September 06, 2012

LLR (book): Contemporary Lao Studies

Title:  Contemporary Lao Studies - Research on Development, Language and Culture, and Traditional Medicine
Edited:  Carol J. Compton, John F. Hartmann, Vinya Sysmouth
Publisher / Year:  The Center for Lao Studies and The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (University of Northern Illinois, Dekalb), 2009
ISBN:  9781891134319
Price:  $28USD

Contemporary Lao Studies - Research on Development, Language and Culture, and Traditional Medicine Published by the Center for Lao Studies

When the first Lao Studies Conference in 2005 occurred, I remember reading about it and feeling a sense of happiness and pride that studies on Lao culture and issues was gaining some momentum in America.  I regret I didn't get to attend.  However, purchasing the book is a good way of getting to see some of the things they talked about.  This book was published in 2009 - four years after the conference though!

The book covers a variety of topics however some memorable ones include:
  • Gender, Land Rights and Culture in Laos:  A Study in Vientiane, Districts, Villages and Households by Loes Schenk-Sandbergen
  • Aiding or Abetting?  Internal Resettlement and International Aid Agencies in the Lao PDR by Bruce Shoemaker and Ian G. Baird
And all of Part 3 of the book that focuses on Traditional Medicine (as you know from previous posts on this website that we do find it an interesting topic).
  • Historical Medicinal, Religious and Commercial Plant Use in Laos from Accounts of European Exploration by Kristine L. Callis
  • The Influence of Cultural Tradition and Geographic Location on the Level of Medicinal Plant Knowledge Held Various Cultural Groups in Laos by Amey Libman, Bounhong Southavong, Greg R. Deitzman, Somsanith Bouamanivong, Kongmany Sydara, Charlotte Gyllenhaal, Mary Riley, and Djaja D. Soejarto
  • The Lao Traditional Medicine Mapping Project (Lao TMMP) by Mary C. Riley, Bounhong Southavong, Gregg R. Dietzman, Marian R. Kadushin, Kongmany Sydara, Amey Libman, Somsanith Bouamanivong, Charlotte Gyllenhaal, and Djaja Djendoel Soejarto
  • Studies on Medicinal Plants of Laos-A Collaborative Program between the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Traditional Medicine Research Center (TMRC), Lao PDR: Accomplishments 1998-2005 by Djaja D. Soejarto, Bounhong Southavong, Kongmany Sydara, Somsanith Bouamanivong, Mary C. Riley, Amey Libman, Marian R. Kadushin, and Charlotte Gyllenhaal
The book can be ordered from the link listed above.  I tried writing to them on their website and unfortunately they are not very quick on the responses, if any.  Shipping time was typical and to be as expected.  The journal itself is a good read and covers a variety of topics.  And of course buying the book is one of the ways to help support Lao studies. 

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