Dr. Bradley Murg

Dr. Bradley Murg is an assistant professor of political science and director of global development studies at Seattle Pacific University and affiliate professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Dr. Murg’s research, supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council and the International Research and Exchanges Board, focuses on legal reform, regional inequality, the political economy of foreign aid, and economic development in the Mekong region, China (particularly Xinjiang, Qinghai and Ningxia), and the former Soviet Union. His current work explores the history of foreign aid in Cambodia, paying particular attention to the development of the Cham community as well as Chinese aid and investment today. Dr. Murg graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University with a BA/MA in philosophy, received his MSc. in economic history from the London School of Economics, and his M.A. and PhD in political science from the University of Washington. Dr. Murg has worked in Asia for nearly 20 years, initially having moved to the region as a Henry Luce Scholar at the Asian Development Bank in 2000. He speaks English, French, German, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Tagalog, and is currently struggling with Khmer.

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Articulations of Southeast Asian Religious Modernisms: Islam in Early 20th Century Cambodia & Cochinchina

William B. Noseworthy

[ Abstract ]

This article is about the emergence of Islamic modernism among Cham Muslim communities in Cambodia and Cochinchina during the early 20th century. Based on a combined critical reading of existing scholarship, historicized first-hand anthropological accounts, as well as archival sources from the National Archives of Cambodia and the Vietnam National Archives II, it argues accounts of modernists in these sources were either (1) cast through a French colonial reading of a Buddhist state lens and (2) cast through a Malay lens, based upon the Kaum Muda/Kaum Tua divide. First, it proceeds with a historical explanation of the emergence of Islam and the discourse used to describe Muslim communities in Vietnamese, French, and Cham language sources. Then, it turns the narrative toward an examination of the emergence of the “Kaum Muda” or “New Group” of reformist-minded modernist Muslims in early 20th century Cambodia. Delineating the networks of these intellectuals as they stretched across the border through Cochinchina, also highlights a pre-existing transnational element to the community, one that well predates current discussions of twenty-first-century transnationalism. Through a combination of the study of multiple language sources and historical methods, the article highlights the importance of polylingualism in the study of the history of Muslims in Southeast Asia.

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