MAIL: badenoch [at] cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Southeast Asia is an area of biological and cultural diversity that is globally significant. The spatial correlation of these areas of diversity is underscored by a hypothesis regarding a causal link between the two. The mountainous areas of SEA, where much of the region’s biocultural diversity is found, is also an area of extreme socio-economic dynamism. Landscapes and humanscapes are being transformed at a break-neck pace. My research is interested in how land- and human-scapes are changing in tandem. The upgrade of road infrastructure, spread of industrial and commercial agriculture, improvement in health and education services are drawing upland populations down to roadside settlements. The enormous changes in livelihoods/lifestyles and their impacts on the environment have been discussed increasingly in the literature. The current status of minority languages – including multilingual practices, the linguistic representation of identity, intergenerational transmission, linguistic change, traditional ecological knowledge systems and the impact of education/literacy on oral culture – have not been explored in much detail. There is a great urgency in understanding these issues, as the change underway is faster than anything witnessed before. During these times of transformation, a light can be shone on different social values, adaptation strategies, political imbalances and cultural realities. The research is conducted primarily in Laos and Cambodia, with smaller-scale investigation in Thaialnd and Myanmar.