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Building Scholarly Communities in the Information Age, 2000-2001

While at UCLA Eric Thompson started a new research project on the Internet and scholarly networks in Southeast Asia and developed a course on Society and Culture in Island Southeast Asia. The title of his Postdoctoral Fellowship project was "Building Scholarly Communities in the Information Age."

In September 2001, he organized a workshop in Southeast Asia on methodological issues in Internet research as a part of a larger conference on the Internet in Asia, sponsored by the National University of Singapore. The Crossing Borders initiative allowed Thompson to invite six participants who each presented papers on varied methodological issues.

The conference "Methodological Considerations in Assessing the Impact of the Internet in Asia" was held on September, 2001.

Participants and their paper titles were as follows:

  • T. Matthew Ciolek, Australian National University
    Networked Information Flows in Asia
  • Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Institute for Future Studies of Development, Thailand
    An Analysis Model for Internet Growth
  • Steven Morin, University of the Philippines
    Assessing IT-based Training in International Agricultural Research
  • Joyce Nip, Hong Kong Baptist University
    Methodological Reflections from Studying a Message Board
  • Sankaran Ramanathan , Asian Media Information Center, Singapore
    Social Usage of Internet in Malaysia and Vietnam
  • Martin Slama, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
    Relating Indonesia’s Online and Offline Settings

While Thompson was in Southeast Asia, he was able to conduct fieldwork on his project and visit academic institutions in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. He interviewed staff and collected information about the state of Internet technology in Southeast Asia.

His research was later compiled into the paper "The Internet and the Southeast Asian Academy: Emergent Technology and Uneven Development," which was presented at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting held in April 2002.

During the spring term at UCLA, Thompson developed and taught a course in the department of Anthropology on Society and Culture in Island Southeast Asia. The course was well received and over 40 students attended.

Following his UCLA residency Thompson was hired as Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore where he serves now, as of 2004.

Eric Thompson received his Ph.D. in 2000 in Anthropology from the University of Washington, Seattle. His dissertation was entitled "In K.L.-and Kampung: Urbanism in Rural Malaysia."

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