Dr. Nicholas Farrelly
Nicholas Farrelly is a Research Fellow in the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies. Nicholas’ research stretches across the Southeast Asian region and focuses on relationships between government control, spatial organisation and political conflict. He has examined these themes in northern Burma, northeast India and southwest China. While studying these borderland areas he has continued to research, write and lecture about Thailand, a country at the heart of some of his oldest academic interests. In 2006 Nicholas co-founded a website on mainland Southeast Asia called New Mandala. It offers regular analysis of social and political issues in Thailand and Burma, and the other countries of the region. His research is taking on an increasingly comparative flavour as he develops field sites outside the parts of mainland Southeast Asia that he knows best. In his current position he convenes the new undergraduate program in the study of peace, conflict and war. Dr. Farrelly also provides commentary for the Australian and international media, particularly at times of acute public interest in Southeast Asia and its conflicts.
Research Interests: Southeast Asian politics, comparative Asian policing, Burmese military affairs, Thai society, ceasefires and security in northern Burma, Tai ethno-politics, northeast India, blogging.
Dr. McComas Taylor
McComas Taylor is the head of the South Asia Program and a senior lecturer in the School of Culture, History and Language where he teaches courses in Sanskrit language and literature as well as religion and politics in South Asia. Respected by students and faculty alike, McComas has one numerous teaching awards and is committed to the flexible delivery of less commonly taught and small-enrollment languages.
Research Interests: The construction of truth in the Sanskritic episteme, the ideas of social division in Sanskrit narrative literature, Purāṇic narratives and their empowerment, and the role of Sanskrit texts in contemporary Hindu practice.
Dr. Heidi A. Ross
Heidi Ross is a professor of education and teaches social foundations and comparative and international education courses in the Educational Policy Studies program. Her primary interests include education and schooling in China, and she is director of Indiana University’s East Asian Studies Center.
Research Interests: Heidi has investigated gender socialization, secondary schooling, and environmental education in Chinese schools and the difficulties faced by faculty at China’s private colleges and universities as China experiences an unprecedented demand for higher education. Most recently, she has been involved in two longer-term field based projects. One is a longitudinal study of girls’ educational access and expectations in rural China. The second is a collaborative project with other IU and Chinese colleagues, “Developing National Student Engagement Surveys for Chinese Secondary and Higher Education: Effective Practice for an Era of Mass Schooling.” The project includes implementation of IU-developed surveys that measure student engagement in China’s diverse institutions of higher education.
Dr. Ariel Heryanto
Ariel Heryanto is Associate Professor of Indonesian Studies. He is the author of State Terrorism And Political Identity In Indonesia: Fatally Belonging (Routledge, 2006), editor of Popular Culture in Indonesia; Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics (Routledge, 2008), and co-editor of Challenging Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia; comparing Indonesia and Malaysia (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003). He joined The Australian National University in 2009 and before that taught at The University of Melbourne, National University of Singapore and Satya Wacana University in Indonesia. His first two university degrees were in Education. He received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, USA in Asian Studies, and his Doctorate of Philosophy from Monash University, Australia in Anthropology. Dr. Heryanto is on sabbatical during the 2012 academic year.
Research interests: Ariel’s chief interest has revolved around issues of cultural signifying practices, especially the everyday politics of identity and representation. He is interested in the study of semantic history (key words), discourse analysis, media, popular culture, ethnicity, nationality, hybridity, and diasporas. Although Indonesia is the country he knows best, he is keen on comparative studies especially among the neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia. As evident in his previous works, his favourite thinkers include (alphabetically) Mikhail Bakhtin, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Antonio Gramsci, Ivan Illich, Joel Kahn, YB Mangunwijaya, Achile Mbembe, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Putu Wijaya, and Raymond Williams.
Melissa Biddinger has more than twenty years experience in international education and programming. Spending more than four years in Malaysia, where she served first as an academic advisor with the IU-MUCIA-Institut Teknologi MARA twinning program and subsequently as program officer for The Asia Foundation, she has a particular interest in Southeast Asia and the ways in which multiethnic societies develop and maintain strong and stable civil societies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree with honors from The University of Chicago in International Relations.
Yimin Wang is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in International and Comparative Education. She obtained her Master’s degree in China Studies from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Prior to joining Indiana University, Yimin worked as a research associate at the National Institute of Education in Singapore where she was actively involved in several large-scale projects, funded by the Ministry of Education, which were aimed at the reform of nationwide curriculum and assessment procedures. Her current research interests include the College Entrance Examination in China, reforms of Chinese higher education, Comparative and International Education, and inquiry methodologies.