UDAYA, Journal of Khmer Studies

Message from the Editors

Udaya was founded in 2000 in a very different context than that in which it appears today. For one, it was a print journal, in a time when we could not even imagine the possibility of disseminating academic research on the then still novel internet to an international community let alone to Cambodian nationals living in Cambodia. Times have changed, Cambodia has changed and Udaya is changing. The journal is now exclusively online. Current issues and back issues are free to all with simple registration on this site.

We remain nonetheless stubbornly committed to the ideals underlying the foundation of Udaya, and see the move to online publishing through the Open Journal System as a means of further pursuing their realization. We aim, still, to provide a forum for promoting multilingual interdisciplinary exchange on Cambodian culture in its broadest sense. While benefiting from a certain aterritorial nature and power of the internet, the journal remains rooted in Cambodia both in practical and conceptual terms. It is housed by a nascent local cultural institution,Yosothor. Yosothor is an independent non-governmental institution, which maintains close ties with national cultural and higher education institutions. The Udaya website, and each issue, is designed and maintained locally. The editorial mission is guided by an increased perception of the necessity to explore and support local perspectives within the context of globalized and globalizing discourse, research and publishing structures. The renewed commitment we make to Udaya and to the journal’s rootedness in Cambodia whilst we go online belies our belief in cultural specificity, and in the potential of attentiveness to the most local expression to talk back to today’s hegemonic power structures, be they otherwise local(ized), national or international. If we hereby affirm that the site of knowledge production counts, it is with the knowledge that within our pages we count multiple sites, none of which exist in isolation.

Our first online issue includes a range of art historical, historical and archeological work. Periodically we develop a thematic issue. The second online issue will accordingly be devoted to the topic of modern and contemporary Cambodian art and aesthetics.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the present issue, exceptionally, does not include a contribution written in Khmer.


Ang Choulean and Ashley Thompson

Co-founders and editors