The Henry Luce Foundation awarded a grant of $740,000 to the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies. The grant will support the project “Early Modern Period Transitions in Southeast Asia: Environmental Dynamics, Social Change and Globalization,” which Helena Kolenda, the foundation’s program director for Asia, described as “an exciting project.”

The grant, awarded through the Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia, will establish the Program for Early Modern Southeast Asia, which will be directed by Stephen Acabado, associate professor of anthropology and a core faculty member of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Acabado also serves as director of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Faculty from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and the University of Washington will serve as collaborators on the grant. The project will run from July 2021 through June 2027, with an additional $1.4 million of institutional support from various units at UCLA, including the International Institute, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, dean of the division of humanities and dean of the division of social sciences.

The first activity of the Program for Early Modern Southeast Asia will be a series of virtual workshops starting August 2021, co-sponsored by Asia-based partners Partido State University; the Polytechnic University of the Philippines; and the National Chengchi University’s Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge and Sustainable Studies.

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