Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Journal of Lao Studies

The Journal of Lao Studies (JLS) is an exciting new academic project which hopes to become the first and most prestigious venue for researchers who work on Lao issues.

The Journal of Lao Studies is sorely needed in the field, as presently there are no scholarly journals or University press series devoted to Lao Studies.

Articles on Lao Studies are now published in disparate journals in France, Australia, Thailand, and North America. As a result, scholars in the field have a difficult time attempting to gather together all the various publications spread across the globe in several languages.

In addition, since most academic journals with an Asian focus are primarily devoted to Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, or Vietnamese Studies, research based in or on smaller countries is often ignored.

In Spring 2008, Dr. Vinya Sysamouth, the Executive Director of the Center for Lao Studies, brought together a number of enthusiastic and notable scholars from many countries to draw up plans for the new journal.

Steve Arounsack, Ian Baird, Carol J. Compton, Anne Frank, Nick Enfield, Gregory Green, Boike Rehbein, Gary Lee, Mark Pfeifer, Phitsamay Sychitkokhong Uy, and others have offered advice, joined in on conference calls, and assumed specific positions on the journal's executive board.

Dr. Vatthana Pholsena and Dr. Justin McDaniel have agreed to be the co-head editors of the journal, and will be writing submission guidelines, designing a style-sheet, and drafting by-laws over the next few months.

Calls for articles, translations, and book reviews for the first issue will begin in earnest in 2009. They will keep us up-to-date on our progress and are open to advice and suggestions as they launch this new venture.

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