Philippe Peycam (email) is a historian by training. He received his MA (DEA in French) from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne University in Paris. At the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, he wrote his PhD thesis: Intellectuals and Political Commitment in Vietnam: the Emergence of a Public Sphere in Colonial Saigon (1916-1928). From 1999 to 2009, Philippe was the (founding) Executive Director of the Center of Khmer Studies in Siem Reap. This research centre supports the largest academic network on Khmer and Mainland Southeast Asian studies in the world. As Director, he gained extensive experience in institution building, management, designing and overseeing multidisciplinary programmes, raising funds from public and private sources as well as organising community-oriented initiatives and civil society support-programmes.
Philippe’s academic interests lie in modern Vietnam and Southeast Asia. His current research at the Institute for South-East Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore is a broader reflection on postcolonial and post-conflict situations that also includes other regions of Asia as well as Africa. This intellectual trajectory stems from an early interest in phenomena such as colonialism and modes of cultural resistance to it; the creative role of the City as a privileged environment for new forms of intercultural interaction; the importance of cultural representations from tangible and intangible heritage to institutional knowledge production; and the challenge of building and maintaining genuine cross-cultural, transnational bridges out of these contexts. Philippe sees these intellectual interests as having implications for concrete policies in today’s postcolonial societies.