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Southeast Asia – Is the Long Term Benign or Scary?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Eu-Gene Toh.

Renowned Southeast Asian historian Professor Anthony Reid will revisit his positive depiction of pre-colonial Southeast Asia and ponders the longer-term future for human and natural disasters. The appallingly destructive earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011, like that in Aceh and around the Indian Ocean in 2004, forcibly reminds us how dependent we are on the normal beneficence of our planet. Evidence suggests that the 20th century was politically horrendous but environmentally benign, while the 21st century so far looks like the reverse. This talk will look at longer term Southeast Asian history in the light of our rapidly improving knowledge of how the planet works. How did natural calamities affect Southeast Asian civilisation in the past and what does the future hold for the region?

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Southeast Asian Forum series.

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