The University of Michigan won a $255k responsive grant from the Henry Luce Foundation focusing on new initiatives to grow Southeast Asian studies at the university. The grant will be managed by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies who will coordinate programming with regional and international partners.

The center will be focusing on building up programming revolving around U-M’s Gamelan Kauai Telaga Madu (Lake of Venerable Honey), supporting archival and collection training for librarians in Southeast Asia, and supporting a Scholar at Risk from Southeast Asia. 

“This grant from Luce allows us to build on CSEAS’s core strengths, including world-class library holdings, language instruction, and amazing faculty, and uses them as a springboard for programming that we believe will draw a new and larger cohort of students into Southeast Asian Studies. The grant will allow the center to respond to the interests and demands of today’s and tomorrow’s students, who seek a more diverse and dynamic approach to area studies” said CSEAS Interim Director Professor Allen Hicken.

The University of Michigan has been involved in Southeast Asian Studies since the late 1800s. CSEAS, which celebrates its 63th anniversary this year, is one of the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center on Southeast Asia. U-M offers Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese language training on campus and also host faculty across various disciplines focused on the region.

“The vision and scope of this new Luce-funded initiative embody Henry Luce’s belief that the ideas of committed and capable knowledge makers lead to productive change. Over the past 62 years, the knowledge makers at CSEAS have contributed outstanding academic value to our university, we are happy to see this continued with this new grant” said Inerntaional Institute director, Professor Mary Gallagher

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Luce Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy.

The programming from the Luce Grant will begin in Fall 2024. For more information about the project, contact Allen Hicken, interim director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.