Udaya, journal of Khmer studies

Udaya, a new journal of Khmer studies, aims to develop understandings of Cambodian culture in both the national and international arenas. Publishing articles in Khmer, English and French, the journal is conceived as a forum for the distribution of information to all students, scholars and professionals working in the field of Khmer culture in view of promoting research and professional collaboration.

Udaya, the journal of Khmer studies, with articles in Khmer, English and French

We have chosen to call the journal Udaya. This word, of Sanskrit origin, but Khmericized since ancient times, signifies "the rising sun", and by extension, "prosperity, success". In the context of contemporary Cambodia, it has added the advantage of suggesting rebirth.

The journal publishes research on Cambodia in all domains of the human sciences. Each issue includes two principal types of original contributions:

1. In-depth articles (reflection and synthesis). Each edition includes between three and four articles. Senior theses from Phnom Penh's Department of Archaeology (Royal University of Fine Arts) may be chosen for editing in view of publication in article form in the journal. This ensures that one or more articles of each edition will be composed directly in Khmer.
2. "Monographs" presenting unprocessed data resulting from field research. This may include data collected, for example, by archaeologists, ethnologists, health or social workers.

Each edition also includes a translation into Khmer of an article concerning Khmer culture published in the past and chosen for its particular importance in the domain (e.g. Cœdès' "Etudes cambodgiennes").

The journal attempts to respond to a bi-fold void in publications concerning Khmer culture.

There is, firstly, very little substantial reading material currently published in the Khmer language. Virtually all scientific research on Khmer culture appears in foreign languages, particularly French, English and Japanese. The material is moreover dispersed in different periodicals or books which are often difficult to attain, and which go rapidly out of print. The little that is published in Khmer rarely undergoes scholarly or professional supervision, and generally lacks solid scientific foundations. Though translations, particularly of applied research carried out in the NGO context, are relatively common now, the same lack of scientific and linguistic foundations more often than not renders the translated text incomprehensible to a native Khmer speaker. For these many reasons, Khmer students, scholars and professionals have relatively limited access to tools essential for developing critical knowledge of their own culture. Udaya aims to progressively fill this void in Khmer reading materials by publishing articles written directly in Khmer under the supervision of recognized scholars and professionals, as well as carefully adapted translations of foreign language texts. The publication of the Khmer version of Angkor. A Manual for the Past, Present and Future demonstrates the importance of this endeavor. This is the first full-length book on Angkor ever to be translated into Khmer; with numerous additions meant to illuminate the issues discussed for the Khmer reader, the translation could in fact be called an adaptation of the original.

Secondly, the journal aims to fill a void in foreign language materials concerning Khmer culture. No single forum for publications in this domain currently exists. Both national and international readers will benefit immensely from a regular exchange of information in easily accessible form. The bi- or tri-lingual nature of the journal will encourage readers to consult materials in a foreign language which may otherwise be neglected. The journal's targeted readership is diverse, including both national and international students, scholars and professionals. It is precisely in view of facilitating an open union of this community of people interested in Khmer culture that the journal is conceived. Directed toward a national and international readership, the journal aims to elevate the level of reflection in both communities, and also to unite them.

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