In 2020, UNESCO Bangkok published 25 school lessons in hopes of creating a shared history in Southeast Asia. Its effort is part of a larger project by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to construct a regional identity as part of its Socio-Cultural Community, which is slated to begin in 2025. National schools are seen as vital institutions in the development of a regional identity. In this presentation, I detail the history of UNESCO’s shared histories project, some of its paradoxes, and the politics of its implementation in Cambodia. The presentation launches the book, Memory in the Mekong: Regional Identity, Schools and Politics in Southeast Asia (TC Press), which was published in March 2022.
Will Brehm is an Associate Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, University College London, and a member of the Centre for Education and International Development. He is also an Adjunct Researcher at the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan) and an Honorary Adjunct Professor at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia). His books include Cambodia for Sale (Routledge 2021) and Memory in the Mekong (with Yuto Kitamura, Teachers College Press 2022). He also hosts the FreshEd podcast.
Stockholm Center for Global Asia
The Department of Education and Stockholm Center for Global Asia, Stockholm University.
Room 2411, Department of Education, Stockholm University (street address: Frescativägen 54)