New director appointed to lead UH Mānoa Center for Southeast Asian Studies

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Lisa M Shirota, (808) 956-7352
Communications Director, Social Sciences, Dean's Office
Posted: Jan 10, 2018

Miriam Stark
Miriam Stark

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor of Anthropology Miriam Stark has been appointed director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) effective August 2018 through 2022. She will lead more than 50 affiliated faculty members distributed in 21 different departments, making CSEAS the largest concentration of Southeast Asian specialists in the country.

A part of the College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa, CSEAS is one of only eight United States Department of Education National Resource Centers for the study of Southeast Asia. The center serves as the coordinating body for Southeast Asian studies throughout the university and oversees more than 100 language and area studies courses, with particular focus in the social sciences and humanities.

CSEAS maintains educational tiesto university programs in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, East Timor, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as specialized faculties in Europe. The center facilitates individualized study programs specific to students’ needs. These in-country experiences provide students with valuable opportunities to conduct research and/or pursue advanced language study.

“I am confident that with her enthusiasm, dedication and can-do attitude she will successfully lead the center through the next four years. I look forward to continue working with the center under her leadership,” said Kirstin Pauka, current CSEAS director and professor in the UH Mānoa Department of Theatre and Dance.

Stark, who joined the UH Mānoa Department of Anthropology in 1995 as a Southeast Asian archaeologist, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and her master’s degree and doctoral degree from the University of Arizona. A past editor of Asian Perspectives, Stark’s archaeological and ethnographic field experience involves field-based research in several locations of North America (Midwest, sub-Arctic, American Southwest), the Near East (Israel and Turkey) and in Southeast Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia). She has worked in Southeast Asia for more than three decades.

Stark’s Cambodian research program, begun in the mid-1990s in collaboration with the East-West Center, represents the longest-running U.S.-based archaeological program in the Kingdom of Cambodia. She co-directed the Lower Mekong Archaeological Project from 1996 to 2009, began ongoing work through the Greater Angkor project in 2010, and on the Khmer Production and Exchange Project in 2014. Her international collaborative research programs blend teaching with field-based archaeological research on political economy, state formation and urbanism.