The 2018 John Legge Prize for the Best Thesis in Asian Studies has been awarded to Dr Kathryn Dyt, Australian National University, for her dissertation titled “The Nguyễn Weather-World: Environment, Emotion and Governance in Nineteenth-Century Vietnam”.
Dr Dyt’s thesis is an environmental study of the Nguyen dynasty between 1802 and 1883, prior to the full imposition of French colonial rule. It explores how the Nguyen court organised itself in relation to the powerful, agentive and emotional ‘weather-world’ within which it was immersed.
The Runner-Up prize was awarded to Dr Rebecca Gidley, Austalian National University, for her dissertation “Illiberal Transitional Justice: The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.”
Professor Kent Anderson, President of ASAA, commented: ‘The list of past winners of the John Legge Prize is a who’s who of the best Asian scholars in the world. It is fantastic to add two emerging scholars of Mainland Southeast Asia to that list in Kathryn Dyt and Rebecca Gidley. The fact that they were contemporaries at the School of Culture History and Language at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the ANU speaks to the quality of expertise and supervision held by ASAA members within that school.”
“In navigating for the Asian Century, Australia needs more scholars like Kathryn and Rebecca and through the ASAA’s sponsorship of this prize we are excited to be investing in the expertise that will serve us into the future.”
For her prizewinning thesis, Dr Dyt will receive an award of $2,000 and Dr Gidley will receive an award of $1,000.
In 2017 the ASAA’s President’s Prize was renamed the John Legge Prize for the Best Thesis in Asian Studies to honour Professor John Legge.