Bourgault Returns from Malaysia

Louise Bourgault (CAPS) recently returned from the East Malaysia, where she served as visiting professor in the faculty of social science at the Universiti Sarawak Malaysia.

She delivered guest lectures to students in communications and medical social work classes and gave faculty/graduate seminars on her research in HIV/AIDS communication and performance in Africa and India. Bourgault also made professional contacts with the region's HIV/AIDS prevention community and presented some of her research to the Sarawak AIDS network, a consortium of HIV/AIDS activists.

Bourgault is pictured second from right at a luncheon honoring her and another visiting professor from the Philippines. She spent about a month in Malaysia and described some of the changes she noticed since her last visit to the country more than 20 years ago.

“Malaysia is a developing country that’s reached most of the Millennium Development Goals," said Bourgault, who is on sabbatical this semester. "After this visit, I can clearly see why the country is considered an ‘Asian Tiger’.” I was very pleased to have been invited by this Malaysian University. It’s a very forward-looking place, with excellent new facilities in several disciplines, including cinematography and electronic music production, art and computer information systems. The university also boasts a medical school and has a number of programs in allied health.

"The faculty of social sciences is one of the best among Malaysian universities. It is currently engaged in a race to document the folkways of Borneo’s rapidly disappearing indigenous lifestyles, centered around life in the 'longhouse' villages built on bamboo stilts, wherein all families share a common veranda."

Pictured at right is a longhouse at Kuching's Cultural Village, a living museum.


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Updated: April 17, 2008

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