professor Chris Cramer, Angelica Baschiera, Dr Carlos Oya and Dr Jonathan Di John) and CREPOS research institute, Dakar organised a Summer School, 30 March 4 April, in Dakar, Senegal, on the topic of Governance and Development in Africa. Twenty-five participants, selected from more than 250 applicants attended the first in a series of planned residential schools to be held each year in a different African country. Details: Angelica Baschiera on soas.ac.uk / moibrahimfoundation.org Winner of first prize in Spoken Business Japanese Ms Agnieszka Le Roux (2nd from right) with runners-up at the Sir Peter Parker Awards marks the 20th anniversary of the contest SOAS 2006 Eighteen different traditions of world music from Afro-Brazilian percussion and Balinese Gamelan to Klezmer, Mongolian Overtone Singing and Ugandan Drums and Xylophones filled the air for the 7th year running at SOAS. For details: or Visit by UK Border Agency The School has written to the Home Secretary following a visit by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) where nine cleaners from SOAS cleaning contractors ISS were detained and later deported. The incident, which happened on 12 June, caused a great deal of distress to the SOAS community and led to a protest on campus. The London Middle East Institute (LMEI) has an interim Director, Dr Sarah Stewart, while it recruits for the position vacated by Professor Bob Springborg, who has taken up a new post at the Naval Postgraduate School, CA, USA. The 19th Sir Peter Parker Awards First Prize in 2009 for Spoken Business Japanese went to Ms Agnieszka Le Roux, The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubushi UFJ Ltd. This year s speeches for the awards, established in 1990 by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), London and the Language Centre can be viewed online at: awards/sppa/winners2009 Lady Barbara Judge, Chair of SOAS Governing Body (right) with Vice-Principal Professor Nirmala Rao Lady Barbara Judge, Chair of Governing Body, will chair the School s International Advisory Board and the Advisory Council of the London Middle East Institute (LMEI) when her four-year term as Chair of Governing Body comes to an end in December A sub-committee of Governing Body has been set up to identify a successor who should be in post for Library Transformation Architects John Maslin and Partners have presented draft design plans for the Library Transformation project, to be completed in two phases between now and 2011, to modernise its services and space for users. The works will help to ensure that the Library keeps its status as a HEFCE designated National Research Library. Phase one, costing 3.3m, includes improvements to reception, music practice rooms, language resources and increased seating for readers. John Robinson, appointed in March 2009 as Director of Library and Information Services is overseeing the project. Contact Ladies and Gents Last but not least SOAS has invested 1.2m in a complete overhaul of all the WCs in the Philips Buildings: new floors, ceilings, and fittings are to be installed.
6 6 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Research and Teaching Matters A Study of Old Kanembu in Early West African Qur anic Manuscripts and Islamic Recitations has received 381,730 under a joint-funded Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and Arts and Humanities Research Council initiative to promote collaboration between Germanand UK-based humanities researchers. A previously undocumented sacred language (Tarjumo) and manuscripts at least 600 years old discovered in northeastern Nigeria by team members Dr Dmitry Bondarev and Dr Abba Tijani will form the focus of the research project led by Professor Philip Jaggar and Ahmad Achtar at SOAS, with the Asien-Afrika Institüt, Hamburg University (Professor Roland Kiessling and colleagues). Caucus of African Ministers of Finance Professor Emeritus John Weeks spoke to the Caucus of African Ministers of Finance at their meeting (11-12 August 2009) in Freetown, Sierra Leone, as they prepared a common agenda in anticipation of the annual IMF-World Bank meeting in October 2009 in Istanbul. He is currently advising the Minister of Finance of Sierra Leone, Samura Kamara on macroeconomic policy. Growing into Music Music Department members Dr Lucy Duran and Dr Angela Impey have both been awarded Arts and Humanities Research Council ( Beyond Text ) Scheme grants. Dr Lucy Duran and co-researchers received 496,872 for a three-year project, which will explore how children from eight diverse cultures become performers in oral musical traditions and how music is communicated between adults and children. An award of 89,870 enables Dr Angela Impey to collaborate with Professor Robert Ladd (University of Edinburgh) researching the songs that form a vibrant part of the Dinka cattle-based socio-cultural system: Metre and melody in Dinka speech and song. The two projects began in January 2009 and will run for three years. For details: New MSc in Dubai The Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CEFIMS) launched a new University of London MSc in Finance and Financial Law in Dubai. Professor Laurence Harris, Dr Richard Alexander and colleagues will give lectures at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The Law Society for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredits the programme. Anthropology of Islam A two-day conference with panels chaired by members of the Department of Anthropology and other SOAS colleagues and invited speakers took place from 1-2 July 2009 at SOAS. Studying at a distance with the Centre for Financial and Management Studies Wherever you are now based in the world, you can continue to benefit from the reputation and expertise of SOAS through our flexible mode of learning. Studying at a distance offers a flexible and cost-effective development opportunity. You can integrate your studies into your working life without having to take a career break and can immediately apply your skills and knowledge. We currently have 2,000 students enrolled on our courses in over 160 countries. (Visit where Daren Pietsch, MSc Finance and Financial Law, 2007 outlines his experience of distance learning.) To find out more about our programmes and mode of study, visit: www. cefims.ac.uk or phone +44 (0) SPECIAL GUEST LECTURE Staff Awards The Future of Water Emeritus Professor Tony Allan delivered the Royal Society of Chemistry Distinguished Guest Lecture in January He also received the medal of the Society marking the occasion. Korean History Emeritus Professor Martina Deuchler (Department of History) received the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Award for Distinguished Contributions to Asian Studies at their annual conference in March 2009 in Chicago, USA. Sitara-e-Imtiaz Dr David Matthews FRSA (Department of South Asia) has been awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistan Government for services to Pakistan literature. Dr Matthews taught Urdu and Nepalese languages at SOAS for over 30 years and since retirement has taught Urdu in the SOAS Language Centre. Inaugural Award STOP PRESS: CHOMSKY DRAWS RECORD CROWD Professor Harry West, Dr Jakob Klein and Professor Johan Pottier (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) received the inaugural Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) 2009 Excellence Award. Fellow of the British Academy Graham Furniss, Professor of African Languages and Literature and Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise) has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy, one of up to 38 UK-based scholars elected annually for distinction in any branch of the humanities and social sciences. He is an expert in oral and popular cultures of Africa, was founding President of the International Society of Oral Literature in Africa (ISOLA), and editor of the Journal of African Cultural Studies. Crises and the Unipolar Moment, a Guest Lecture by Emeritus Professor Noam Chomsky, the American linguist and political activist took place on 27 October 2009 in the Logan Hall, London, co-sponsored by SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy and the Department of Development Studies. For further information, please visit SOAS website: Photo Donna Coveny
7 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Director s Teaching Prize 2009 At the graduation ceremony on 24 July Dr Lucy Duran and Carlos Chirinos were awarded this year s Director s Teaching Prize, for developing a degree programme course Presenting World Music on Radio. The course focuses on developing the practical skills to present and produce world music on BBC and UK community radio, and was developed from Open Air, the student radio project, which began in Runners up included Dr Gina Heathcote (Department of Law) for her postgraduate course International Laws on the Use of Force, particularly a practical exercise where students participated in a Model UN Security Council session. Professor Colin Shindler (Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East) was also highly commended for his innovative teaching, linking original research with an emphasis on critical thinking, and Dr Saurabh Gupta (Development Studies) for truly inspiring teaching. For details of this and other awards and staff news, visit: UK Jurists Award 2009 Professor Werner Menski Werner Menski, Professor of South Asian Law, has been presented with the 2009 UK Jurists Award, in recognition of his unique achievement in legal education. The Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Senior Law Lord and designated first President of the UK Supreme Court (from October 2009) presented the award at the International Conference of Jurists for Judicial Reform, held on 14 June 2009 at Crown Plaza Hotel, Buckingham Gate, London. Based at the School of Law, Professor Menski is an expert in the law and legal systems of South Asia and Africa. He was nominated for the award for his contribution to creating an understanding of ethnic minorities and different legal systems, his published work on Indian and Hindu law, and for his academic work on the legal position of ethnic minorities in the UK and other countries. Celebrating Graduation 2009 The Alumni Relations team had a strong presence at Graduation this year. Graduands were given free alumni bags and ice cream (kindly sponsored by Brake Bros).
8 8 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Student life Nizam Uddin (2008) has been elected University of London Union Student President for , the first SOAS candidate to take up the post What have been some of the highlights of this last year, as SOAS Students Union Co-President and member of Governing Body? My aim for the year was to make the Union as inclusive as possible and encourage more and more people to take part in our activities. As such, the amazing attendance at our Union General Meetings was a tremendous highlight, whereby students from all political persuasions, backgrounds and religions came and debated policies. A particular favourite was seeing the pool prices in the Bar decreased to 50p. That s true democracy right there! Other highlights have included the amazing cultural shows, the various campaigns and cementing the very crucial representative role the SU plays within the School. We are the biggest stakeholder in the School and it has been rewarding to consolidate this, demonstrated by our active presence on the Governing Body and regular meetings with the Directorate. What will your new role involve? The position of University of London Union President, argue some, is a poisoned chalice. ULU has been in decline for a few years now, but its potential to be a representative juggernaut remains untouched. My role is ultimately to realise this potential. The challenge of representing over 120,000 University of London students was too great to pass, and my mission will be to make an impact on the lives of these students, enhancing their student experience. I will be tackling London-wide issues such as travel, safety and accommodation to name but a few. National and global campaigns will also be core to what I do; it s destined to be a challenging and interesting year, so watch this space! It is the first time a SOAS student has been elected to this position. With all University of London students being eligible to vote, it s no wonder students from the bigger colleges usually get elected. The decline of ULU combined with general student apathy helped me get elected for sure, but with competition from LSE, UCL and Queen Mary, I like to think my friends in other campuses had a big say and for that I am extremely grateful. Do you have any particular hopes for next year? My hopes for next year are actually quite simple. I want to ensure ULU becomes the force it can be, representing its constituents effectively, and using that force to inflict positive and progressive change, both on the student population of London and their surrounding communities. A by product of this process will also be self-development, which will hopefully entice other strong candidates to take ULU on, thus leaving a positive legacy. It is the first time a SOAS student has been elected to this position. With all University of London students being eligible to vote, it s no wonder students from the bigger colleges usually get elected. The Styles of Modern Chinese Literary Language (Chinese 405) a new course launched in 2008 in the Department of China and Inner Asia has successfully run for the first year, reports Cui Yan, course creator and convener. The course not only delivers knowledge of different styles of modern Chinese literary language through the analysis of modern Chinese literary texts, but also provides the opportunities for the students to use the target language to discuss relevant issues. The first year s intake gave very positive feedback on the course: It boosted my confidence with written Chinese, wrote one, another appreciated the chance to look in depth at a range of Chinese poetry and literary styles, a third found inspiration to read more Chinese literature. The project was Students of modern Chinese literary style gathered on 27 May 2009 on the steps of SOAS with their teacher Cui Yan Back row, left to right: Fabrizio Massini, Jonathan Wong, Ayub Chaudry, Ben Fraser and Carlos Casanova. Front row, left to right: Geraldine May, Yan Cui, Oda Fiskum, Subei Wu and Douglas Fonibini funded and supported by the SOAS- UCL Centre for Excellence in Teaching Languages of the Wider World (CETL). Elementary Chinese Listening used in BA Chinese language teaching since its creation by Cui Yan in 2005, as another CETL project provides structured listening from absolute beginner level upwards. It is based on native Chinese speakers using language in realistic situations such as: shopping, asking directions, visiting the doctor, and it is available free online at: elementarychinese
9 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Brunei Gallery Beautiful handmade tapestries Fancy Stitch Group: Contemporary Tapestries from Southern Africa (9 October 12 December 2009) is currently on show in the Brunei Gallery, an exciting central London venue for art, photography and sculpture from around the world. For those of you who weren t able to make it, the spring term saw a fine show of ceramics: The World in Monochromes: An Oriental Ceramic Society (OCS) exhibition, which opened at the Brunei Gallery (16 April 20 June 2009). Following on from The World in Blue and White (London, Bath and Glasgow, 2003) and The World in Colours (Brunei Gallery, 2006), it completed a trilogy of exhibitions on decorative techniques in Asian ceramics. The 290 pieces on display, spanning over 4,000 years, came from the collections of OCS members and were selected to show the beauty, diversity and technical accomplishment of ceramics decorated in a single colour, as well as the creative and technical skills of work, which have inspired potters in the West ( If you missed Geometry, Illumination and Beyond: A contemporary artist s dialogue with structure and form in Iranian manuscript illumination, which took place at the Brunei Gallery (16 April 20 June 2009) or Kazakh Craftswomen of Mongolia s Rich Cradle, an exhibition of textiles and traditions (9 July 19 September), do keep an eye out for up and coming Brunei exhibitions. At the time of going to press these include Design and Nature: a photography exhibition of waterwheels in Syria and China (9 October 12 December 2009). Details of forthcoming Brunei Gallery exhibitions in 2010 are available on our website: The Fancy Stitch Group: Contemporary Tapestries from Southern Africa OCS members Mr John Booth and Professor and Mrs John Coates
10 10 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 When History Goes Nuclear Interview with SOAS alumna Dr Jahnavi Phalkey, winner of the 2008 Sardar Patel Award Scholarship student Jahnavi Phalkey completed a BA Politics, History and Economics at Elphinstone College, Mumbai and an MA Politics (Indian Studies) at the University of Mumbai, before joining SOAS in on a Felix Scholarship. Following her MSc Politics of Asia and Africa at SOAS, she had the choice of two postgraduate research offers: an Eiffel Scholarship to study at Paris (Science Po), or funding to study at New School University in New York in Instead she chose to do a PhD at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, from where she graduated in 2007 with a PhD History of Science. After your MSc (Politics of Asia and Africa, 1996) at SOAS, why Georgia Institute of Technology? Georgia Tech was the only history of science programme I had applied to, and when my admission was approved with full funding, I decided to take up the offer. It allowed me to change my field of study for something exciting and completely new. What was clear to me at that point was my dissatisfaction and discomfort with the questions and methods dominating research in South Asian politics, but I doubt I fully understood where history of science would take me.. How did you first become interested in research into nuclear science and education? It was indeed a lucky coincidence, I think, that Professor John Krige came to the Georgia Institute of Technology the same year as I joined the programme. He came to us from the Centre de recherche en histoire des sciences et des techniques, Paris. I found his courses on history of science intellectually stimulating, and more so, his approach to history writing, incredibly inspiring. It was during his courses on Cold War science and technology that I began to think seriously of the Indian context. The post-war period has often been called the Nuclear Age or Atomic Age. The centrality of the nuclear question to post-war history, global or local, was unavoidable. Like all historians of science, I was training in history of science of the American-European world, but given my previous training as well as my interests, I was thinking of questions that needed answers in the Indian context. Eventually, I found my question in the first pages of George Perkovich s robust chronicle on the Indian bomb. The absence of an adequately detailed narrative of the Indian nuclear program s evolution has consequences. It has impaired the Indian polity s capacity to debate with adequate knowledge what has been done in the nuclear field, by whom, for what reasons, and at what costs. George Perkovich, (1999): 11. I was going to write an adequately detailed narrative of the nuclear field in India, which in hindsight, and only in hindsight, has been called a narrative of the Indian nuclear programme s evolution. Are you drawn into political debate, or are you able to steer a neutral course? The research has not been easy. I came back empty handed from at least one threemonth long archival trip to India. The notion of secrecy and security that somehow appear inseparable from the nuclear question, make it quite difficult to access archival sources. I always fore-grounded my interest in the establishment of nuclear physics in India, emphatically making it clear that I was not asking questions about nuclear energy or weapons research. That helped gain access to many a collection and laboratory that I could not have previously imagined. That having been said, neither physicists nor historians engaged with nuclear matters in one way or another can claim innocence of the meanings of their work. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is hard work to separate interest in nuclear research from aspirations for global prestige or military might. My work is also then, a comment on the emergence of the nuclear field in India! What course I have steered, and if successfully, I want to leave for readers to judge. What are your career plans now? I have just finished a year of teaching at Georgia Tech-Lorraine in France - the European campus of Georgia Institute of Technology. I was to teach another year, but I have just been offered a research fellowship for three years at Imperial College London! So I will be back in London after all! At Imperial, I will write about nuclear research in India between 1964 and I will build upon my own doctoral research and take it further in time into a more distinctly American decade of nuclear research, where questions of weapons and energy, both, become realistic. Now this, more than my doctoral work, I am convinced, will be the test of steering clear of controversial debate and writing robust history! Ref: George Perkovich, India s Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). Dr Jahnavi Phalkey was awarded the Sardar Patel Award 2008 for the best doctoral dissertation on modern India, submitted to any American university. Her Georgia Institute of Technology dissertation was entitled Science, State-Formation and Development: the Organisation of Nuclear Research in India She has a contract with Permanent Black Press, India for her book The Importance of being Nuclear: Science, State formation and Development in India with negotiations in progress for co-publication with a US publisher. The Sardar Patel Award, is an annual award of $10,000, first conferred in Endowed by the Los Angeles-based Friends of the Sardar Patel Association, it is administered by the UCLA Center for India and South Asia, USA. For details of the Felix Scholarship programme, contact: João Silva (DARO)
11 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn In the News... SOAS Alumnus receives prestigious BBC award Dawood Azami (MA International Studies and Diplomacy, 2006) Senior Producer and Desk Editor at the BBC World Service has won the BBC Global Reith Award for Outstanding Contribution, which was presented by Sir David Attenborough on 12 March 2009 at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, London. He has been an inspiration to audiences through his original approach and enthusiasm when tackling controversial issues, successfully showcasing his cutting edge content across all platforms TV, Radio and Online, said Richard Sambrook, Director of the Global News Division, And his courageous investigative journalism has made a real impact on our audiences around the world. Dawood has been working as a broadcast journalist with the BBC World Service for ten years covering international news and current affairs. He specialises in politics, security and culture in South and Central Asia and the Middle East (especially Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey). His investigative features include Sufism in Turkey (2004), Globalisation of Conflict and the Tribal Areas (on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan (2003) and Drug production and addiction in Afghanistan and the wider region (2007). He studied Geography and Political Science at graduate level and holds three Masters degrees, the third from the Centre of International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS. He speaks Pashto, Urdu/Hindi, Persian/ Dari and English. Dawood writes poems and short stories, and was a member of the Poetry Translation Centre, SOAS. For information on CISD visit: Keep an eye out for Dawood Azami s January 2010 guest lecture at SOAS Photo BBC High Honour for Dr John Marr The President of India Smt PD Patil conferred Padma Shri on Dr John Marr (SOAS Honorary member; alumnus Tamil, with Sanskrit, summer 1953; PhD Early Tamil Literature, University of London, 1958) at a ceremony on 31 March 2009 in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India. The Government of India award, the fourth highest civilian honour, was in recognition of a lifetime s distinguished contribution to literature and education. Dr Marr is a former member of staff in the Department of Indology ( ) and Honorary General Secretary of the Bhavan Institute of Indian Culture in West London, where he has taught since Thirty-one Padma Sri awards, including eight for literature and education, were announced in the Republic Day Honours list for 2009; Dr Marr was one of only three recipients from outside India. Alhambra Award for Excellence Ahmed Mukhtar is a product of the Iraqi school of Oud playing. His music reflects its history, its sadness and its mysticism. His playing takes you to the cafés, alleys and minarets of Baghdad. (Baghdad Newspaper) Ahmed Mukhtar (former Music department student in performance, including Middle Eastern and Arabic Music) received the Alhambra Award for Excellence in the Arts at the 9th Muslim News Awards on 15 April 2009 at London s Grosvenor Hotel. The Baghdad-born oud lute master has performed throughout the Middle East and Europe, releasing four CDs. For music video clips of him playing oud, visit: Syrian entrepreneur named Young Global Leader Technology and media entrepreneur Abdulsalam Haykal (MA International Studies and Diplomacy, 2002), our SOAS alumni contact in Damascus, Syria was named a Young Global Leader by the Genevabased World Economic Forum (WEF). He is among WEF s 200 most distinguished young leaders in 2009, and the only Syrian selected. He is founder and CEO of Transtek Information Systems and Haykal Media, and President of the Syrian Young Entrepreneurs Association. (A video interview with him is on Arabcrunch.com, the professional blogging site for start-up techs and companies.) Performance storyteller Writer Sally Pomme Clayton (MMus Ethnomusicology, 1999) has been telling and writing stories since 1984, and co-founded the Company of Storytellers with Ben Haggarty and Hugh Lupton. Recent performances include at The Barbican, 11 Downing Street, the British Museum, The Sage Gateshead, Wales Millennium Centre and The Wellcome Collection.
12 12 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 We met at SOAS O ne of the biggest wrenches of graduating is having to wave goodbye to friends, as job hunting or new careers beckon. Here in the Alumni Relations office we have become accustomed to seeing a cloud of dust settle as the most recent batch of graduates disappear eagerly off over the horizon for pastures new. However, for the sentimental amongst you, we can anticipate that more and more of you will write in, your messages tinged with nostalgia: Whatever happened to my friend S she was studying Arabic, I think, in 199? Requests to be put back in touch with an old friend are top of the list, but ten, twenty, thirty or more years on these can often be quite vague: I m looking for M (She was studying for an MSc, I think, and lived in Paul Robeson hall in the first year. She had black hair, if it helps) or Please pass on my contact details to Z, I think he studied Music, maybe Dotted here and there amongst the routine messages whatever happened to my old friend (lost through repeat house, telephone or moves) an occasional message leaps out as coming from an old flame! This office can only speculate what thoughts are running through the enquirer s mind. Where is [insert name of long, lost love] now? Are they single? married? happy? I wonder what they are doing now? And are these reflections followed by selfrecriminatory ones: if only I hadn t gone to Tibet/abseiled off a mountain/taken up accountancy or left without giving him/ her (or the Alumni Relations office) my forwarding address? Alumni, you will be glad to hear we do not give out your contact details direct (under Data Protection law). But we will pass on the request and try to give these old friendships (or, who knows, even Cupid) a helping hand. Then it is up to the recipient to respond to this call from the past. For alumni who vanish after leaving SOAS, we are left in the dark as to what happened next? But some of you took the brave step of responding to our request (in the last issue of the SOAS Alumni Newsletter) to drop us a line if you had met your partner at SOAS and were still going strong. From those kind enough to reply, we can at last if only for a handful of couples provide a glimpse into what happened next because in their words: We met at SOAS. The Deffontaine family A grammar course does not seem the likeliest of venues for romance to blossom, but for our first couple this is where they met It was during our In-sessional grammar improvement courses for international students, writes Begoña Deffontaine- Rodrigo, that love started and it has lasted since then...15 years! We met at SOAS in January My husband-to-be Yann Deffontaine was doing his PhD in African History and I, Begoña Rodrigo, an MA (Area Studies) China. Let me introduce you to my SOAS Family! We have three children, ages 10, 8 and 6 years old, we live in Versailles and work in Paris. We don t have much time to travel but we are sure to visit SOAS with our children, very soon!!! The student halls of residence have produced two of our respondents. One, Julie Mehigan dropped us a line about her brother, Aidan, announcing his marriage. Marriage of 2002 SOAS alumni! The families of SOAS MSc International Politics 2002 alumni, Charlie Ashley and Aidan Mehigan are delighted to announce their marriage in August 2009 in Ireland. After having met in the halls of SOAS at the start of their masters course, Aidan and Charlie struck up a lasting friendship. After pursuing their careers in very different parts of the world (Charlie in Jerusalem, Aidan in London) they met again, and the rest, as they say, is history.
13 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Our next couple were not only in the same halls of residence, but also on the same course and had the same group of friends. Kiran and Blaise Grover Blaise and I both joined SOAS to study History of Art and Archaeology in We both were staying at Hughes Parry Hall and quickly fell into the same group of friends (who we are still in touch with). We were both a bit wilder than we are now and it took us seven years and a group holiday to Tuscany to get us together! On holiday we got on really well as usual and one night we stayed up talking and when we returned home we were inseparable. Eight years on, Blaise works at the BBC World Service and I am a professional Homeopath, we have married (once in a Sikh Gurdwara and once in a Catholic church), have one toddler and are expecting our second child! Thank you to SOAS for the great education and introducing us to each other. Siti Muti ah Setiawati and Luqman Hakim Although the next couple did not meet at SOAS, alumna Siti Muti ah Setiawati (MA Near and Middle Eastern Politics, 1990), and her husband Luqman Hakim (MSc Southeast Asian Politics, 1991) were already married with a five year old son, but Siti did wait a whole year for her husband to complete his Masters, and if that is not devotion! Siti writes: I spent three years in London doing my Masters. It should have been one year but I had to take one year for an English course, and one year waiting for my husband Luqman Hakim to finish his Masters, since I came a year earlier than him. We really had a great time during our stay in London, my oldest son, Sani also joined us. At that time Sani was only five years old, now he has just finished his BA in Politics and will be carrying on his Masters in Paris under a Total French Oil Company Fellowship. I am sure his English ability is influenced very much by his experience during his stay in London. May I take this opportunity to look for my classmates such as Sabrina Roth al Marzuki, Dave, Tyffun Attay and Maria O Shea. I am looking forward to hearing from you all soon. I am now a lecturer at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia and my main subject is Middle Eastern Politics. Wedding group a very informal wedding picture, writes Frances. We are surrounded by our friends from SOAS. Among those she identifies are: Dr Haidari (Persian Studies) on the left, and School departmental secretaries Angela Faragher (2nd from left), Margaret O Donnell (4th from left), Frances and David (centre), Nora Shane (5th from right), Daphne Pulham (2nd from right) and Joan Oliver (on far right). The Raderechts Chinese was the language of love for our final couple the Raderechts who look forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in David Raderecht came to SOAS as a RAF Chinese linguist. His wife-to-be Frances was working in the Oriental Law Department. Frances Raderecht (née Ford): From early 1956 until 1961 I was Departmental Secretary to Professor J N D Anderson, Head of the Oriental Law Department. In 1956 I took part in a Christmas pantomime, Ali Baba, that was organised by some of the instructors, staff and students at SOAS. I was a slave girl. During the course of this pantomime I met a number of the RAF Chinese linguist students who were serving their National Service at the college. One of them was David Raderecht, who would later stay on to take his full degree in Chinese Studies graduating in We were married on 9 July In 1961, together with our baby daughter, we moved to Hong Kong where David worked as a Chinese linguist for GCHQ. The six years we spent there were an exciting time made more so by the Cultural Revolution in China and the war in Vietnam. In 1963 our son was born. In July 1968 we left Hong Kong and, with our two children, we emigrated to Vancouver, Canada. David worked as an accountant in Canada, and gained his Certified General Accounting degree. I worked for Canadian Airlines for twenty years. We both retired in September 1998 and we have four grandchildren. We travel to the UK quite frequently and sometimes visit SOAS with our friend Nora Shane who recently retired from an administrative position * at SOAS. ( * Including in the Alumni office. Greetings, Nora, from your colleagues!) Frances Raderecht (née Ford), Secretary in the Oriental Law Department, as the Slave Girl in Ali Baba, the SOAS Christmas Pantomime for To see the full cast photograph of Ali Baba, visit To search for your former classmates, register online at: Student Days Alumni, send a photograph with a few lines. We d love to hear from you!
14 14 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Profile Erika Tsuchiya-Bergère Funkstyles in London Erika Tsuchiya-Bergère (BA Social Anthropology, 2007) a photo editor for two years on the student magazine SOAS Spirit has completed an MA in photography at Sir John Cass School of Art. Her work is both documentary and personal and her interests include global cities, urban youth, and identity. She has exhibited lith prints of young women in the urban landscape, and her recent commissioned work of musicians is featured on her website. Her Metamorphosis piece was selected for the Photo-Open Exhibition for Photomonth Festival in Forthcoming exhibitions: Funkstyles at Vibe Gallery, Bricklane, on the London Funk Styles dancers scene (22-26 November 2009). For details of East London s Photography festival visit: Please or visit her website, Thomas from series, Funkstyles, in Photomonth November 2009 Erika Tsuchiya-Bergère
15 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Profile Dr Judith Zur Guatemala The Paintings The paintings are about survival and continuity in highland Guatemala. The images are of the artist s perceptions of the life of Guatemalans while living as an anthropologist among the Quiché Mayan in the late 1980s 90s during the aftermath of civil war. The Artist I am a trained Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist who did a conversion Masters in Social Anthropology, 1988 at SOAS and then went on to do a PhD at LSE in order to carry out a study on the psychological impact of violence in Guatemala, which I turned into the book Violent Memories: Mayan War Widows in Guatemala (Perseus Press, 1998). I then began training rural workers in Guatemala and Chiapas with the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. I now live in Oaxaca, Mexico with my husband and two daughters, Sofia and Olivia and work as a therapist and a painter. Clockwise from top left: Sisters from Nebaj (El Quiché), 2009 (48 x 54cm); Girl plaiting cane (Lemoa, Quiché), 2009 (80 x 50cm); Dancers of the Balam Kiej (Rabinal, Baja Verapz), 2008 (80 x 60cm) The technique of the paintings is oil and cold wax on canvas painted with palate knife and brush. Judith Zur is happy to accept commissions. Images Dr Judith Zur
16 16 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Associations Former SOAS students Jemima Khan (MA Middle Eastern Studies, 2003) and Fatima Bhutto (MA South Asian Studies, 2005) chose the School s library as the backdrop for a recent photo shoot (Vogue, October 2009). The incoming and outgoing Alumni Relations Managers Zeba Salman (left) and Victoria Moss (right) respectively took the opportunity of the surprise visit for a photo call of their own. Update With thanks to our Alumni Contacts and colleagues in the International Office, we have been able to organise a large number of alumni networking events across the world during , including gatherings in Pakistan, UAE, Canada, India, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and the USA. View photos and reports from these events at: Washington DC, USA Professor Nirmala Rao, SOAS Vice-Principal, and Zeba Salman, Alumni Relations Manager met with the SOAS DC Alumni group on 17 July Introduced by alumnus Julian Ha (BA Politics, 1988), SOAS International Advisory Board member, Professor Rao spoke about the future objectives of SOAS and the role of alumni in achieving the School s goals. Led by Abdul Kargbo (MSc Politics, 2005), the DC group are very active, with regular pub gatherings, and a social presence on Facebook and Yahoo! groups. While the original core alumni are still regulars at events, the DC group continues to attract new members and prospective students to their gatherings. SOAS DC Alumni are also expanding activities beyond the monthly happy hours to include talks, barbecues, cultural outings, and more. As the group continues to grow, Abdul and the team look forward to establishing a strong alumni community in Washington DC and fostering closer relations with the Alumni Relations team in London. For more information, get in touch with Abdul: San Francisco Washington Alumni Survey and our Prize Draw winner! More than 1,300 alumni completed the Alumni Survey 2009 and our thanks to all of you! The responses will play a valuable role in the further development of the services that we offer, and your input is key to this! Contact the Alumni Relations team for any comments, and survey results can be viewed online at Alumna, Dr Daphne Topouzis (PhD Politics, 1988) from Rome, was the lucky winner of the Alumni Survey prize draw, and received a 100 Amazon voucher congratulations! SOAS Alumni Online Community Keep informed about alumni activity, both on campus and around the world, by visiting your interactive alumni website. Details of upcoming events, news on fellow alumni and the School, alumni contacts and networks are all available online. Register your details now and take advantage of the exclusive alumni benefits and services, including forwarding, careers network and updating your online personal profile Hong Kong Shanghai Islamabad
17 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Alumni Contacts Welcome to our new volunteers. For a complete list of Alumni Contacts, visit: Korea Yeonok Chang (PhD in Ethnomusicology, 2000) is a Visiting Professor of the Centre of Korean Studies at Inje University: I came back to Korea in April 2008 after spending over 14 years in London since graduating SOAS. Back in Korea, friends that I have made at SOAS were not contactable and disappointingly, I found no one s names in Seoul on the SOAS alumni website. This is why I have volunteered to be the Alumni Korea contact. I hope many SOAS graduates in Korea (and abroad) will be in touch. Mexico Gabriela Mendoza-Correa (MSc International Politics, 2001) writes: I am currently working for the Government of Mexico in the Data Protection Agency. I have worked for the Mexican Government in the Presidencial Office and the Ministry of the Interior (Human Rights Department). I have recently finished my PhD in Social Anthropology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Mozambique Manuel de Araujo (MSc Development Studies, 2000). SOAS is my second home! writes Manuel, our Alumni Contact for Mozambique. Currently his career combines hard work, self-discipline, and a hectic schedule, travelling between the UK and Mozambique: I am a Member of Parliament in Mozambique and the Vice-Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee. I am also the Vice- President of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons ( and Chairperson of the Centre for Mozambican and International Studies (CEMO). I am finishing my PhD (part-time) at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, writing on Promoting employment and labour standards through Foreign Direct Investment - The cases of Dunavant (cotton sector), Mozal (aluminium) and Xinavane (sugar). Studying at SOAS was the best investment I ever made! SOAS is not only one of the best universities in the world but also a place were students are judged by their academic merits and lecturers and students do share pints of beer at the famous Student Union pub! The library is great and SOAS is part of the hub of learning at the heart of London (Russell Square). I was thinking of organising a launch activity in Maputo for SOAS alumni. As you may be aware the Prime Minister, the Governor of the Central Bank and other senior government officials are SOAS alumni. There are also at least three senior diplomats accredited from their missions currently based in Maputo (USA: Le Baille), Sweden (Sandra) and Japan (Akiko). Alumni in Mozambique - if you are interested in joining Manuel for an informal SOAS gathering, please do get in touch with him! Tunisia Adel A Dajani (LLB Comparative Law, 1978) writes: Our year was the first pioneering undergraduate intake for the SOAS LLB degree and it was a fascinating experience, as we covered the basic UK common law syllabus but studied it on a comparative basis with African, Islamic, Chinese and Hindu legal systems. After being called to the UK Bar, I joined HSBC and their investment bank in Hong Kong. I am now the founder of several Maghreb based financial and legal services companies: the International Maghreb Merchant Bank, the first licensed investment bank in the Maghreb; Maghreb Venture Partners, a Maghreb focused private equity company; and North Africa Advocates, a Libya based law firm. I am also co-author of the Islamic Frontiers of China, Silk Road Images. Uganda Lisa Baumgartner (MSc Development Studies, 2007) writes: I live and work in Kampala, Uganda and currently am the Country Director for a UK based charity/ Ugandan NGO called the Good Earth Trust. USA: Hawai i Brandon Hayashi (MSc International Management - Japan, 2007): Born and raised on the main island of O ahu in Hawai i, Brandon left the islands upon graduating from secondary school. He spent a year at Nanzan Daigaku in Nagoya, Japan as an exchange student and completed his dual undergraduate degree in International Relations and Japanese Studies from Hope College in Michigan. He then went on to work for a number of Japanese and Japanese American organisations where he developed a wide-range of skills in sales, journalism and non-profit management. Whilst a student at SOAS, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change s Fourth Assessment Report were published. These two important works of research, combined with Al Gore s film An Inconvenient Truth and SOAS student body -- which put forth many opportunities to discuss and challenge the established ways of thinking -- dramatically altered Brandon s career path. After much self-examination and adjusting his thesis to reflect a business model that examines energy efficiency from a systems-thinking approach, he moved to Aoteaora New Zealand where he was involved with a start-up energy service company. In September 2008, Brandon and his family decided to return to Hawai i to join the growing number of people striving to make the islands more self-sufficient and sustainable. He is currently the Energy Project Developer for Energy Industries -- Hawai i s largest home-grown energy solutions company. Whether in Hawai i or somewhere in the Pacific Rim region, Brandon encourages all SOAS alumni to make contact with him so as to meaningfully discuss and take action upon many of our inter-related challenges. Republic of Yemen Isam Ghanem is looking forward to attending the Aden College Association five-day reunion in Gold Mohur, Aden on 9 December Alumni in Aden, drop him a line!
18 18 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Classnotes Paths cross 2009 Dr Najat Benchiba-Savenius (BA, Durham; MA Linguistics, 2004 and PhD Linguistics, 2009) completed her research at SOAS last year and graduates this summer. She is pictured here presenting a copy of her thesis to HE Tim Morris, British Ambassador to Morocco at a dinner held in his honour in July 2009 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Being of Moroccan origin, it was a huge pleasure to present the Ambassador with my doctoral thesis entitled A Structural Analysis of Moroccan Arabic and English Intrasentential Codeswitching, which he is taking to Rabat with him. I very much hope that fellow second and third generation Moroccans will also contribute and achieve high standards in the near future. My work over the years has taken me to reside in different locations: Cairo, Riyadh, Casablanca, Barcelona. I have just returned from a fourmonth world trip with my husband, and currently work as a consultant in Mayfair, London. Dr Najat Benchiba-Savenius presenting a copy of her thesis to SOAS alumnus HE Tim Morris, British Ambassador to Morocco (Japanese ). Victoria Shin (MSc Violence, Conflict and Development, 2006) (top right) interviewed him in Morocco. Victoria Shin (MSc Violence, Conflict and Development, 2006) was editor of the School Magazine, SOAS Spirit and is currently living in Morocco working in micro- and infrastructure finance. She went to meet our man in Morocco, SOAS alumnus Tim Morris (pictured left). Read Victoria s Interview with HE Tim Morris, British Ambassador to Morocco, which is published at: Sarah Bennett (BA Southeast Asian Studies, 2008) is spending a year in China teaching English Haoliang Richard Wu (MSc International Management for China, 2006) obtained a BA in Business Economics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and gained an MSc in International Management for China from SOAS. Since his return to China at the end of 2006, he has been working in international trading in Ningbo, specialising in importing and distributing standard polymers in China s domestic market. He contacts petrochemical producers and traders throughout the world. Photo Jeff Overs/BBC Joanna Jolly (MA South Asian Studies, 2006) wrote to us in June 2009: In the next couple of days I ll be heading out to Nepal to start my new job as BBC Nepal Correspondent, based in Kathmandu. Mr Vivek Boray (LLM, 2004) writes: I practised law in San Francisco and New York for over three years. I took some time off last year to spend a few months in India. Now, I am back in the legal world working in the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia office of a major international law firm Ms Jessie Lloyd (MA International Studies and Diplomacy, 2004) lives in Vancouver and works on business programs for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Daniel Neep (MA Near and Middle East Studies, 2001; PhD Politics, 2008) is now Lecturer in International and Middle East Studies in the Department of Politics, University of Exeter Dr Cleo Cantone (MA Art and Archaeology, 1998 and PhD, 2006): At the moment I m writing book reviews, articles and supposedly (when I m not dropping off and picking up my children from school!) completing my thesis manuscript for publication. Dr Roberto Mazza (MA Government and Politics of the Middle East, 2003; PhD History of the Middle East, 2008) has moved to Western Illinois University, USA. His first book Jerusalem from the Ottomans to the British (IB Tauris) is due out in 2009 and he plans a book launch in early new year at SOAS, where he is currently a Teaching Fellow in the History Department Charles Bennett (BA History, 1996): Since leaving SOAS, he has worked in security in Mombasa, Kenya and in D R Congo; as Regional Branch Manager (Coffee Buying) in SW Tanzania; as a research assistant to an MP on Northern Ireland matters and in in Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. In he worked in Helmand Province for a year, and is trying to get back to southern Afghanistan. He is currently based in Crete, most of the time as well as still spending some time in Ulster. He was previously a British Army (mainly Ulster Defence Regiment) Officer and also did a variety of security work after leaving the Police in Zimbabwe as an Inspector in Sign up to and send your classnotes to Copy deadline: 30 November 2009.
19 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Brooke Beardslee (BA Politics, 1988): Since graduating, I have been a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger; worked for the NYC Department of Health Bureau of Tuberculosis Control; worked for the NYC Department of Homeless Services; had two children; and now work at the International Women s Health Coalition as a Development Officer Wafa Al-Zaid (MA Islamic Cultures and Societies, 1986) is Museum Co-ordinator at the King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture, Saudi Aramco. She came to study for her postgraduate degree as a mother of two children. It was a great experience, very challenging and enriching. I met with great scholars, made lots of friends and mostly understood that there are many ways of interpreting History and it is about time to develop better communication means for better understanding Dr Carrick Richards (BA Nepali and History, 1986) requalified in Manchester in and is now a medical doctor in the Army. He writes: I m just back from Afghanistan after many years in Nepal, Brunei, Hong Kong, Korea, Belize and (even) UK. Life is interesting: always something new to get into, read up on, and see a way to making work better. I ve very fond memories of the South Asia department and people from all around then Stephen Manning (Geography, 1986) is a Visiting Professor in History at the University of Exeter where he is an occasional lecturer in Military History. He has had two books published recently - Quebec- The Story of three Sieges (Continuum) and Soldiers of the Queen (The History Press). Judge John Kassiba (Certificate Comparative Laws, 1979; LLM, 1980): Following his return home, John Kassiba was promoted in December 1980 to the Court of Appeal in Khartoum, and in 1984 to the Supreme Court. In 1998 he took up a post in the Constitutional Court. In 2005 he was brought back to the judiciary as a Deputy to the Chief Justice of the Republic of Sudan and 1986 Sir Harold (Hooky) Walker (Arabic and Amharic courses 1957 and 1986). After seven years Sir Harold Walker has handed over the chairmanship of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs ( uk) to Sir David John (SOAS Governing Body ). Hooky Walker remains President of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies ( In Memoriam Dr Alhaji Hamidu Alkali (BA Arabic, 1962) 8 July December 2008 Roy Barter MBE (Cantonese, ) Chief Magistrate in Uganda from 1957; HM Coroner for Liverpool from 1968 till his retirement in August February 2009 Professor Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy (Phd Music, 1971; SOAS Lecturer in Indian Music) International ethnomusicologist June 2009 Dr Ian J Catanach (PhD History, 1960) 21 September May 2009 Margaret Mary Kumbuka (MA African Literature, 2007) 19 April May 2009 Stuart Ludlum (BA Geography, 1974) 18 August December 2009 Terence McNamara (MSc Economics Distance Learning, 1998) Trial lawyer, Canada who died in 2008 Professor John Middleton (Professor of African Anthropology, ) 1 January February 2009 Professor Robin Moore (PhD, History South Asia, 1964; SOAS Temporary Lecturer 50s-60s) 29 April January 2009 Dr Thomas Schindlmayr (BA Geography, 1992) 10 July April 2008 Dr Ivan Van Sertima (BA Swahili, 1969) Guyanese-born historian who gained global renown with his scholarship showing African presence in the Americas before Columbus; author of They Came Before Columbus (Random House, 1976) 26 January May 2009 Professor Keng Vannsak (Lecturer in Khmer, ) Cambodian scholar and one time tutor to Pol Pot 19 Sept December 2008 Mr Joe Wright (BA Arabic, 1951) 24 August 1920 November 2008 Dr Zawar Hussain Zaidi (PhD Law) Editor-in-Chief of the Quaidi- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Papers and prominent figure of the Pakistan Movement ( ) Alan Charles Senitt (MA International Studies and Diplomacy) 26 December July
20 20 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Book Awards A selection of staff and alumni book awards in 2009 Edgar Graham Book Prize 2009 Professor Christopher Cramer (Department of Development Studies) and Professor Barbara Harris-White (member of SOAS Governing Body) are joint winners of this annual SOAS prize awarded for a work of original scholarship on development in Asia and Africa. Christopher Cramer for Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries (Hurst) and Professor Barbara Harriss-White for Rural Commercial Capital Agricultural Markets in West Bengal (OUP). Most outstanding monograph Professor Ben Fine (Department of Economics) has received the Gunnar Myrdal Prize 2009 for his collaborative book From Political Economy to Economics Method, the Social and the Historical in the Evolution of Economic Theory (Routledge, 2008) co-authored with Professor Dimitris Milonakis, Head of Economics at the University of Crete. Professor Fine will receive The European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE) award of 2,000 Euros at their conference dinner, on Saturday 6 November 2009 in De Duif church, Prinsengracht, Amsterdam. The co-authors have also published: From Economics Imperialism to Freakonomics: The Shifting Boundaries between Economics and other Social Sciences (Routledge, April 2009) in the series: Economics as Social Theory. Award for Creativity in Islamic Thought Professor Muhammad Abdel-Haleem (Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies) received The Allama Iqbal Award at the annual Muslim News Awards for Excellence, sponsored by the Foreign Office. His The Qur an: A New Translation, published by Penguin, has become a bestseller. Jane Grigson Award The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), USA has awarded Fuchsia Dunlop (MA Chinese Studies, ) with the Jane Grigson Award 2009 for her book Shark s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: a Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China (Ebury Press 2008). Fuchsia Dunlop is an internationally renowned cook and food-writer specialising in Chinese cuisine. She was the first Westerner to train as a chef at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine, and has been researching Chinese food and culinary culture since Swimming up the Tigris Dr Barbara Nimri Aziz (PhD Social Anthropology, 1974) is a freelance journalist. She was a Fulbright Scholar in and the producer and host of Tahrir: Voices of the Arab World on Pacifica WBAI Radio, New York. Her book Swimming up the Tigris: Real Life Encounters with Iraq (University of Florida Press, 2007), based on two decades of reporting out of Iraq has been received with critical acclaim. Visit: for further details. Dolman Best Travel Book Award 2009 A great travel book in the classic tradition adventurous, ambitious scholarly and humane, Michael Jacobs Alice Albinia (MA History, South Asia, 2003) has received the 2009 Dolman Award for Empires of the Indus, an epic travelogue, conceived while she was working as a journalist in India for several years. Alice travelled along the 2,000-mile course of the Indus river through Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir to its source in Chineseoccupied Tibet charting its history. At the ceremony, she dedicated the award to her guide who now lives in a refugee camp because of the fighting, and said how her journey along the Silk Road through the Swat Valley would now be impossible since the Taliban have taken control of the area. The Dolman Award ( 2,500) was established in 2005 by the Reverend Dr William Dolman and is administered by the Authors Club. For an interview with Alicia Albinia, visit: 40th Anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Studies Embodied Communities: Dance Traditions and Change in Java (Berghahn, 2008) by anthropologist and filmmaker Dr Felicia Hughes-Freeland, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Swansea University has been published in Indonesian (Gadjah Mada University Press, 2009). Her monograph is based on PhD research at SOAS (1980-6) and a further 13 years of longitudinal research. Dr Hughes-Freeland is organiser of the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Studies of the UK (ASEASUK) conference, September 2009 at Swansea University. She writes: This is the first time that the conference will be held in Wales. As this occasion will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Association, the fact that this is the first time that it has been organised by a woman is something which does not reflect so well on Southeast Asian studies in Britain, and I hope that younger women working in the region will take up the challenge to make their mark in this field.
21 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Spotlight Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press 2008) by Duncan McCargo (MA Area Studies South East Asia, 1990; PhD Politics, 1993) Professor of Southeast Asian Politics, School of Politics and International Studies University of Leeds. This is the first fieldwork-based monograph on the political violence in Thailand s southern border provinces that has claimed more than 3,500 lives since Duncan McCargo spent a year driving around the troubled region in an old Mercedes, talking to hundreds of people. He concludes that the conflict is not about religion, drugs or smuggling, but derives from Bangkok s reluctance to give local people more jurisdiction and authority over their own affairs. Duncan McCargo: I have been working on the politics of Thailand the subject of my SOAS PhD for the past twenty years. During this period I have become increasingly critical of mainstream depictions of Thailand and fascinated by complex problems that seem to illustrate important latent contradictions. Since at least 2004, the violent conflict in Southern Thailand has been a case in point: more than 3,500 people have been killed in a Malay-Muslim majority area of the country, mainly by unnamed militants who have not made any public declaration of their objectives. Building on academic links the University of Leeds had already been developing for several years, I was able to spend a year based at the Prince of Songkhla University in Pattani. Driving myself around in an old Mercedes, I conducted hundreds of interviews across Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, trying to understand the religious, political and security dimensions of the conflict. It turns out that very few politics academics actually do fieldwork in conflict zones, and I had to evolve my own research methods pretty much as I went along. People were constantly asking me if I felt scared, but luckily this is a low-intensity conflict in which foreigners have not been targeted, and during the project I realised that I am not of a particularly nervous disposition. My work has generated a lot of interest, and I ve given 23 conference papers and 32 seminars on the South of Thailand in ten countries, not to mention several policy briefings. I ve now published two books and other papers on the conflict (an earlier edited volume, Rethinking Thailand s Southern Violence, came out from NUS Press in 2007), and I am getting ready to move on to a new project about the politics of justice in Thailand. This is a very important book because of the courage it took to research, the new information it conveys, and the clarity and power of its argument. Chris Baker, Bangkok Post Spotlight Jacob Whittingham (MSc Politics, 2001) Book cover designed by Inderpal Virdi I studied an MSc in International Politics at SOAS because I wanted a career that impacted positively on people s lives. However, once I d taken a job working in political consultancy, I realised that there was too much politics in politics. When a friend asked me if I d be interested in mentoring, and I started voluntary work with excluded pupils, I realised I was having more effect on people s lives than when I worked in consultancy. I decided to work abroad with young people in Ukraine, Macedonia and Lithuania to broaden my knowledge, and then started a PGC in Youth and Community work. I took a job helping to set up the charity called SE1 United, a youth forum that aims to improve the environment and opportunities for young people in South London. It s 100% youth led and we run projects that include the Youth Oscar Awards, a Radio station, and an annual Community Sports Day. (Yep, youth workers don t all drink coffee and play table tennis!) As a result of our approach to youth work, we have received several awards including the regional winner of the Nationwide Community Heritage Award 2008, and the national winner of the 4Children s National Children s Stars Awards With a sharp increase in youth violence, (Lambeth and Southwark accounted for 25% of all teenage murders in 2008 in London) including the death of a local youth, we fundraised for the Leadership Project, which focused on improving young people s educational attainments through study support sessions, self-esteem workshops, one-on-one mentoring and exchange trips to the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Morocco, and Egypt! I always believed that I needed to do more than just work with young people to affect change, and wanted to write a book about the way in which many young Black men and women define Blackness. It just seemed that too many of the people that I worked with thought that Blackness was too much about being able to dance and wear G-Star hats, and not enough about having taking care of your kids, or having a degree. So after two years, I produced What Being Black Is And What Being Black Isn t a guide about the stereotypes and the reality of what Black really means written in an unconventional style, aiming to engage young people who don t normally read. Right now, I m doing a PhD, which looks at the identity of mixed parentage children and how it effects their social development (after all, mixed parentage people are the largest ethnic minority in Britain!) My book is featured on the website: jacobandbiscuit.co.uk and will be out in October. And the SE1 United website is Jacob Whittingham (4th from right, back row) with members of the Leadership group for their SE1 United Youth Forum visit to Auschwitz, Poland in July 2008 to experience different cultures, to understand more about European history, and to learn more about ourselves.
22 22 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2009 Bookshelf A Selection of New Books by alumni and staff reflect the myriad interests of their SOAS authors. Writing for Kenya, the Life and works of Henry Muoria (BRILL, 2009) Henry Muoria ( ), selftaught journalist and pamphleteer, helped to inspire Kenya s nationalisms before Mau Mau. One of the four contributing editors to this African Sources (10) for African History publication is his daughter, Wangari Muoria-Sal, who remembers her father. Bodil Folke Frederiksen, John M Lonsdale and Derek R Peterson place his life and work in its political context. Wangari adds: In fact my father worked here at SOAS for about a year in 1953 teaching Gikuyu in the Language Department, when the late Dr Godfrey Benson was Head of Department. I have been working at SOAS for the past 18 years in admin (ten years with the Africa Department) and the last eight years as Team Leader for Student Support Office in the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. Islamic Art: Based on Al-Mansurah Evidence (Sang-e- Meel Publications, Lahore, 2009) by Dr Shahid Ahmad Rajput (MA Archaeology, 1990) ISBN-10: China in an Era of Transition: Understanding Contemporary State and Society Actors (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) by Dr Reza Hasmath (MA International Studies and Diplomacy, 2004) and Dr Jennifer Hsu. Provides important micro-analyses illuminating the tensions that underlie the Chinese economic juggernaut Professor Benjamin Ho (Cornell) th anniversary of birth of Tagore in 2011 Rabindranath Tagore: The Post Office (1912) and Card Country (1939) is translated by Dr William Radice (Visva-Bharati, 2008) with cover design Samiran Nandy; photograph Rabindra Bhavana, Santiniketan, and illustrations by Baniprosonno. www. orientblackswan.com Masterclass: Understanding Shunga: A Guide to Japanese Erotic Art (Erotic Review Books, November 2008) by Majella Munro (MA Japanese, 2007) a masterpiece of restraint. It explores Japanese boudoir and geisha culture from Hokusai to Manga comics, and its beautiful illustrations feature a thousand variations on a basic image: of two figures snuggled together in bed under voluminous bedclothes The Independent, September Turks in Europe: Culture, Identity, Integration edited by Talip Kucukcan (MA Study of Religions, 1990) and Veyis Gungor (Amsterdam: Turkevi Research Centre, 2009). Talip is Professor of Sociology and Religion, Marmara University, Istanbul; Senior Advisor to the Higher Education Council of Turkey, Ankara; and our alumni contact for Turkey. Eastern Luminaries Disclosed to Western Eyes: A Critical Evaluation of the Mu allaqat into English and French ( ) (Peter Lang, 2008) by Dr Raja Lahiani (PhD NME, 2005) who currently teaches English poetry, theories of translation and comparative stylistics at the Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Sfax, Tunisia. Joseph Tse-Hei Lee (PhD History, 2000; MA African and Asian History, 1994) is Professor of history at Pace University in New York City, USA. His latest work, Marginalization in China: Recasting Minority Politics, co-edited with Siu-Keung Cheung and Lida V Nedilsky (Palgrave-Macmillan, July 2009) offers a refreshing perspective on social marginalization in modern China. Drawing on archival research, interviews, and fieldwork, it documents how the struggles of minorities are at the forefront of an emerging Chinese civil society.
23 SOAS Alumni Newsletter Autumn Jonathan Di John (Lecturer in Political Economy of Development, Department of Development Studies, SOAS) is author of From Windfall to Curse? Oil and Industrialization in Venezuela, 1920 to the present (Penn State University Press, 2009). Required reading African Film and Literature: Adapting Violence to the Screen (Columbia University Press, 2009) by Dr Lindiwe Dovey (Lecturer in African Film and Performance Arts, Department of African Languages and Culture SOAS) The International Politics of the Persian Gulf: A cultural genealogy by Dr Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (Routledge, 2006) Middle Eastern Politics series has been republished, and brought out in Persian by Shirazeh Press, Iran. Lucidly written, persuasively researched and conclusively argued [it] presents the first comprehensive analysis of international relations in the Gulf from an explicitly multidisciplinary perspective. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is the first Jarvis Doctorow Fellow at the University of Oxford; University Lecturer in the Comparative and International Politics of the Middle East at SOAS; and author of The Clash Regime: Interactions between the West, Islam and other ideas (forthcoming). Ed Miller SOAS gets a mention Mandarin Blue: RAF Chinese Linguists in the Cold War, (Hurusco Books, 2008) by Reginald C Hunt, Geoffrey L Russell and Keith G A Scott. The authors, ex-raf Chinese linguists (RAF NO.1 Chinese Course, October 1955-September 1956, SOAS) recount the previously untold story of c. 300 young British airmen - mostly National Servicemen and some regulars who were selected by the RAF to study spoken Mandarin Chinese and sent on operational duty ( ) to the Crown Colony of Hong Kong. Drawing on restricted and classified documents in the National Archives, they describe the young men s experience of learning this new language, their travels to the Far East and their exposure to an unfamiliar culture. They seek to record a small fragment of RAF Signals history during the early Cold War Years before it fades into obscurity. For information, contact R C Hunt, 84 Butler Close, Oxford, OX2 6QJ, UK. ISBN 10: The 60s at SOAS Missing the Bus, Making the Connection: Tales and Tastes of Travel (Penumbra Press, Canada, 2009) by T A Keenleyside (International Relations, ) is a collection of humorous adventures, part travel memoir, part cookbook by former Canadian diplomat, and Professor Emeritus of Political Science. One tale touches on graduate studies during the 60s at SOAS. Miller Caldwell (MA Area Studies, Africa, 1979), our alumni contact in Scotland, has published his autobiography Untied Laces, which also covers memories of SOAS in the 60s. Contact or visit www. millercaldwell.org to order your copy now! ISBN In SOAS bookshop Equator Crossings Travelogue Extraordinary by Paul Huygelen A master story teller It reads like a 19th century novel you have caught not only the spirit of the place, but the spirit of the times. Equator Crossings Travelogue Extraordinary by Dr Paul Huygelen combines fact and fiction to recount Stanley s historic search for Dr David Livingstone and the quest to discover and define the watersheds of Africa s two gigantic rivers, the Nile and the Congo. Dr Paul Huygelen writes: In 1948, while a student at the Institute of Education, I took a [non-degree] course in Sanskrit at SOAS which at that time was next door in Senate House. Angola Thank you to Pierrette Schlettwein (BA History/Africa, 1995) for donating to SOAS L Angola colonial, histoire et société - Les prémisses du mouvement nationaliste (P Schlettwein Publishing, Switzerland, 2006), the published version of a 1983 PhD thesis by the late Dr Christine Messiant. It still remains by far the best and most complete piece of scholarly research on late colonial Angola, comments her colleague Dr Didier Péclard (MSc Politics, 1994). China Quarterly 2009 sees the 200th edition of China Quarterly published for its 50th Anniversary.
24 Umon TACHIBANA, a yose-moji master calligrapher, gave a writing demonstration and lecture in Spring 2009, organised by Dr John Carpenter, Reader in Japanese Art at SOAS. Tachibana is the 16th and latest follower of the Tachibana Ukon, the founder of the Tachibana School of Yose-moji. Yose-moji (lit. attract an audience lettering ) is the style of calligraphy used to promote yose theatre performances. The broad brush strokes leave little negative space between the lines within the characters, which is said to represent the very few, if any, empty seats one would hope to find at a yose performance. Photo Glen Ratcliffe, SOAS 2009
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